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A look at criminal expungement and record sealing

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2020 | Drug Crimes

Many individuals across Illinois share a common challenge that routinely confronts them and limits their opportunities in important ways.

That onus is persistent and seems to many adversely affected persons to be a permanent nemesis that will follow them and curtail their personal choices for the rest of their lives.

We spotlight criminal records in today’s Sullivan Law blog post. We duly note on our Illinois criminal defense website that a record linked with a prior arrest or conviction can equate to an enduring scar and stigma that limits opportunity in the future.

We specifically stress that such a mark “can impact your employment opportunities and affect your ability to get into college or receive a scholarship, along with other long-term consequences.” It might reduce housing options, curb travel freedoms, deny an applicant the chance to join the military and more.

Although such negative outcomes are of course materially adverse, we seek to assure readers of our blog that they are not inevitable for every Illinois resident with a criminal record. The opportunity sometimes exists to take proactive and formal action to remove or seal evidence of a record. That can be done in one of these two ways:

  • Petitioning for expungement, which completely removes/deletes a criminal record in a previously dismissed case
  • Petitioning to seal a record, which materially limits its accessibility to third parties

Obviously, great benefit can attach for persons able to clear or greatly limit access to their past via expungement or record sealing. We welcome contacts to our firm from individuals seeking relevant information concerning these formal processes.