It can be incredibly rewarding for those with a criminal past to leave their life of crime behind them – both literally and figuratively. One way to move on from past mistakes or false allegations is to have your criminal history cleared through an expungement. Even if your case was dismissed, the only way to officially remove the record of your arrest is through an expungement. Not all offenses, however, nor is everyone eligible for an expungement. Only those who meet certain state qualifications can have their records expunged. When the expungement process is complete, your criminal records are either physically destroyed or returned to you. The Expungement process also removes the defendant’s name from public criminal records.
Criteria for Potential Expungement
To request an expungement in Illinois, the arrest or the offense in question must meet certain criteria. Typically, only offenses that did not result in a conviction are eligible for expungement. Items that can be expunged include:
- Some traffic violations;
- Court supervision for reckless driving, in some cases;
- Arrests without convictions;
- Certain probations upon successful completion and completion of the waiting period; and
- Court supervision two years after completion (five years for some specific offenses).
It is important to note that certain crimes, including DUIs and sexual crimes, are not eligible for expungement. If you have a criminal record which includes items not eligible for expungement and those that are, you can request to expunge only those items that specifically qualify.
Record Sealing Versus Expungement
If you have been convicted of a crime and are not eligible for expungement, you may be able to have your records sealed instead. Sealed records, unlike expunged records, are not destroyed. Instead, sealed records are kept confidential from the general public. Most employers cannot access a criminal history which has been sealed. However, law enforcement agencies can still view a sealed record. Felony arrests and convictions are generally not able to be expunged or sealed. However, there are a few exceptions including certain Class 3 and Class 4 felonies and certain probation offenses.
Contact a Will County Record Sealing and Expungement Attorney
If you wish to clear your criminal history through expungement or record sealing, contact an experienced expungement lawyer in Joliet Illinois. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation. We will help you determine your eligibility for either process and work with you every step of the way.