How Long does it take for a Record to be Sealed in Illinois?


If you were convicted of a crime in Illinois, you may be able to seal the criminal record. The procedure around having a criminal record sealed is complicated and having the right attorney on your side can make all the difference in your case. With extensive experience, Attorney John D. Ioakimidis understands the nuances of this area of law. Recognized as one of the “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction” by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, you can trust you are in good hands at his firm.

In the state of Illinois, having your criminal record expunged is different from having it sealed. To have your record expunged means that the record is physically destroyed by the agencies and government bodies holding it or the hard copies of the record get returned to the petitioner. When a criminal record is expunged, it does not show up in any public record. To have your record sealed, on the other hand, means that the records will not be available to the public without a court order, although a physical and electronic copy of the record will remain in the database. Law enforcement agencies and courts, however, will still have access to the records.

Only the following Class 4 felonies can be sealed: Possession of Marijuana (720 ILCS 550/4), Possession of a Controlled Substance (720 ILCS 570/402) and Prostitution (720 ILCS 5/11-14). Once you have had a felony conviction sealed, you may not have any subsequent felony convictions sealed.

In our last post, we discussed the average length of time it takes to have a criminal record expunged in Illinois. In this post, we will discuss the waiting requirements and timelines to have your record sealed.

Under Illinois law, you can immediately apply for sealing of cases that had the following outcomes:

  • Released without charge;
  • Dismissals;
  • Acquittals;
  • No probable cause;
  • A conviction that has been vacated or reversed.

On January 1, 2018, a new law went into effect, allowing individuals to immediately seal records of charges where you were acquitted or the case was dismissed. In fact, you can file a petition for immediate sealing during the same hearing where your case was acquitted or dismissed. The court has an obligation to tell you of this right and the judge will have to decide at the same hearing whether or not to grant your petition.

It is important to note that courts in some jurisdictions do not permit an individual to seal arrests and dismiss cases if the individual is currently serving a sentence or has a new case with an upcoming court date.

There are many reasons why you should try to get your criminal record sealed or expunged. Seasoned criminal defense attorney John D. Ioakimidis can help you understand these reasons and can help guide you through the process. Our goal is to defend the rights of our clients every step of the way. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns. To speak to us in more detail, please call us at 312-229-5500.

More Blog Posts:
How Long Does it Take for a Record to be Expunged in Illinois?

State’s Objection to Expungement or Record Sealing in Illinois


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