Do You Qualify for Criminal Record Expungement?

Posted on in Expungement

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Cook County defense lawyerThe prospect of having a criminal record expunged is an appealing one. For new offenders who have an otherwise spotless record, having anything blemish that record can be discouraging, especially when the potential long-term effects are considered. Having a criminal record can impact everything from your reputation in your community and workplace to your ability to acquire or maintain a place of employment. If you desire to have your record expunged, you first need to see what the law says about the process and whether or not you even qualify.

The Criminal Identification Act Standards

The law determines who may be eligible for the expungement process in Section 5.2 of the Criminal Identification Act. Unless you are an honorably discharged veteran convicted of specific Class 3 or Class 4 felonies, you are only eligible to have your record expunged if you have never before been convicted of a criminal offense or municipal ordinance violation. Under Illinois law, your record cannot be expunged if it is federal or out-of-state. Other factors that disqualify your record from being eligible for expungement include:

  • Minor traffic offenses;
  • Divorces;
  • Various civil matters; and
  • Entry of an order of protection.

In general, if you have been convicted of a felony, that conviction is not likely eligible for expungement. Many felony convictions are able to be sealed, but not entirely cleared from your record.

Other Important Details to Note

Even if you are not found guilty, a full account of your arrests will be listed on your record unless you have it expunged. Those wishing to expunge their records should also note that juvenile cases differ from adult cases; the expungement process is not the same. Whatever your circumstances, once your record is cleared, you do not have to worry about telling your employers that you have had it expunged or sealed. Illinois law actually prohibits current or potential employers from asking whether or not you have ever had a record expunged. The only exception to this are certain employers who are specially allowed by law to ask you.

If you are unsure whether you qualify for record expungement or not, you can ensure you have the proper resources and legal representation you need to successfully clear your criminal record by working with a knowledgeable Chicago criminal defense lawyer. Protect your rights, your present, and your future by calling the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney today at 312-629-0669 for a consultation.


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