Expungement And Sealing In Illinois With Paul Meyers. Episode 487 (Duration 32:12).
Illinois has one of the broadest expungement and sealing laws in the country. In this 30 minute interview Illinois attorney Paul Meyers explains the seal v expunge dichotomy and key differences.
Sealing vs Expungement
There are often great employment opportunities and benefits if a person can use the court process to “undo” their criminal history. When we talk about seal vs expunge we are talking about using a court process to “undo” a person’s criminal past.
Expungement is better than sealing because it provides a more complete evisceration of information. However, if you can’t expunge a record sealing it will keep it out of view of the general public including most employers.
What can you expunge in Illinois?
“A petitioner may petition the circuit court to expunge the records of his or her arrests and charges not initiated by arrest when each arrest or charge not initiated by arrest sought to be expunged resulted in:
(i) acquittal, dismissal, or the petitioner’s release without charging, unless excluded by subsection (a)(3)(B);
(ii) a conviction which was vacated or reversed, unless excluded by subsection (a)(3)(B);
(iii) an order of supervision and such supervision was successfully completed by the petitioner, unless excluded by subsection (a)(3)(A) or (a)(3)(B); or
(iv) an order of qualified probation (as defined in subsection (a)(1)(J)) and such probation was successfully completed by the petitioner.”
Sealing In Illinois
What can you seal in Illinois?
“The following records may be sealed:
(A) All arrests resulting in release without charging;
(B) Arrests or charges not initiated by arrest resulting in acquittal, dismissal, or conviction when the conviction was reversed or vacated, except as excluded by subsection (a)(3)(B);
(C) Arrests or charges not initiated by arrest resulting in orders of supervision, including orders of supervision for municipal ordinance violations, successfully completed by the petitioner, unless excluded by subsection (a)(3);
(D) Arrests or charges not initiated by arrest resulting in convictions, including convictions on municipal ordinance violations, unless excluded by subsection (a)(3);
(E) Arrests or charges not initiated by arrest resulting in orders of first offender probation under Section 10 of the Cannabis Control Act, Section 410 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Section 70 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, or Section 5-6-3.3 of the Unified Code of Corrections; and
(F) Arrests or charges not initiated by arrest resulting in felony convictions unless otherwise excluded by subsection (a) paragraph (3) of this Section.”
In This Episode…
“With a stroke of the pen from Governor Rauner we became the most liberal state, I would say perhaps a better word ‘permissive’ state, on sealing, specifically…” — Paul Meyers.
Attorney Paul Meyers
Paul Meyers graduated from the University of Tulsa law school in 2011, where he was on law review and interned for the Tulsa County Public Defender’s Office.
After passing the bar, Paul worked for the Kane County Public Defender’s office for 5 years before joining Robert Callahan & Associates in 2017.
How To Contact Paul Meyers
- Robert J Callahan & Associates
2500 South Drake Avenue
Chicago, IL 60623
- (312) 322-9000
- [email protected]
Links & Resources
- 20 ILCS 2630 et seq. Illinois Criminal Identification Act
- 20 ILCS 2630/5.2 et seq. Expungement and Sealing
- Illinois Supreme Court Sample Forms
- Illinois State Appellate Defender Resources
- Combined Standardized Forms
- List of Crimes You Can’t Seal – 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(a)(3) Exclusions
- Factors Court Should Consider – 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(7)
- The “You Can Only File Once” Rule – 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(c)(4)
- Effect of Expungement or Sealing – Employment Applications – 20 ILCS 2630/12
“Can’t Miss” Moments:
✓ Expungement means to destroy or return records to a petitioner. Why expungement is generally better than sealing. (Go to 2:13)
✓ Sealing means to make records unavailable without a court order except for certain parties generally in law enforcement and public safety. When you can’t expunge a record, why you should seal it if you can. (Go to 2:25)
✓ Discover THE BIGGEST change between the old expungement law and the new law. You won’t believe what convictions are now eligable for expungement. (Go to 3:54)
✓ Exactly what can you expunge? (Go to 4:46) & (Go to 24:08)
✓ See how veterans are treated under the new expungement regime. (Go to 6:32)
✓ A loophole to expunge convictions that can’t be expunged. (Go to 6:56)
✓ Exactly what can you seal? (Go to 7:42) & (Go to 24:08)
✓ Discover THE BIGGEST change between the old sealing law and the new law. This is why they are calling Illinois one of the most permissive state’s in the country. (Go to 8:55)
✓ Don’t waste your time on trying to seal these 8 types of offenses. You won’t believe what convictions are now eligible for sealing. (Go to 9:18)
✓ Many things have changed drastically, here is what has stayed the same. (Go to 10:42)
✓ WARNING: The new rules only give you one chance to seal convictions. If you get a new conviction after sealing there’s no do-overs. PLUS, the state can reverse any files you had sealed. ADDITIONALLY, one thing that has changed is that nothing is automatic. The state, police and the judge can all still object. (Go to 11:46) & (Go to 23:50)
✓ What happens after you file? (Go to 12:23)
✓ The “objection” trap and “public policy” punch you may walk into and what to do about them. (Go to 12:44)
✓ In some counties you’re in for a shock if you think you’re going to file and get a hearing within a reasonable time. (Go to 15:18)
✓ The one question you should ask before filing a petition to expunge or seal a court record. (Go to 16:35)
✓ The truth about what employers can and can not ask you about sealed or expunged records. How to handle questions about your criminal history. (Go to 17:41)
✓ Who may want to consider NOT filing a petition to seal or expunge even though they may be technically eligible. Look out for completely inappropriate and illegal questions you may see on job applications. (Go to 19:40)
✓ When there’s no fee to file a petition and why you can’t file a petition to seal right away. (Go to 26:20)
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