A new Illinois law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2014, allows people convicted of certain Class 3 and 4 felony offenses to seal their records. This change in the expungement law expands eligibility for record clearing relief in Illinois and will allow more former offenders to secure employment, apply for housing, and move forward with their lives.
Changes to the Existing Illinois Expungement Law
Under the existing Illinois expungement and record sealing law, only Class 4 felony convictions for drug possession or prostitution were eligible to be sealed. The new law offers the opportunity for this relief to those convicted of Class 3 felonies, in addition to Class 4, and also adds theft, retail theft, forgery, possession of burglary tools, deceptive practices and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver to the list of offenses eligible for record sealing. The law, House Bill 3061, passed both the Illinois House and Senate in May, and HB 3061 was signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn in August of this year.
While the new law greatly expands the eligibility for criminal record sealing in Illinois, there are still restrictions in place. Individuals must wait four years from the end of his or her sentence before petitioning to seal records of the conviction. Individuals who were convicted of a drug offense must also pass a drug test within 30 days before filing the petition to seal.
RecordGone.com, a division of The Law Firm of Higbee and Associates, has updated their free and confidential online eligibility test to reflect this change in the law. Please visit https://recordgone.amieligible.com/ or call 877-573-7273 to see if you are now eligible to clear your criminal record under the new law in Illinois.