SEALING MISDEMEANOR CASES IN ILLNOIS
If you have been convicted of a crime in Illinois, you must seal your misdemeanor record if you want it hidden from the public, employers, landlords, and licensing agencies. If you received regular probation, conditional discharge, or time served, those sentences are considered convictions and are not eligible for expungement. A sealed record will not come upon background searches, and you do not have to tell anyone that your case was sealed – including employers. Due to recent law changes, misdemeanor record sealing in Illinois gives you opportunities that never existed in the past. Our misdemeanor Illinois sealing lawyers can help get a fresh start.
WHICH ILLINOIS MISDEMEANORS CAN I SEAL?
You can seal almost all misdemeanor cases in Illinois. A Petition to Seal is filed in the County where your case concluded. The Clerk of Court assigns a court date in most counties. Soon after your case is filed, you appear in Court and try to convince the judge that you deserve to have your record sealed. A mitigation packet is given to the Court and the State’s Attorney that includes your resume, work history, school transcripts, letters of recommendation, awards, and other documents that show that you are a good person. Examples of cases you can seal are:
- Almost all misdemeanors
- Retail Theft
- Drug cases
- Gun cases
- Battery and Assault
- Criminal Trespass
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WAIT TO SEAL MY RECORD?
The waiting period to file a Petition to Seal is three years after you complete your sentence. If you received Conditional Discharge, Regular Probation, or Time served, the waiting period is three years. Although there are waiting periods, sealing misdemeanors in Illinois will hide your record from the public, landlords, and almost all employers.
WHICH ILLINOIS MISDEMEANOR CASES CAN NOT BE SEALED?
If your misdemeanor record is not eligible for sealing in Illinois, you can file a Clemency Petition with the Illinois Prisoner Review Board and request a pardon from the Governor. The following cases do not qualify for sealing:
- DUI & Reckless Driving if you were over 25
- Domestic Battery
- Most sexual cases
- Animal Cruelty cases
- Battery to an unborn child
- Violation of Order of Protection
- Violation of no Staking Contact Order
If your case does not qualify for expungement or sealing, do not be discouraged. We urge you to keep checking every so often because the law on misdemeanor record sealing in Illinois is developing in a way that gives people more opportunities to seal their Illinois misdemeanor records.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I CANNOT SEAL MY RECORD?
In situations where you cannot expunge or seal your Illinois misdemeanor record, there is the option of seeking a governor's pardon. A Clemency Petition is filed with the Illinois Prisoners Review Board detailing your life, your accomplishments, and your good character. The Petition includes your criminal history, employment history, school transcripts, letters of recommendation, awards, certificates, and other documents that show that you are a good citizen and deserve to be forgiven for your crime. At the hearing before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, with one of our Illinois sealing attorneys with you, you present the best possible picture of yourself. You are also allowed to have witnesses testify as to your good character. After the hearing, the Illinois Prisoner Review Board will recommend to the Governor whether to accept or deny your Petition. If the Governor denies your Petition, you can file an updated clemency Petition after one year. There is no limitation on how many times you can file for a Pardon. Governors' opinions on crime vary, so some Governors are more open to granting pardons than others. Governor J.B. Pritzker has been progressive on criminal justice reform, making it easier to get a pardon.
A BRIGHTER FUTURE
We understand what you are going through and are here to help you clear your criminal record. With your criminal record sealed, you no longer have to worry about your employer, landlord, or the public finding out about your past. Our firm only focuses on sealing felony and misdemeanor records in Illinois. You will be in good hands if we are your misdemeanor sealing attorneys in Illinois. We are so confident that we can help you that we offer a money-back guarantee. If we don't get your Illinois record sealed, we will refund your fee in full.
If you want to move forward with your life, it is critically important that your arrest record is hidden from the public or destroyed. Misdemeanor record sealing in Illinois is available for almost all criminal cases. Call us at (312) 229-5500 for a free consultation with an Illinois misdemeanor sealing lawyer for cases in Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Will County, Kane County, and McHenry County.