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What is Expungement? Do I Qualify to Have my Record Expunged?

June 3rd, 2013 at 8:24 pm


A criminal record is serious and can hurt your future employment prospects. If you have a certain type of arrest, probation, or supervision on your record with no conviction, the state of Illinois does leave it possible for you to get your record expunged under Section 5.2 of the Criminal Identification Act (20 ILCS 263 0/5.2). Expungement eliminates a case brought up against you from your record as if it never existed. Expungement can be a good way to start fresh after an incident.

However, in order to have your record expunged, you must have had no prior criminal offense or municipal ordinance violation. If you have been convicted of either, your records can be sealed, so that your record is not public knowledge.

Expungement or sealing of records can only be applied in criminal cases and not in cases such as traffic offenses, divorces and orders of protection.  In cases where you do not qualify for expungement, you can seek out the governor for a pardon for your conviction, in which case your record will be erased for that case. This, however, is quite rare.

In order to start the process, you must file a petition in the county where the arrest was made or where the charge was brought against you. There is a filing fee you must pay of $60 that goes to the Illinois State police and then a court filing fee. It will take a few months to be processed completely, which includes the 60 days the State has to object to your petition.

Expungement and sealing can be an overwhelming and stressful process to which you may want to have someone who is experienced in the law to walk through with you. Find a criminal defense attorney who understands the process and can assist you in the Cook County area.



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