How Can I Get My Illinois Criminal Record Expunged?

St. Charles criminal expungement and sealing attorneyEveryone makes mistakes from time to time, and that does not make someone a bad person. Individuals who have arrests or criminal convictions on their records deserve a second chance to live a law-abiding life. Unfortunately, having a criminal record can sometimes prevent a person from gaining the education and skills needed for lawful employment. Some employers outright refuse to hire a person if they have a criminal record – even if the record only shows a minor offense. Obtaining quality housing can also be hindered by a criminal record. If you have been charged or convicted of a criminal offense in Illinois, you should know that you may qualify for record expungement or sealing.

When Can a Criminal Record Be Expunged or Sealed?

You may have heard the terms “expungement” and “sealing” when it comes to erasing a criminal record. If a record is sealed, the information about your criminal charges is hidden from a criminal background check, but police and other government personnel will still be able to view your criminal records. Crimes that involve cruelty to animals, orders of protection, or offenses that require you to register as a sex offender are typically not eligible to be sealed.

When a record is expunged, the offense is completely deleted from your record. You will most likely be eligible for expungement if you were arrested for a crime but never convicted. In some cases, you may be able to have your criminal record expunged if you were convicted of a crime and have completed the sentence, as long as you have not committed any subsequent offenses during a certain waiting period. Similar to record sealing, you are not able to expunge records that include sex crimes involving a minor.

Marijuana Possession Convictions May Be Eligible for Expungement

Starting in 2020, recreational marijuana will be legal in Illinois. As a result, many arrest and conviction records for marijuana possession are eligible for expungement. You may qualify for expungement if you were convicted of possession of fewer than 30 grams of cannabis and the offense was not related to either of the following:

  • The delivery of cannabis to a minor child who was three or more years younger than you at the time of the offense 

  • A violent crime

Contact a St. Charles Expungement Lawyer

A mistake that resulted in a criminal offense should not affect the rest of your life. To learn more about how you can have your criminal record expunged or sealed, contact The Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC. We can determine whether you qualify for expungement or record sealing and then help you take the necessary steps to clear your name. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney, call our office today at 630-232-1780.