Expunging a Criminal History

By Steve Haney posted in Expunging a Criminal History on Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Anyone who enters the Will County criminal justice system wishes to exit it in a position to erase any evidence of a criminal history.  This is accomplished by a court order that allows for expunging a criminal history.  An expungement is a total erasing of any indictation that an arrest and court case ever existed.

Cases that can be expunged promptly include any arrest that did not result in the filing of a formal criminal charge, any pre-trial dismissal of a criminal charge, or any acquittal of the criminal charge after trial.  Other cases eligible for expungement include any sentence of court supervision that was successfully completed, or any other type of successfully completed sentence that prevents a conviction from occurring. These latter type of cases require either 2 or 5 years (depending on the nature of the case) to expire after the completion of the sentence before the case is ripe for an expungement.

Traffic cases and DUI’s can never be expunged or sealed.

Due to a favorable change in the law, certain criminal cases not eligible for expungemnet, are now eligible to be sealed.  Sealing a criminal history falls short of an expungement as it is not a total erasing of the incident.  However, it does prevent the public, including potential employers, from discovering the arrest and charge.  A sealed case may only be used for law enforcement purposes.  Cases eligible for sealing include non-violent misdemeanor convictions, as well as class 4 felony drug possession convictions.  An eligible case can be sealed 4 years from the date the sentence was successfully completed.

For more information on expunging a criminal history visit: Law Office of Steven C. Haney