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How to Get a Felony Off Your Record in Illinois

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A felony has a big impact on a person’s life and if you live in Illinois, you’ve come here trying to find out how to get the felony off your record.  Realize that with all felony records, there are three options you can take.  1) Expunge Your Record2) Seal Your Record,3) Request a Pardon of Your RecordThe problem though is that all states don’t offer all three of these options. But before we get into what Illinois offers, let’s review what each of these options actually mean.

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Expungement

If you get your record expunged in Illinois it’s as if your arrest and/or charges never happened. Your record is completely destroyed, including all physical and public records. When asked if have a criminal record, after expungement, you can truthfully answer “no”.

Record Sealing

Sealing your record in Illinois is similar to expungement, but your record still exists in a limited form. The public does not have access to your record, but there are some exceptions. Your records can still be accessed by law enforcement and the courts. Record sealing is not as secure as expungement, but it is a reasonable alternative that is comparatively easier to obtain if your state offers it.

Pardons

If you receive a pardon in Illinois, you still have record of your arrest or charge, but your guilt is exonerated. That is, you have proven that you are rehabilitated and forgiven for your crimes. You can also get relief in terms of having various rights restored, such as your right to vote. The requirements for pardons vary between states, but typically there is a lot of documentation required, and includes lengthy waiting periods to apply and receive a pardon.

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Things to Know Before You Start

First: It’s important to understand that every state is different in terms of what methods are available for felons to remove their record and the information below will help you understand what you can do in Illinois.

Felony Expungement in Illinois

Yes, it is possible to expunge your felony in Illinois but it depends on the felony.

Sealing a Recordin Illinois

Yes, it is possible to seal your record in Illinois but it depends on the felony.

Getting a Pardonin Illinois

Yes, it is possible to get a pardon of your record in Illinois but it depends on the felony.

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Second: When trying to clear your record, you really have two options.  The first is to get a free consultation from a lawyer to see what they think of your case, and the second is to try to do all of the paperwork yourself.  

Third: We HIGHLY recommend that you get a free consultation from a lawyer prior to taking any action.  We say this because whether you want to expunge, seal, or pardon your record, it’s an extremely complicated process.  Failure to follow the process properly can end up with you being denied for the request and having to wait additional time (sometimes several years) before you can file again.  In addition, getting an expungement lawyer can increase your odds of succeeding and sometimes it’s more affordable than you think.  The first step is to click on the button below to confirm that you’re eligible for the expungement/sealing of your record.

TAKE THE ELIGIBILITY TESTQuick NavigationCan You Expunge a Felony in Illinois?How to Expunge a Felony in IllinoisCan You Seal Your Criminal Record in Illinois?How to Seal Your Criminal Record in IllinoisCan You Apply for a Pardon in Illinois?How to Apply for a Pardon in Illinois

Can You Expunge a Felony in Illinois?

If you have dismissed charges, your conviction vacated, or reversed on appeal, or if the Governor granted a pardon, and if you successfully completed court supervision or probation, your case may be eligible for expungement. Cases that are under court supervision has a waiting period of two to five years before your case can be expunged.  

In Illinois, your expungement will reassure you that records of your arrest and case are destroyed, the arrest and court as is off your record and you will be able to tell potential employers that you have not been arrested. Best of all, your family and friends cannot find the records and you don’t have to reveal your arrest!

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CANNOT EXPUNGE IF…

<p>You have been ordered to court supervision for a DUI,</p><p>You committed a sexual offense,</p><p>A conviction on your record,</p><p>Your court file or application has inaccuracies,</p><p>The court does not feel expungement will be in the best interests of society,</p><p>You have a probation violation,</p><p>Or your fees and fines are not paid.<br /><br /><a href=”https://www.illinois.gov/osad/Expungement/Documents/Crinminal%20Exp%20Guide/ExpungementSealingOverview.pdf”>More details can be found here</a>.</p>

How to Expunge a Felony in Illinois

<ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a draggable=”false” href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to expunge your record.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you.</li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible for expungement based on our test, then you should stop here.</li><li>If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>Get copies of your criminal record,</li><li>Review your records and decide on expungement or sealing,</li><li>Fill out the <a href=”https://www.illinois.gov/osad/Expungement/Instructions_Forms/Documents/Instructions/How%20To.pdf”>expungement forms located here</a></li><li>File your forms and pay the fee. If you cannot pay the fee, you can obtain an application for <a href=”http://www.illinoiscou6ts.gov/forms/approved”>waiver of court fees by clicking here</a>.</li><li>The Illinois State Police will mail you a letter giving you the details of our expungement. You are not finalized until you receive this letter.</li></ol>

Can You Seal Your Criminal Record in Illinois?

Sealing your record in Illinois is possible and although it’s not common, it can happen.  Please note; Conviction involving federal district courts can be sealed if you appeal to a federal district court judge. Federal judges have the power to expunge any conviction, but they usually don’t honor petitions.

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CANNOT SEAL IF…

<ul><li>If you are found guilty, your records cannot be sealed.</li><li>Misconduct in your criminal proceedings will not give you the opportunity to seal your records. These include perjury, witness tampering, or prevention of criminal evidence being introduced in the trial.</li><li>You have requested your records be sealed or expunged previously.</li></ul>

How to Seal Your Criminal Record in Illinois

<p>Getting your criminal records sealed can mean the difference between getting a place to live, a loan, or a job. Get your records sealed so your criminal histories are inaccessible without a court order. If you are legally able to deny the crime ever happened, you can get your criminal record sealed.</p><ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a draggable=”false” href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to seal your record.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you.</li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible to seal your record based on our test, then you should stop here.</li><li>If you are eligible to seal your record based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>Obtain your criminal history form the arresting agency.</li><li>Have the prosecutor approve your petition.</li><li>Fill out the proper forms to have your records sealed. The website is <a href=”https://georgia.gov/”>located here</a>. Don’t forget to send in a certified check for the fees.</li><li></li></ol>

Can You Apply for a Pardon in Illinois?

Pardons are available in Illinois no matter what your charges are. Do note however, that the longer it has been since your conviction, the better your chances of a pardon. A pardon does not hide your criminal activity from the public. The public will still be able to see your conviction, but a letter of forgiveness will also be in the file.

A governor’s pardon may restore your rights and privileges. A pardon may forgive past criminal conduct to restore your rights and privileges or it can restore your rights to possess a firearm. Pardons also are a great step to getting your criminal records expunged or sealed.

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CANNOT PARDON IF…

<ul><li>You were convicted of a felony in another state,</li><li>The time limit has not expired (five years),</li><li>You have additional criminal charges,</li><li>You still have fines and restitution to pay.</li></ul>

How to Apply for a Pardon in Illinois

<ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to request a pardon for your record.  In most cases, if you are eligible for expungement on our test, then you’ll be eligible for a pardon.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because requesting a pardon is mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you. </li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible based on our test, then you should stop here. </li><li>If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>Granting a pardon is at the discretion of the governor.</li><li>You will need to provide evidence of achievements and mitigation.</li><li>Hardship evidence due to having a criminal record will need to be presented.</li><li>You will need to prove that you are living a good, crime free life.</li><li>Petitions are delivered to the Illinois Prison Review Board who will make a recommendation to the governor.</li></ol><p>So, there you have it.  Three separate ways to get rid of your record in Illinois.  As we’ve said numerous times throughout this page, this is a really complicated process and we highly recommend that you <a draggable=”false” href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> prior to taking any action to determine if you are eligible for any of these options.</p>

Please note, the information contained here is not legal advice and is strictly informational.  If you have any further questions about the information above, or in general, you need to contact a lawyer directly.

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