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Joliet Expungement Lawyer

Do I Need a Lawyer To Expunge My Record in Illinois?

An arrest for a felony or misdemeanor offense can have consequences that may affect your life for many years. Arrest records and other documents related to criminal cases are part of the public record. These records may be accessed by anyone, including potential employers, family members, or friends. To keep your records out of the public eye, you will need to take proactive steps to have them erased or made inaccessible. Even if your case was dismissed, you were never formally charged with a crime, or you were found not guilty, you will have a criminal record. To clear your name and prevent future consequences, you need to take steps to make sure your arrest or conviction records will be addressed correctly.

Expungement or Sealing of Criminal Records

The state of Illinois provides two options to clear your criminal record:


You can file a petition in court to remove information about certain types of arrests from your record. In general, expungement is available if a case did not result in a conviction or if a conviction was later reversed. Some convictions that result in sentences of court supervision or qualified probation may be expunged after a certain number of years have passed since successfully completing a sentence.

After your expungement petition is filed, a hearing will be held to determine whether information should be removed from your record. If a judge grants your request for expungement, your arrest or conviction will no longer be part of the public record, and you will no longer have to disclose it to employers or other parties. Expungement is the only method of completely removing criminal record information from being viewed by the public or law enforcement officials.

Sealing Your Criminal Record

If a conviction or other information on a criminal record is not eligible for expungement, it may be possible to have these records sealed. Criminal record sealing is available for most misdemeanor and felony offenses, although there are certain types of crimes that cannot be sealed, including DUI, domestic battery, and most sex crimes. When a criminal record is sealed, it cannot be viewed by people other than law enforcement personnel.

Common Myths About Expungements and Criminal Record Sealing

  • Myth: My criminal record will be expunged automatically.
    Fact: In most cases, expungement is not automatic. Even if the charges against you were dismissed, your arrest will remain on your record unless you request to have it expunged.
  • Myth: Expungement or sealing is available for most non-violent felonies.
    Fact: Most felony convictions cannot be expunged, although expungement may be available for certain types of drug-related offenses.
  • Myth: Since the charges against me were dismissed, I do not have to take steps to remove them from my criminal record.
    Fact: Arrests will remain on your record regardless of how your case was resolved. Expungement is not automatic. You must request to have these records removed and explain why your records should be expunged or sealed.
  • Myth: After I complete a sentence of supervision, I will not have a criminal record.
    Fact: When you successfully complete supervision, your record will not show that you have a conviction. However, the arrest and the charges against you will still be visible on your record. You will be eligible to apply for expungement two years after completing your supervision (or five years for certain types of offenses).

Felony Conviction Records

Expungement is not available for most felony convictions, and some felony convictions cannot be sealed. However, some exceptions may be available, including:

  • Class 4 felony convictions for marijuana possession in cases involving amounts that are now legal may be expunged.
  • Drug possession offenses resulting in sentences of Qualified Probation may be expunged after five years have passed since the completion of probation.
  • Drug arrests resulting in orders of first offender probation may be expunged after five years or sealed after three years.

Contact a Joliet Expungement Lawyer

If you are looking to expunge or seal your record in Joliet or the greater Will County area, contact the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation. You need to clear your criminal record so that you can move on with your life. Our personnel are available to take your call 24 hours every day. We provide services at affordable rates, and flat fees are available for services related to expungement and criminal record sealing.

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