Illinois Criminal Record Expungement: Learn How to Get Your Criminal Record Expunged in Illinois
A criminal record is created when an individual is charged or arrested for an offense. Getting criminal records expunged is the process of sealing or preventing employers or prospective employers or the public from accessing records of conviction. Once the process is complete and successful, the records of the individual are said to be “expunged” and they will no longer be available through state or federal repositories. The law that deals with criminal records expungement varies across jurisdictions. In some states, the law does not permit the expungement of records.
Benefits of expunging criminal records?
Companies hiring employees perform a background verification check to review the prospective employee’s criminal and financial history. Any record of a criminal offense may reduce an individual’s chance of being hired.
Having a criminal record may reduce the chance of being admitted to a college. Hence, in order to keep a clean record, students applying for college would like to have their criminal record expunged.
In order to get criminal records expunged, there are certain criteria that have to be met. The Criminal Record Expungement Illinois process varies for juveniles and adults.
Juvenile criminal record expungement:
If it is a juvenile record expunge then before placing the expunge request, all the cases and arrests associated with the expunging must be closed.
Further, if the juvenile for whom the expunge request is being made has a Class A misdemeanor in the record then the request for expunging request should be made after at least 2 years since the court case ended.
An adult can get the criminal record erased by following any of the below three ways:
Sealing: The criminal records of the adult will not be visible for the majority of the public. However, sealed felony convictions will still be visible for law enforcement agencies and employers required by law to conduct background checks.
Expungement: Expungement erases court supervision and arrests and there will not be a criminal record at all.
Executive Clemency: An individual not qualified for sealing or expungement can seek a pardon from the Governor for the criminal convictions and an authorization for expungement. Once the authorization is granted, the individual can apply for expunging the criminal record.
Instances where the expungement request may not be accepted:
- The required timeframe for class B misdemeanor theft offense is 3 years after the crime. Hence, an individual’s expungement request within 3 years will not be accepted
- Certain type of crimes such as assaults, sex crimes, and murder cannot be expunged
- Further, an expunge request for a criminal offense of damaging someone else’s property cannot be expunged
- Also, in some instances, acceptance of an expungement request is solely based on the judge’s discretionary power. Hence, the judge hearing the expungement request may not be convinced enough to entertain someone’s expungement request simply because the judge might feel the individual is violent and may pose danger to society.
How to Get Your Criminal Record Expunged in Illinois?
The below-listed steps can provide an overview of the process involved in Getting Criminal Record Expunged in Illinois:
1) File the petition and pay the required fee with the circuit clerk in the specific county where the charges have been bought or the arrest has been made. If the charges exist in more than one county then separate petitions need to be filed in each of the counties.
2) Notice will be served by the circuit clerk to various agencies such as the Department of State Police, the arresting agency and the chief legal officer of the unit of the local government and prosecutor or State’s Attorney who prosecuted the offense. These agencies have the right to file a petition within 60 days from the notice period.
3) The judge will hold a hearing and if there are no objections to the petition, the judge may simply enter an order granting the permission or he may deny it based on his discretion.
The ‘Illinois Expunge Criminal Records’ process takes six months of time on an average.
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