The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120


How Long Convictions Last On An Illinois Criminal Record

 Posted on January 05, 2024 in Criminal Defense

Blog ImageForever - that is how long a conviction will last on a criminal record. It is referred to as a “permanent” criminal record, after all. However, just because it remains on your permanent criminal record does not mean that all convictions will remain on your public record. Some convictions, and arrests that did not lead to a conviction, may be eligible for expungement or sealing. A solid criminal defense attorney can help determine which records can be sealed or expunged, and which cannot be washed away from the public eye.

Seal and Expunge

The primary difference between sealing a criminal record and expunging it lies in its permanence. Sealing a record still keeps the record around in both a physical and legal sense, although only certain parties will be able to see it. In contrast, expunging a criminal record strikes it from the books. It will delete any record of the criminal charge or arrest that ever occurred. Understanding which convictions can be sealed or expunged is important to keeping a clean public record. For a more in-depth conversation on which criminal records can be sealed or expunged, it would be best to speak with an attorney.

Expungeable and Non-expungeable Criminal Offenses

The following criminal offenses are eligible for expungement in Illinois:

  • Being arrested for misdemeanors and felonies that did not result in a conviction

  • Reversed, vacated, or pardoned misdemeanor and felony convictions

  • Prostitution convictions

  • Supervision sentences that have been completed successfully (only after the waiting period is over)

  • Qualified probation sentences that have been completed successfully (after five years have passed)

These criminal offenses are not eligible for expungement from a criminal record in Illinois:

  • Sentences, arrests, or charges that take place outside of Illinois

  • Federal criminal cases

  • Incomplete sentences

  • Incomplete court-ordered supervision or qualified probation

  • Convicted petty offenses

  • Misdemeanor and felony convictions that were not reversed, vacated, or pardoned

  • Court supervision for reckless driving with subsequent convictions (or were over the age of 25 at the time), driving under the influence (DUI), and sexual offenses against minors

Sealable and Non-sealable Criminal Offenses

Sealed criminal offenses are always there and can be unsealed in some circumstances. In cases where a criminal offense can be expunged, it is better to do so rather than having it sealed. Those criminal offenses that are eligible to be sealed (not expunged) in Illinois include:

  • Incomplete sentences of qualified probation or supervision

  • Most misdemeanor and felony convictions (there are exceptions) three years after your last sentence ends

  • Prostitution and public indecency misdemeanor convictions

Many criminal offenses cannot be sealed. The following, which includes the exceptions indicated previously, are criminal offenses that cannot be sealed:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI)

  • Reckless driving over the age of 25

  • Protective order violations

  • Civil no-contact order and stalking no-contact order violations

  • Public indecency that resulted in a felony conviction

  • Domestic battery

  • Soliciting or patronizing a prostitute

  • Criminal offenses requiring the offender to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act

  • Those misdemeanor offenses found under Article 11 of the Criminal Code

Contact a Kane County, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

When attempting to get a criminal offense expunged or sealed from your record, it is a good idea to consult an experienced Aurora, IL expungement lawyer. The criteria for expungement or sealing can be tricky and you will benefit from someone who understands the legalities behind it. You would do well to consult the The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola for your record expungement questions and concerns. Call the office at 847-488-0889 to get started with a free consultation.

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