Clearing a Criminal Record in Illinois

Web Admin - Tuesday, March 10, 2015

criminal records in Illinois, Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyPeople who think about the consequences of being caught committing a crime often focus on the penalties that the government imposes after convicting someone, things like prison sentences or fines. Yet, another major consequence is the criminal record that can follow a person through life. Records of arrests, supervisions, or convictions can make it difficult to get a job, a business license, or even an apartment. Fortunately, Illinois law provides a variety of ways for people to clear their criminal records, including expungement, sealing, and other options. However, each of these methods have different effects and different people qualify for them.


The most effective method of clearing a person's criminal record is by expunging it. However, it is also the hardest process for which a person can qualify. A person's criminal record is stored in multiple places, such as in the courthouse and at the arresting authority. An expungement instructs these places to physically destroy the copies of the person's criminal record, and to forward clean records to the FBI. This will prevent any background checks from showing the offenses. There are however some limited exceptions to this destruction. For instance, if a person receives supervision for criminal sexual assault, then law enforcement agencies can still access that record for five years after the expungement.

In order to qualify for an expungement, a person must meet several criteria. First, the person can never have been convicted of a criminal offense, the violation of a municipal ordinance, or a serious traffic offense. This means that expungements can only be used to clear things like arrests and supervisions from a record, not convictions. Additionally, depending on the way the case ends, the petitioner may need to wait before filing an expungement. For example, if a person's case is “stricken off with leave to reinstate,” meaning that the prosecution dropped the case but has the option to bring it again, then they must wait three to four months before filing.


Sealing a criminal record is a less drastic option for cleaning someone's history. Sealing is different from expungement in that law enforcement agencies can still see the criminal record. However, sealing still hides the record from most employers. Sealing is also easier to qualify for.

Unlike expungement, people can have their records sealed if they were convicted of a crime. However, not all convictions qualify for sealing. A person may only have their record sealed if they were convicted of a misdemeanor. Additionally, there is a waiting period of four years after the conviction before the record may be sealed.

People who do not qualify for sealing may also have other options, such as executive clemency or Certificates of Good Conduct. If you have questions about any of these options, contact an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney today. Our office serves clients in many different northwest suburbs, such as Rolling Meadows, Arlington Heights, and Barrington. Call Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, at 847-934-6000 today.

About the Author: Founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, Colin Gilbert, received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of law in 2005. Colin argues cases across many practice areas including criminal defense, collections, civil litigation, real estate law, and corporate law. Colin is an active member of the Board of Governors of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association and the Illinois Creditors Bar Association. He is currently Vice President of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce, and is a Commissioner for the Village of Arlington Heights. Colin has a 10.0 Attorney rating on Avvo, and was named one of the 2014 “Top 40 Under 40” Trial Lawyers in Illinois by the National Trial Lawyers Association.

Recent Posts


suspended license Illinois estate planning hit and run accident estate plan Schaumburg corporate attorney fatal car accidents Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers drug crimes bicycle dooring accidents Illinois living will real estate contract blended families pet bites Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney Palatine traffic accidents Barrington injury attorney elder abuse Schaumburg civil litigation attorney Barrington real estate lawyer insurance claim denials bicycle accidents involuntary manslaughter DUI defense Arlington Heights employment attorney condo association living wills head on collisions wrongful death civil litigation wage theft manufacturing DUI attorney POA employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys Arlington Heights lawyer Chicago attorney unfunded trust sexual images Illinois rollover accident lawyers Illinois DUI attorney Landlord Tenant Ordinance Rolling Meadows Attorney marijuana Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers texting while driving Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer traffic tickets products liability Chicago trucking accident attorney Illinois employment law attorney Inverness civil lawyer Illinois registered agent probate fees landlord gift taxes Schaumburg criminal attorney traffic accidents murder drug possession Fair Labor Standards Act Illinois law llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers license estate planning pain and suffering unauthorized overtime employment law, Illinois employment laws Barrington litigation attorney appealing an insurance claim agent traffic laws Whistleblower Claims Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys Palatine elder law attorney Barrington medical malpractice lawyers Inverness corporate attorney Crystal Lake insurance lawyer Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer DUI penalities Chicago estate planning Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Illinois corporate lawyer Barrington personal injury attorney construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Schaumburg probate attorney workers compensation benefits Illinois pedestrian accident attorney medical malpractice compensation medical research Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers texting and driving Des Plaines criminal attorney Illinois employment lawyer comparative negligence Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer Fourth of July Des Plaines civil attorney Illinois mortgages Palatine construction attorney Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer trench injuries Illinois personal injury lawyers work unions fault based insurance Schaumburg employment law attorneys Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Family Medical Leave Act Schaumburg elder law lawyer personal injury lawyer Schaumburg criminal law attorney Home Remodeling Repair Act wrongful termination Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer Illinois workers compensation attorney BUI slip and fall Des Plaines insurance attorney compensatory time Illinois will lawyer Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Illinois insurance claims lawyers modern family estate planning Palatine Attorney cell phone dynasty trusts Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer Illinois business law atorneys Arlington Heights Attorney civil litigation attorney civil rights violation Barrington estate planning attorney Long Grove real estate attorney cell phone accidents Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys expungement TBI Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument Joliet general practice lawyers Arlington Heights insurance attorney brain injury field sobriety test Arlington Heights trucking lawyer traffic offenses sexual harassment motorcycle accident commercial leasing right to work Barrington employment law attorney Illinois business lawyer car crashes Schaumburg estate attorney Des Plaines pet law attorney ObamaCare Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys license revocation Palatine probate lawyer Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Crystal Lake accident attorney Deer Park medical malpractice attorney wills and trusts crossover accidents vacation home fines Palatine estate planning lawyer Illinois construction accident attorney business litigation personal injury Do Not Resuscitate Illinois employee rights attorney. Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Illinois civil litigation lawyer murder charges insurance agent negligence rent to own real estate contracts creditors Inverness probate lawyer jet ski accidents icy parking lots Palatine insurance lawyer job lawyers Crystal Lake pet attorney controlled substance Retaliatory Discharge Palatine civil attorney Illinois employment law attorneys real estate attorneys Palatine business attorney Chicago car accident lawyer Deer Park traffic lawyer license suspension whistleblower protections real estate leasing Illinois Human Rights Act Illinois medical malpractice attorney CAM Employment Discrimination Law Schaumburg personal injury attorney Barrington boating accident attorney GM ignition switches overtime violations Palatine punch death traffic crimes Inverness insurance attorney Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer auto accidents Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney product liability real estate attorney sole proprietorship Des Plaines personal injury attorney Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney premises liability car accident lawyers Illinois driving without license Barrington personal injury lawyer life insurance lawyer Des Plaines personal injury lawyers DMV social media after death natural gas explosion commercial real estate homestead rights Kenilworth estate planning lawyer Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer deadly crashes Schaumburg employment attorney Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Palatine employment lawyer Barrington civil litigation attorney dog bites probate lawyer workers comp Deer Park criminal attorney Illinois boating accident lawyer South Barrington real estate attorney Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, DGAA Barrington drug crime attorney nursing home negligence insurance claim delay in terrorem provision personal injury law firm School Visitation Rights Act startup company ken apicella Chicago will attorney employment lawyer privacy laws Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Buffalo Grove traffic attorney Deer Park workers compensation lawyer Rolling Meadows real estate attorney Riverwoods estate planning lawyer truck collisions fiduciary rule delay employee rights power of attorney Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyers insurance adjusters pedestrian accident dealing with problem employees Illinois employment law trust payments real estate lawyer commercial leases Schaumburg drug defense lawyer Arlington Heights traffic attorney PTSD Des Plaines accident attorney accidental death benefits Illinois pet lawyer Mount Prospect elder law attorney Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Illinois workplace lawyer Arlington Heights car accident lawyer Rolling Meadows probate lawyer denied insurance claims motorcycle accident lawyer Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers Illinois red light cameras Schaumburg estate planning attorney Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys Illinois collections attorney ACA Illinois car accident attorney insurance dispute attorney denied insurance claim defective products tax attorney Des Plaines collections attorney reckless homicide Illinois Probate Act of 1975 installment contracts Illinois small business Crystal Lake traffic attorney Detainer Actions insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys Illinois home inspection comp time Illinois employment laws drugs back injuries Super Mario Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer medical malpractice claims Illinois wills and trusts attorneys landlord tenant law mass shooting boating DUI Deer Park real estate law firm Barrington workers compensation attorney Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer overtime pay Illinois Smoke Detector Act marijuana crimes attorney Illinois Trust Code personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys federal regulations for LLCs Long Grove estate planning attorneys Deer Park employment law attorney Crystal Lake car accident attorney Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers pizza emoji Illinois operating agreements Schaumburg preventing accidents estate planning for college students Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Buffalo Grove injury lawyer trucking accidents Illinois attorney new real estate form living trust benefits Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Arlington Heights car crash attorneys Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer Thanksgiving distracted driving accident victims employment contract Des Plaines drug lawyer Palatine corporate attorney Rolling Meadows tax attorney Crystal Lake will lawyer distracted driving accidents Rolling Meadows Illinois estate planning law firm Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm Crystal Lake tax lawyer DUI Inverness traffic law firm no contest clauses Palatine law firm drug crimes lawyer underinsured motorist unpaid assessment Illinois traffic accident lawyer car accidents driving insurance claim preventable medical errors drunk driving Illinois traffic attorneys Illinois real estate IRELA criminal defense employee discrimination Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney insurance attorney Illinois probate lawyer golf accidents insurance negligence Long Grove estate planning estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers insurance claim dispute Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance attorney spinal cord injuries Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Schaumburg injury lawyer Illinois insurance disputes probate claims process Inverness personal injury attorney consent to a search Arlington Heights criminal lawyer Schaumburg car accident attorney Crystal Lake employment lawyer pedestrian accidents boating under the influence liability claims Colin H. Gilbert Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents workers compensation loopholes Arlington Heights accident attorney elder law Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney Illinois job attorney car accident institutional trustee Chicago insurance claim attorneys Inverness injury lawyer Barrington criminal defense lawyer Des Plaines Inverness real estate lawyer Illinois workers compensation lawyer blood alcohol content insurance dispute Illinois real estate lawyer health insurance dispute estate planning trusts Crystal Lake law firm Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Long Grove real estate lawyer Palatine personal injury lawyer Rolling Meadows traffic attorney traffic violations defense wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace breach of contract liens small business clemency Class A misdemeanor traffic violations Illinois wrongful termination lawyer personal injury claim Chicago estate planning lawyer Barrington employment law firm Des Plaines DUI attorney Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer Deer Park personal injury lawyer speeding Inverness real estate attorney Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Palatine injury attorney Home Sale Contingencies Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer rollover car crashes unpaid overtime criminal law pet law loss of consortium capital gains tax insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys Illinois trucking safety guardianship attorney healthcare claims Inverness elder law lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney IRA benefits bad faith insurance claims income distribution deducation healthcare Palatine civil litigation lawyer insurance disputes disability benefits digital evidence natural gas Arlington Heights tax lawyer Illinois insurance lawyer slip and fall accidents Palatine workers compensation lawyer deed transfer Rolling Meadows employment attorney insurance denial appeals Deer Park DUI lawyer construction accidents Illinois medical malpractice lawyers condo life insurance claims IRA trust transfer Chicago biking tips employment law Palatine corporate law attorneys trusts Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer child safety Illinois Sales Representative Act digital assets Rolling Meadows traffic law firm paid sick leave Des Plaines claims law firm Palatine employment attorney Transfer on Death Instrument employment attorney Illinois wills and trusts hiring employees Illinois medical malpractice case senior citizens filing a medical malpractice claim Buffalo Grove employment lawyer Buffalo Grove real estate attorney Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer Schaumburg Attorney Illinois personal injury Palatine drug lawyer LLCs rumble strips Palatine employment law lawyer Schaumburg real estate lawyer corporate law Mt Prospect Attorney traffic deaths Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act Des Plaines real estate attorney Illinois personal injury lawyer Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Illinois tax attorney criminal record home inspection lawyer Buffalo Grove corporate attorney medical marijuana low-ball insurance settlement Schaumburg personal injury lawyer mortgage real estate zoning Inverness DUI lawyer severance agreements car crash injuries Kenilworth estate planning attorney Illinois traffic laws Barrington business law firm car collision criminal FMLA Arlington Heights employment law attorneys Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney life insurance policy Palatine real estate lawyer advance healthcare directive Rolling Meadows criminal attorney vacation home college kids Illinois defective products attorney Chicago employment lawyer swimming pools Legal Info contracts Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers personal injury accidents Attorney Ken Apicella Des Plaines tax law firm denial of life insurance Palatine criminal defense lawyer living trust vs will special needs trust DNR Affordable Care Act internet Illinois insurance claim attorney Deer Park accident attorney Exclusions underfunded trust Illinois speeding lawyer Illinois medical malpractice claim underage DUI Self-Directed IRA Accounts drunk driving statistics problem employees Illinois personal injury attorney Palatine traffic lawyer Illinois jet ski accident lawyer Illinois insurance attorney life insurance taxes Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer insurance claim dispute attorney Chicago insurance law firm Rolling Meadows business lawyer Long Grove estate planning attorney automated cars estate attorney medication errors Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers cell phone tower data Buffalo Grove law firm holiday statistics jet ski Illinois LLC creation South Barrington real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows accident lawyer estate planning lawyer Colin Gilbert forming a corporation in Illinois rollover accidents insurance denials real estate construction contracts Inverness estate planning lawyer Crystal Lake employment attorney hands free device Illinois criminal defense attorney surgical mistakes Illinois workplace discrimination attorney digital information probate claims Rolling Meadows employment law attorney wills independent contractor Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer financial advisors Barrington employment attorney Barrington criminal lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer dram shop law BAC personal injury attorney food poisoning Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer pregnant women Des Plaines injury law firm caregiver Palatine trusts lawyer Illinois traffic attorney Crystal Lake employment law attorney car accident lawyer Chicago corporate attorney Des Plaines real estate lawyer Barrington Traffic Lawyer Illinois injury lawyer changes to mortgage law Chicago traffic lawyer pay when paid contract Des Plaines personal injury lawyer drug crime insurance agents residential real estate Schaumburg wrongful death attorney real estate closing Crystal Lake injury attorney murder defense Arlington Heights injury attorney estate planning attorney Liquor Control Act estate tax Inverness accident lawyer Illinois estate planning attorney Schaumburg traffic lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers Chicago employment attorney probate irrevocable trust gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys Forcible Entry probate process Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Illinois bicycle safety Barrington attorney rest breaks uninsured motorist insurance claim denial Deer Park traffic accident attorney Illinois insurance dispute lawyers Jay Andrew car crash Illinois employment attorneys Illinois elder law attorney trauma after an accident bike accident boating accidents license reinstatement IRS personal injury claims traumatic brain injury Arlington Heights TBI attorney breathalyzer test BAIID foreclosed rental property owner responsibility Illinois lawyer Illinois trusts attorney trustee privacy Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer workplace sexual harassment estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers employees employee misclassification caretaker rights fiduciary rule trucking accident lawyers Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Illinois employment law firm power of attorney for healthcare Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer insurance claims liability eluding a police officer minimum wage revenge porn attorney fees Barrington estate planning lawyer Kenilworth estate planning attorneys living trust spinal cord injury medical malpractice traumatic brain injuries Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers defective products lawyer anesthesia errors Policy Cancellation first degree murder FSLA Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers federal crimes Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Chicago lawyer foreclosure Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer investment property pedestrian-automobile accident meal breaks employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, Crystal Lake business law attorneys pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality subcontractor Schaumburg insurance lawyers digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney,