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Clearing Your Record in Chicago

Illinois State law provides the opportunity to have your criminal record and arrest record cleared (called expungement) for misdemeanors and, under very limited circumstances, for certain felony convictions. An alternative to clearing your record is to have your record sealed which closes your record to public viewing and is subject to opening only by court order.

In Illinois, where the defendant is found guilty and the court rules in favor of supervision, there is no conviction. No judgment of conviction is entered into the books. Records generally may be cleared for cases of supervision, and also for dismissals and not guilty verdicts. Sealing is another possible alternative for case rulings of supervision.

Criminal supervision cases require a two-year or five-year waiting period after termination before the record may be cleared. Dismissed cases and not guilty verdicts may allow arrest records to be cleared immediately or much sooner than supervision cases, if there are no prior convictions. If convicted of a DUI in Chicago or put on supervision as a result of a DUI, even though you may have successfully completed the sentence or supervision, you cannot have your record cleared. Only DUI cases involving dismissal or not guilty findings may be cleared.

With the exception of certain drug cases, most felony convictions are not eligible for clearing the record. Drug cases that are eligible require a five-year waiting period after the termination of sentence. However, some felony drug convictions under certain conditions are eligible for sealing, as is felony prostitution.

The rules covering expungments can be very complex, and it is very helpful to consult a Chicago criminal lawyer to determine your eligibility for such procedures. To arrange a consultation to discuss clearing your record, please call 312-368-0611 or use our online quick contact email.

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