Sometimes people make mistakes, but that does not mean that they do not deserve second chances. In Illinois, there are certain records that you can have expunged, or erased, as if the event never happened. The process of destroying your criminal records can help keep your past in the past and prevent friends, family, or even future employers from seeing your criminal record. However, like most things, there are limitations to what you can have expunged. Understanding expungement in Illinois can help you move on with your life and put the past behind you.
What Qualifies for Expungement?
Under the Illinois Criminal Identification Act, certain types of arrests and some cases resulting in probation or court supervision can be expunged from an individual’s criminal record. Depending on the crime and the disposition, you may qualify to have your records sealed if you do not qualify to have your records expunged. Other civil issues such as divorce, minor traffic violations, and orders of protection are not covered under the Act and cannot be expunged.
Qualifying Dispositions for Record Expungement
In most cases, expungement is only available for criminal cases whose disposition – or outcome – is a judgment other than a conviction. Dispositions that are eligible for expungement include
- An arrest that did not result in charges filed.
- Charges that were dismissed prior to the trial.
- A charge stricken with leave to reinstate.
- An acquittal or “not guilty” finding.
- A pardon from the governor of Illinois.
- Court supervision.
In some cases, other types of offenders are eligible to have their records expunged. Under the Controlled Substances Act, Cannabis Control Act, Steroid Control Act, and Alcohol and Drug Dependency Act, certain first-time offenses are eligible for expungement after an offender successfully completes probation.
Limitations to Record Expungement
Certain offenses cannot be expunged from your record. If you were granted court supervision for a DUI offense, you will not be eligible for expungement. You are also not eligible for expungement if you were granted court supervision for a sexual offense committed against a minor.
Seek Help From a Joliet Expungement Lawyer
If you have found yourself in some trouble with the law, you know how it can affect others’ perceptions of you. If you have a criminal record but have not been convicted of a crime, or if you want to get a fresh start after paying your debts to society, you may qualify for expungement or sealing. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba can guide you through the expungement process and get you back to living your life. Contact our experienced Will County criminal record expungement attorney at 815-740-4025 to set up a free consultation.