When you are charged with an offense, a criminal record is created even if you're released or receive a not-guilty verdict. If you don't seek legal counsel, this criminal record can follow you throughout your life and ruin any job, housing or loan prospects you apply for. In the past, Illinois made it very difficult for someone with a record to pursue record sealing or expungement opportunities.
In August 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed new House Bills amending the Criminal Identification Act and shifting the criminal justice system to focus on rehabilitation over extended punishment.
House Bill 6328
House Bill 6328 is excellent news for anyone with misdemeanor and felony convictions. This new law expands the list of convictions that can be expunged from your criminal record. Also, the fees for expunging your record are waived so long as your case received a not-guilty verdict.
These are some of the new crimes that can be expunged from your record:
House Bill 5017
House Bill 5017 gives juvenile offenders without convictions the chance to petition for expungements once their charges are dropped. Prior to House Bill 5017, minors had to turn 18 before applying for record expungement. This bill gives minors the opportunity to clear their records prior to reaching adulthood, opening many opportunities for their futures.
House Bill 2373/Public Act 100-284
House Bill 2373, now entitled Public Act 100-284, expands the list of felony convictions that qualify for record sealing. Prior to this bill, only nine felonies were permitted for sealing.
You cannot apply to seal the following convictions:
- Domestic battery
- DUI violations and reckless driving
- Sex crimes
- Orders of protection offenses
- Reckless driving
- Crimes against animals under the Humane Care for Animals Act
The process for having your record expunged or sealed often seems intimidating and overwhelming. We hope the new Illinois laws offer you hope of a brighter future free from the consequences of your criminal record. If you are interested in applying for expungements or a record sealing under the new laws, contact our criminal defense attorneys at Ahmad Law Firm.
Call us today at (847) 791-2294 for more information on how you can clear your criminal record!