A criminal record can have a major effect on several aspects of your life for years to come, including the jobs you can apply for. For this reason, many citizens in Illinois seek to have their records expunged and the charges erased. The first step in knowing if this is a possibility for you is knowing who qualifies for this action.
The laws of Illinois claim that any convictions that were made in another state or under Federal judgment cannot be expunged under state laws. Additionally, unless you are an Honorably Discharged Veteran with a Certain Class three or four felony, criminal convictions cannot be expunged. The only offenses that may be eligible are municipal ordinance violations and criminal offenses, excluding divorces, protection orders and some traffic offenses.
If you were convicted of an offense in Juvenile Court, the process is different than it is for adults. In this case, you should contact the court where you were tried for your offense. Similarly, some First Offender and other drug charges may be eligible for expungement.
If you do qualify to have your record expunged, you can do so by filing a petition in the county where the charge was brought or where you were arrested. If you cannot afford to pay the filing fee at the court, you can include an application for a fee waiver. After you file, it will likely take a few months for the court to make a decision. This information is intended for your education and should not be taken as legal advice.