Any arrest can have a lasting impact on you. Arrest information and charges become part of the public record, which means that the information can be accessible to anyone, including family, friends and future employers, unless they are sealed or expunged.
A person charged with a criminal offense in Illinois may seek to have their records expunged or sealed. If qualified, Illinois law allows expungements for felony, misdemeanor, or municipal ordinance offenses in both criminal and traffic cases.
Sealed records are closed and restricted from public access, but the records are not destroyed. An expungement, on the other hand, is the permanent destruction of case records. In order to qualify for an expungement, one of the following conditions must be met:
- You were never convicted of any crime
- You were released without charging (including for a minor traffic offense), acquitted, and/or your case was dismissed
- Your conviction was vacated or reversed
- You were granted an Executive Pardon from the Governor, which specifically authorizes expungement
In some situations, a person may apply for expungement of his or her entire criminal record five years after the successful completion of a supervision program or probation period.
The process of sealing or expunging criminal or traffic records can be difficult to understand and navigate. It is advisable to seek the representation of an experienced criminal attorney.Thomas F. McGuire is criminal defense attorney focused on helping clients to fight criminal and traffic charges, including having the records expunged or sealed.
If you have been charged with a crime, call attorney Thomas F. McGuire at 847.962.7187 to discuss getting your criminal records expunged or sealed.