Sealing Your Illinois Criminal Record

Sealing a Felony Convictions In Illinois

Act now to protect your future

Illinois Expungment Attorneys

Sealing a criminal Record in Illinois. The Expungement Attorneys at Hanna & Ruud, LLC have been helping clients get there life back on track for over a quarter century. A cornerstone of our practice is the restoration of rights and the Sealing and Expungement of Criminal Records Our firm has successfully expunged or sealed felony convictions for hundreds of clients.

We have sealed or  felony convictions for class X, 1, 2, 3, and 4 felonies in Rock Island, Henry, Mercer and several other counties in Illinois. Our goal is to help our clients get a passed conviction or charge, so that they can achieve their goals without the barrier of a criminal conviction holding them back. Today, more than ever, criminal records are easily accessible by employers, landlords and the general public.  Your background may be used to discriminate against you in employment, housing, education and your social life. Youthful mistakes, misunderstandings, problems in the past or criminal identity theft should not be a barrier to opportunities in life. In Illinois, there are multiple options you can use to either clear your record or allow you to overcome legal barriers created by your record.

While not everything can be sealed or Expunged, our firm has the know how to find a remedy that could help you achieve the result you are looking for!

Recently, the Illinois Expungement Laws have changed. Convictions which were not previously sealable, may be expunged or sealed and effectively removed from your Illinois criminal record.

The Attorneys at Hanna & Ruud, LLC have over 30 years of experience helping clients clear their criminal record to remove the constant roadblocks a criminal conviction or arrest can cause. You can be sure you will be hiring a knowledgeable and experienced Firm who will fight to restore your reputation.

What is sealing a criminal Record?

Sealing:

Sealing Hides your criminal record from most of the Law enforcement agencies can still see sealed records. Employers required by law to conduct background checks can see sealed felony convictions. They cannot see sealed misdemeanor convictions or cases not resulting in convictions unless the employer is a law enforcement agency.

What stops me from having my criminal record sealed ?
  • Any pending criminal charges;
  • Any sentences you have not yet completed, including parole, probation, or court supervision; OR
  • The necessary "waiting period" has not passed.
What types of offenses CAN be sealed (hidden)?

Arrests and charges for misdemeanors and felonies that did not lead to a conviction can be sealed at any time,

except minor traffic offenses, unless you were released

without being charged. Cases with the following sentences on your criminal record can be sealed if at least 3 years have passed since the successful completion of your last sentence:

  • Convictions for most misdemeanors and felonies, except those listed in the next
  • NOTE: If your conviction requires registration under the Arsonist Registration Act or the Murderer and Violent Offense Against Youth Registry, that conviction may not be sealed until you are no longer required to register.
  • The following can be expunged after 5 years, but could qualify for sealing after 3 years:
    • Arrests or charges not initiated by arrest resulting in orders of first offender probation under Section 10 of the Cannabis Control Act, Section 410 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Section 70 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, or Section 5-6-3.3 (Second Chance
  • Violation of an Order of Protection (720 ILCS 5/12- 4), Civil No-Contact Order (740 ILCS 22) or Stalking No-Contact Order (740 ILCS 21/1-135)
  • Sexual Offenses
    • Soliciting a Prostitute or Patronizing a Prostitute (720 ILCS 5/11-18)
    • Public Indecency (720 ILCS 5/11-30) if convicted of a felony (misdemeanor convictions are eligible)
    • Any other misdemeanor offense listed under Article 11 of the Criminal Code (with the exception of Prostitution) (720 ILCS 5/11)
    • Any offense that requires registration under the Sex Offender Registration Act
  • Animal Offenses
    • Dog Fighting (720 ILCS 5/48-1)
    • Class A misdemeanors under the Humane Care for Animals Act, such as beating or tormenting an animal, or abandonment (510 ILCS 70/01; 510 ILCS    70/4.03;     510     ILCS     70/5; 510    ILCS    70/5.01;     510     ILCS     70/6; 510 ILCS 70/7.15)
  • New felony convictions after you already had felony convictions sealed. NOTE: a new felony conviction after your sealing may result in the unsealing of your past felony (20 ILCS 2630/5.2(c)(4))

What if I have some offenses that can be sealed and some that cannot?

  • The offenses that qualify for sealing can be
  • The offenses that do not qualify for sealing will stay on your criminal

NOTE: You may be able to seal all eligible offenses upon the completion of your LAST sentence instead of after the 3 or 5 year waiting period if you completed one of the educational goals listed below during the period of your last sentence and had not already completed the same goal. The following educational goals are eligible: (1) high school diploma; (2) associate's degree; (3) career certificate; (4) vocational or technical certification; (5) bachelor's degree; (6) passed the high school GED test.

What types of offenses CANNOT be sealed (hidden)?

 The following types of arrests, charges, and sentences on your criminal record cannot be sealed:

  • Convictions and supervision for these misdemeanors and felonies:
    • Minor Traffic Offenses
    • Driving Offenses
      • Driving Under the Influence (625 ILCS 5/11-501)
      • Reckless Driving (unless under 25 at the time of the offense and no other convictions for DUI or reckless driving) (625 ILCS 5/11-503)
    • Domestic Battery (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2)
    • Violation of an Order of Protection (720 ILCS 5/12- 4), Civil No-Contact Order (740 ILCS 22) or Stalking No-Contact Order (740 ILCS 21/1-135)
    • Sexual Offenses
      • Soliciting a Prostitute or Patronizing a Prostitute (720 ILCS 5/11-18)
      • Public Indecency (720 ILCS 5/11-30) if convicted of a felony (misdemeanor convictions are eligible)
      • Any other misdemeanor offense listed under Article 11 of the Criminal Code (with the exception of Prostitution) (720 ILCS 5/11)
      • Any offense that requires registration under the Sex Offender Registration Act
    • Animal Offenses
      • Dog Fighting (720 ILCS 5/48-1)
      • Class A misdemeanors under the Humane Care for Animals Act, such as beating or tormenting an animal, or abandonment (510 ILCS 70/01; 510 ILCS    70/4.03;     510     ILCS     70/5; 510    ILCS    70/5.01;     510     ILCS     70/6; 510 ILCS 70/7.15)
    • New felony convictions after you already had felony convictions sealed. NOTE: a new felony conviction after your sealing may result in the unsealing of your past felony (20 ILCS 2630/5.2(c)(4))
Sealing Felony Convictions

Sealed records are maintained by the agencies. Most of the general public will not have access to the contents of the record. However, law enforcement and the courts will still have access to the records, as will a few employers and other entities as allowed by law.

Expunge A Felony

Expunged records are destroyed or returned to the petitioner. The agencies will destroy their records and remove all mention of your name from the public record.

Other Remedies

If your record does not qualify for expungement or seal, you may wish to look into Executive Clemency and Expungement - a Pardon from the Governor.  This is an entirely different process from standard expungement.  You will need to submit a petition to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, who will then make a recommendation to the Governor.  If the Governor agrees, you will need to go through the expungement process.  Getting the pardon does not mean you will automatically be granted an expungement.

What Cannot Be Sealed or Expunged

Domestic Battery and/or Violation of an Order of Protection, Class A and above offenses listed under the Humane Care for Animals Act, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Reckless Driving (with the youthful offender exception) and, Sex Crimes under Article 11 of the Criminal Code of 2012

However, there are exceptions and other Remedies that may be available  

How Long Does it Take

The State gets 60 days to object to a Petition to Expunge or a Petition to Seal. How long your case will take also depends on the size of the jurisdiction you are in, whether there is an objection to your Petition and how long it takes to get your case on the docket. If the judge orders your record expunged or sealed, it can take up to 60 days for the law enforcement agencies to process the order.

Do I have to tell a potential employer after my charge was expunged or sealed?

No. In Illinois, it is against the law for employers or potential employers (except those specifically allowed by law) to ask you whether you ever had any records expunged or sealed. BUT if you have filed for your record to be expunged or sealed and the court has not ruled on it yet, you still have to disclose your criminal history on a job application if you are asked.

To learn more about our legal services and how we can assist with your criminal law matter, give us a call:

309-797-9000

or contact us online today:

ARRESTED? IN JAIL? NEED A LAWYER?

309.797.9000

Hanna & Ruud, LLC - Quad Cities based Criminal Defense Law Firm • DUI/OWI/Drunk Driving offenses • Traffic Tickets cases • Felonies • Misdemeanors • Expungement • Drivers License Reinstatement 
Illinois • Iowa • Federal Courts Criminal Defense & DUI Attorneys Hanna & Ruud, LLC