Our Illinois firm of highly experienced Illinois expungement lawyers has expunged criminal records for its clients since 2004 in Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Will County, McHenry County, and Kane County. Misdemeanor expungement in Illinois is available for most criminal records.
To expunge your arrest record means that your entire criminal file gets destroyed. Once the Court enters an order expunging your arrest record, the Clerk of Court, the arresting police agency, and the State Police will destroy all the documents and computer data in connection with your case. The FBI will also destroy the record after receiving notice from the Illinois State Police. It is like your case never happened. Whether or not you won or lost your case, your arrest record is still visible to the public, landlords, licensing agencies, employers, and law enforcement. The arrest record does not automatically disappear.
In order to expunge your record, you must file a Petition to Expunge with the Circuit Court where your case concluded. In most cases, you are required to appear before the Court and prove that you are a good person and that the public has no need to keep your arrest record public. You can testify, have witnesses attest to your good character, and submit documents to the Court that show that you have turned your life around. Some of the documents that are generally submitted are your resume, education history, employment history, letter of recommendation, certificates, and awards.
The process varies with each Court for misdemeanor expungement cases in Illinois. For example, in Misdemeanor Chicago expungement cases, you have to attach your City of Chicago "rap" sheet to your Petition to Expunge while suburban districts do not require your rap sheet. A rap sheet is your criminal history. Some courts require a court while others do not. With the help of an experienced misdemeanor expungement attorney, you will be on your way to expunging your record and getting a fresh start.
Almost all misdemeanor cases can be expunged in Illinois. The courts recognize the burden that a criminal record can have on a person and their families. If you have not been convicted and a specific waiting period has gone by, you can file for expungement. With a court order expunging your record, you will be on your way to having your arrest record deleted forever. The waiting period depends on the crime, but in almost all instances, it is two years after you complete your sentence. If you were convicted, you may still be eligible to seal your record. Almost all misdemeanors are eligible for sealing if they cannot be expunged. Every Illinois expungement lawyer in our firm has decades of experience in Chicago and northern Illinois.
A. Immediate Illinois Record ExpungementYou can file to expunge your Illinois misdemeanor arrest record immediately if:
- Have completed a Court Diversion Program;
- Your case was Dismissed;
- You were found not guilty;
- Pardoned by the Governor.
- The conviction was vacated or reversed
- Arrested but was not charged.
B. Two-Year Waiting Period for Court SupervisionYou can file to expunge your arrest record two years after you complete your Court supervision.
C. Five-year Waiting Period for Court SupervisionYou can expunge your Chicago or other Illinois misdemeanor record five years after you complete Court supervision for:
- Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle
- Suspended Registration for Noninsurance
- Displaying of False Insurance
- Failure of Scrap Dealer to Keep Records
- Criminal Sexual Abuse if the victim was 18 years of age or older
D. Five-year Waiting Period for Qualified Probation You are eligible to file for expungement five years after you complete Qualified Probation. This type of probation is called:
- Second Chance Probation
- 410, 710, or 1410 Probation
- TASC probation.
WHICH ILLINOIS MISDEMEANORS RECORDS CANNOT BE EXPUNGED?
Although misdemeanor expungement in Illinois allows for expunging most records, some Illinois misdemeanors cannot be expunged. However, you may be eligible to seal your record. A sealed record cannot be seen by the public, employers, law enforcement, landlords, and licensing agencies. Although the record exists, it is hidden from public view. Under current Illinois expungement law, you cannot expunge a misdemeanor if:
- You were convicted
- Sentenced to Conditional Discharge
- Sentenced to Time Served
- Sentenced to Regular Probation
- DUI, Reckless Driving and traffic offenses
- Sex Offenses involving a minor.
CAN I SEAL MY RECORD IF I CAN'T EXPUNGE IT?
Yes. Almost all Illinois misdemeanors can be sealed even if they cannot be expunged. Do not be discouraged if you cannot expunge your misdemeanor case, because sealing has most of the same benefits as expungement. With your record sealed, employers, landlords, business partners, licensing agencies, and the public will not have access to it. Essentially, the arrest record becomes concealed from public view. It will not appear in background checks, and you do not have to disclose to anyone that your record was sealed – including employers.
Legal Defenders, P.C. has been expunging and sealing arrest records in Illinois since 2004. Our practice is focused exclusively on expunging records in the greater Chicago area, including Cook County, DuPage County Lake County, Will County, McHenry County, and Kane County. If you're looking for a misdemeanor expungement attorney, you will benefit from the decades of experience expunging records for our clients.
If your arrest record is hindering your ability to get a good job, renting an apartment, or preventing you from entering a licensed profession, expunging your record means that all the paperwork and computer data are destroyed. The Circuit Court, the arresting police department, the Illinois State Police, and the FBI will destroy all their records. You cannot even get a copy of your case because it will no longer exist. Misdemeanor expungement in Illinois affords you the opportunity to start fresh and be unburdened by your past.
A BRIGHTER FUTURE
We live in America, the land of the free. Good people who may have made a mistake in the past deserve a second chance. Illinois misdemeanor expungement and sealing law have come a long way in giving people a fresh start. A criminal record no longer means a lifetime burden. Best of all, if an employer or landlord asks if you have been arrested, you can legally answer, No. You will no longer fear applying for a job, getting fired from a job, getting a student loan, renting an apartment, getting licensed, or starting a business.
An expungement lawyer with decades of experience is your best chance to convince the judge that you are a good person and need an Illinois expungement to move forward with your life. Call us at 312-229-5500 to begin your path to a new and unburdened future. We understand how important it for you to have your criminal record permanently expunged.