Expungements and Record Sealing in Illinois Explained

Have you ever made a mistake that resulted in a criminal record? Perhaps it was something minor, like a traffic violation, or something more serious. Regardless of the offense, having a criminal record can have long-lasting implications on your life. Fortunately, legal options are available to help clear your name and move forward from past mistakes. 

What are Expungement and Record Sealing?

Expungements and record sealing are two methods that can help individuals with criminal records start fresh and regain their freedom. Expungement is for those who have not been convicted, and sealing is for those who have. When you get arrested and charged with a crime, that information becomes a public record. 

The process of expungement or record sealing is to clear your criminal record so that it is not accessible to the public or even on a background check. This can be important for many reasons, including employment, housing, and education opportunities.

How to File for an Expungement or Record Sealing

To have your record sealed or expunged, you must first determine whether or not you are eligible. If you find that you are, you must file a petition with the court where you were charged. If there are several courts, you must file with each of them. 

After that, the officials involved in your case will have a limited time to file an objection to your petition. This includes prosecutors, state police, arresting agencies, and more. If there is no feedback, a judge will hold a hearing and consider your petition. 

The legal process of expungement and record sealing can be tricky to navigate, but it is well worth the effort. It will help clear your criminal record and open up career opportunities that may have been closed off due to your past convictions. The best way to go through this process is by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney with a track record of expunging and record sealing for their clients. It can be a straightforward process, but an attorney will be needed to protect your interests and explain your rights.