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Records Expungement


Do you need an attorney for records expungement in Cook County?

The Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, PC have the experience and expertise to help you clear your record and name. Call us at 312-229-5500.


What is a Record Expungement?

Record expungement means that your record is completely destroyed as if it never existed. Illinois allows for certain felony, misdemeanor or municipal violations to be expunged. Unless you expunge or seal your record, the County, State and the FBI will continue to maintain a record of your arrest even if your case is dismissed or if you are acquitted. The consequences of having a criminal record may prevent you from getting employed. Since employers routinely conduct background checks, you may be dismissed from your job if your employer becomes aware of a new case. A) Cases that a Record Expungement Petition can be filed IMMEDIATELY 1. Finding of not guilty; 2. Finding of no probable cause; 3. Nolle Prosequi; (where the State is not willing to pursue case after arrest); 4. Released without a conviction; 5. Pardoned; and 6. (SOL) Cases stricken off the Court call. B) Cases that a Record Expungement Petition can be filed after 2 YEARS OF COMPLETION OF COURT SUPERVISION ALL CASES, other than those listed in Section D and F (below), can be expunged after two years have passed after completion of supervision unless the supervision was for a DUI or for sexual offense committed against a minor. C) Cases that a Record Expungement & Seal Petition can be filed after 5 YEARS AFTER COMPLETION OF COURT SUPERVISION 1. Uninsured Motor Vehicle (625 ILCS 5/3-707) 2. Suspended Registration for Non-Insurance (625 ILCS 5/3-708) 3. Display of False Insurance (625 ILCS 5/3-710) 4. Scrap Processor to Keep Records (625 ILCS 5/5-401.3) 5. Reckless Driving (625 ILCS 5/11-503) 6. Domestic Battery (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2) 7. Criminal Sexual Abuse (720 ILCS 5/12-15) 8. Aggravated battery of a Child (720 ILCS 5/12-4.3) 9. Offense Retail Theft (720 ILCS 5/16 A-3) D) Drug Possession cases that a Record Expungement and Seal Petition can be filed AFTER 5 YEARS OF COMPLETION OF COURT PROBATION Cases for possession of drugs can be expunged for first time offenders under the following statutes: 1. Cannabis Control Act (First Time Offender) – 720 ILCS 550/10; 2. Control Substance Act (First Time Offender Only) – 720 ILCS 570/410; 3. Steroid Control Act (720 ILCS 570/312(j); and 4. Alcohol and Drug Dependency Act (20 ILCS 305/10-102 or 301/40-10). Call the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, PC at 800-228-7295 for a free consultation on Record Expungement and clearing your name. Sealing of Records Record Expungement means that the record is completely destroyed as if it never existed. However, if it is sealed, it is no longer available to employers or other members of the public and can only be seen by law enforcement agencies. WHY SEAL AND NOT EXPUNGE? If you are not eligible to Expunge, you may seal your record for the following: (1) For convictions for the following Class 4 felonies: a. Possession of Marijuana (720 ILCS 550/4), b. Possession of a Controlled Substance (720 ILCS 570/402), and c. Prostitution (720 ILCS 5/11-14) In order to qualify for Sealing of the above crimes, you must not have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor or placed on supervision for a misdemeanor for four (4) years after completing your sentence . (2) For convictions for Misdemeanors so long as you not have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor or placed on supervision for a misdemeanor for four (4) years after completing your sentence . (3) Further , if you were prosecuted for a misdemeanor or municipal ordinance violation in which you were acquitted; released without being convicted, your conviction was reversed; or you received a sentence of supervision for a misdemeanor AND you have not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor or placed on supervision for a misdemeanor for three (3) years after being acquitted, or released, or your conviction being reversed, or having completed the terms and conditions of your supervision. THE FOLLOWING CRIMES CANNOT BE SEALED a. All Felonies, unless noted above b. Driving under the Influence (625 ILCS 5/11-501 et. seq.); c. Article 11 of the Criminal Code, including Adultery, Fornication, Public Indecency, Marrying a Bigamist and/or Obscenity; d. Dog Fighting (720 ILCS 5/26-5); e. Crimes under the Victim Compensation Act (740 ILCS 45/2), including First Degree Murder, 720 ILCS 5/19-1 Second Degree Murder, 720 ILCS 5/9-2 Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless Homicide, 720 ILCS 5/9-3 Kidnapping, 720 ILCS 5/10-1 Aggravated Kidnapping, 720 ILCS 5/10-2 Sexual Relations within Families, 720 ILCS 5/11-11 Exploitation of a Child, 720 ILCS 5/11-19.2 Child Pornography, 720 ILCS 5/11-20.1 Assault, 720 ILCS 5/12-1 Aggravated Assault, 720 ILCS 5/12-2 Battery, 720 ILCS 5/12-3 Domestic Battery, 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2 Aggravated Domestic Battery, 720 ILCS 5/12-3.3 Aggravated Battery, 720 ILCS 5/12-4 Heinous Battery, 720 ILCS 5/12-4.2 Aggravated Battery with Firearm, 720 ILCS 5/12-402 Aggravated Battery of a Child, 720 ILCS 5/12-4.3 Reckless Conduct, 720 ILCS 5/12-5 Stalking, 720 ILCS 5/12-7.3 Aggravated Stalking, 720 ILCS 5/12-7.4 Criminal Sexual Assault, 720 ILCS 5/12-13 Aggravated Criminal Assault, 720 ILCS 5/12-14 Predatory Criminal Assault of a Child, 720 ILCS 5/12-14.1 Criminal Sexual Abuse, 720 ILCS 5/12-15 Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, 720 ILCS 5/12-16 Violation of an Order of Protection, 720 ILCS 5/12-30 Arson, 720 ILCS 5/20-1 Aggravated Arson, 720 ILCS 5/20-1.1; f. Class A Misdemeanor, Humane Care of Animals Act (510 ILCS 70/1); and g. Sex Offender Registration Act Offenses (730 ILCS 150/1).

What does it mean to have my record expunged?

If your record is expunged, the case is completely removed from your record, like it never existed. The court computers and court files will remove the case, the local police agency that arrested you will remove your arrest from their records, the prosecutor will be required to remove your file from their records and the Illinois State police will be required to remove your arrest and your case from their records.

Why would I want to expunge my record?

If you ever apply for a job, a basic background search will reveal your arrest. An employer may not want to hire you if they find out that you were arrested. If you try to rent an apartment, your landlord may look through your background and not rent you the apartment because of your criminal record or arrest record. If you apply to attend a school, a background search may keep you from getting into your school.

When can I immediately expunge my record?

If your case was dismissed, or if it was stricken off the call (SOL), if it was Nolle Prosequi, if you were found not guilty by the court, if the court found no probable cause, or released without a conviction, you can ask that the court expunge your record almost immediately. There are some limitations. You should give us a call and ask us how quickly you can have the case and your arrest expunged.

I paid a fine for a municipal violation 10 years ago, will this show up on a background search and can I get the municipal case expunged?

Yes you can! In today’s tough job market, something as simple as a municipal citation could be the difference between getting the job and not getting the job. Some employers will not hire you just because you were arrested even though the case was dismissed.

If I received court supervision for a case, how long do I have to wait until I expunge the case?

Generally, 2 years after your supervision ends. As long as you received court supervision you can expunge your case unless your case was for – driving without insurance – driving with suspended registration – displaying false auto insurance – reckless driving – domestic battery (Under Illinois law you cannot expunge a conviction for domestic battery) – criminal sexual abuse – aggravated battery of a child – retail theft How about if I had one of the cases above? Can I expunge that case? Yes. But you will have to wait 5 years after you completed court supervision.

Can I expunge a felony case?

Normally no except if your case was dismissed or the court found no probable cause at a preliminary hearing. There are a handful of first time felony drug felonies that can be expunged. Call us to find out if your first time felony drug case can be expunged.

What does it mean to seal my record?

If your record is sealed, this means that only law enforcement personnel can see your record. Potential employers or members of the public will not be able to see your record. What kinds of cases can be sealed? Only the following Class 4 felonies can be sealed. – Possession of Marijuana (720 ILCS 550/4) – Possession of a Controlled Substance (720 ILCS 570/402), and – Prostitution (720 ILCS 5/11-14)

Can I expunge or seal something on my driving record?

No. Expungement and sealing your record are only for your criminal record and not your driving record. You cannot expunge or seal a DUI. The Chicago record expungement attorneys at Legal Defenders, PC understand how a criminal record could affect your ability to obtain a job and move forward in the future. Call us at 312-229-5500 for free consultation.

Experience matters

The Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders have extensive experience in representing individuals with record expungement cases

To discuss your particular record expungement case, contact the experienced Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders

Why do you need a lawyer for your record expungement case?

The Chicago criminal defense attorneys at the Legal Defenders, PC will examine all aspects of your case and look for and will use their experience to win your case or get your case dismissed.

In the alternative, we will use our negotiating skills to convince the court and the prosecutor to come with an effective and constructive sentencing option that gives you the best chance of avoiding jail and fines.


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We only take criminal cases. Beware of attorneys who claim to be criminal defense attorneys that are really real estate attorneys and divorce attorneys. Our attorneys only handle criminal cases.
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