Under the Illinois Criminal Identification Act, sealing and expungement of criminal records are different from each other. In the majority of cases however, if your criminal record has been sealed or expunged, you won’t have to inform other people, such as potential employers, that you have a criminal record.
Do You Qualify for Record Expungement or Sealing in Illinois?
If you’ve been arrested or arrested and then charged, but wasn’t convicted of the crime, your criminal record could qualify for sealing or expunging. While the most preferable option is expungement, keep in mind that you’ll only be eligible for it if you weren’t convicted of the charge against you. On the other hand, if you’ve been convicted, expungement isn’t an option, but you could apply for record sealing instead.
In the event that you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor, you could be eligible for record sealing, considering that your charge wasn’t a sex offense, assault, DUI, or battery. While only certain felony convictions such as particular prostitution or drug offenses are eligible for record sealing. In addition, if you’ve been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor that are not eligible for record sealing, your only option is to request for a pardon from the Illinois governor that should specifically state the expungement or sealing of your criminal record, says a prominent criminal defense attorney in Lincoln, IL, noll-law.com.
Other Crucial Things to Know
An expunged criminal record will either be returned to you or destroyed physically and your name will also be eliminated from all public criminal records. On the other hand, a sealed criminal record won’t be destroyed, but will be kept confidential and only law enforcement agencies are allowed to get a hold of it.
Note that the Illinois Criminal Identification Act, which contains all laws regarding criminal record sealing and expungement is an extremely complex statute that even judges don’t consistently interpret it. You could increase your chances of having your records expunged or sealed if you have a criminal defense lawyer to help your through the process.