Effective January 1, 2016, a new Illinois law governing criminal record sealing will allow a person to bypass the waiting period to seal if he or she furthers their education.
Previously, anyone convicted of an offense had to wait four years from the termination of their last sentence to seal the case (if it is an eligible offense). Under the new law, the defendant may petition to seal the records as soon as the sentence terminates if he or she obtained a new diploma, degree, certification, or GED during the time of their sentence, aftercare release, or mandatory supervised release. If the sealing petition is denied by the court, then the normal waiting periods apply for refiling in the future.
This is a good change as it will help those with a conviction more easily avoid the stigma of having a criminal record.
If you were charged in a felony or misdemeanor criminal offense, you may be entitled to an expungement. An expungement erases the arrest and court disposition from your criminal record. A criminal record could negatively impact your ability to obtain employment, credit and a license.
With 80% of employers performing background checks on applicants or employees, clearing your criminal record is a great investment.
In order to qualify for an expungement, the charge had to be dismissed or did not result in a judgment of conviction, such as a supervision. Certain offenses are exempt.
If you were convicted or otherwise ineligible for an expungement, you may be a candidate to seal your record. This process removes the offense from public view.
A new law, effective January 1, 2015, will allow those convicted of most misdemeanor violent crimes to seal those cases. Previously, any violent crime conviction, misdemeanor or felony, was not eligible to seal or expunge. The only option to remove these types of offenses from a criminal record was executive clemency. Under this new bill, misdemeanor violent offenses (except for a few listed exceptions, such as domestic battery) will be eligible to be sealed by the court directly.
Call Marder & Seidler at 847-985-6767 for a no cost consultation to determine if you qualify for an expungement, or seal your criminal record.