Sealed records are maintained by law enforcement agencies. By sealing the record, the general public does not have access to your criminal history. This includes public inquiries and background checks done by employers. Law enforcement and prosecutors will still have access to your sealed records. If your case is sealed, the Clerk of the Circuit Court will impound your file. This means that your record will not be destroyed, and it will not be returned to you. Your record will be unavailable in the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s system but can be accessed upon in order of the courts.

If your cases do not qualify for expungement, you may still be eligible to have some, or all your cases sealed. Sealing can be done on a case-by-case basis And include sentences of court supervision, as well as, certain criminal convictions. Therefore, you can have some of your case is expunged and some of your case is sealed depending on which cases qualify for which remedy. Sealing is different from expungement in that with expungements, the records are purged and destroyed from law enforcement and court records. With sealing, the cases are closed to the public viewing, but still remain within law enforcement records.

Recent changes in the law have expanded the sealing of criminal records of adults and of minors prosecuted as adults. The new law expands the sealing of all guilty convictions for felony or misdemeanor charges (with four exceptions), as long as it has been three years from the completion of the most recent case, or when the petitioner has been removed from the murder or violent offender against youth registry. To determine whether you qualify for a sealing of your record please contact Illinois Expungement Attorneys today.

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Expunged records are destroyed or returned to you. If the court grants your expungement petition, an order will be sent to the Illinois State Police to destroy your records. Both the Illinois State Police and the arresting agency will destroy your records or return them to you. If the judge grants your expungement petition and orders the Illinois State Police to impound your records, then only the arresting agency will destroy your records or return them to you, while the Illinois State Police will impound or seal your records. Practically speaking, what that means is that the Department of Corrections can access your impounded records if you are convicted of a subsequent offense.

Determining whether you qualify to have your records expunged is determined by the outcomes of your case(s). Depending on the dispositions of your cases, the law may allow you to expunge your record. There may be waiting periods for you to file your petition depending on the charge and outcome of your case(s). Illinois Expungement Attorneys can help you determine whether and when you are eligible to file for expungement.

Additionally, certain offenses and dispositions will prevent you from expunging your record. Many traffic offenses such as DUI and Reckless Driving cannot be expunged and certain offenses involving sex offenses and offenses involving children may be precluded from expungement as well. 

Finally, certain felonies involving drugs and alcohol where the defendant has received probation are eligible for expungement as well. Illinois law allows for a few felonies involving drug and alcohol charges to be expunged from one’s record. You will need to consult with Illinois Expungement Attorneys to determine your eligibility.

Certain offenses do not qualify for sealing. Those offenses include: 

  • a sexual offense committed against a minor, 
  • DUI offenses, reckless driving or aggravated reckless driving offenses, 
  • offenses included in article 11 of the Criminal Code including 
    • sex offenses and offenses against children, 
  • certain prostitution offenses in certain offenses involving pornography.
  • Additionally, domestic battery convictions, violations of orders of protection and certain animal crimes are also not eligible to be sealed.

That same law also allows for the sealing of certain cases that qualify two years after the conclusion of the case if you’ve earned a high school diploma, associate’s degree, career certificate, vocational technical certification, bachelor’s degree, or have passed the high school level test of general education development (GED) during the period of your sentence.

Finally, recent updates in the law allow for the sealing of certain class 4 felony convictions as well as certain class 3 felony convictions after the requisite waiting periods have elapsed. generally, offenses involving drug possession, nonviolent criminal offenses involving theft, forgery, deceptive practices or possession of burglary tools are also eligible for sealing.

Please contact Illinois Expungement Attorneys to determine whether you are eligible to have your records sealed. Whether you are looking to have your records sealed in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall or any other county in Illinois Illinois Expungement Attorneys can help!

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