More Felonies Eligible for Sealing in Illinois

On August 24, 2017, Governor Rauner signed into law Illinois HB 2373, which expands sealing to more felony convictions. Felonies that were once ineligible to be sealed are now eligible. A limited number of felony convictions remain ineligible: sex offenses, domestic batteries, violations of orders of protection, DUI, reckless driving, and animal offenses. All other felonies, regardless of their class, are now eligible to be sealed. This is a HUGE expansion of the expungement and sealing laws in Illinois.

When deciding whether to grant your petition, the Court may consider multiple factors. These include the underlying facts of the conviction, post-conviction employment and educational history, the length of time since the conviction, public safety concerns, and adverse consequences if the sealing is denied. Any significant positive life changes should be brought to the Court’s attention to support a petition.

Eligible persons must wait three years from the completion of their last sentence (including probation, parole, etc.) to file a petition to seal a criminal record. Sealing does not destroy the record, but it does limit who can see it. Generally, only people with a court order or access to fingerprint background checks will be able to see your record, including law enforcement and a limited group of employers and other entities allowed by law. Sealing should prevent a record from appearing on a general, non-fingerprint criminal background check.

The Law Offices of Hannah Garst, P.C., can help you expunge or seal your record. Contact us at (773) 248-6504 for a free assessment of your case to determine if you are eligible for expungement or sealing.