If you’ve been charged with a crime, you may be wondering if you can get the details of that case sealed or expunged from your record. Sealing records mean case details are kept confidential and not accessible to the general public, whereas an expungement means all records of the incident are destroyed or returned to you. Beginning January 1 of this year, Illinois expanded which arrests and convictions are eligible for expungement. Convictions for marijuana-related offenses are now eligible for expungement, so we’re going to explain the qualifying factors and how you can go about getting your criminal record expunged.
Expungement In Illinois
For a number of different criminal offenses, it is often very difficult to get your record expunged in Illinois. In fact, expungement is typically only available to those who were never convicted of their crime. However, that changed a little at the start of 2020 when Illinois legalized recreational marijuana use.
Effective January 1, Illinois planned to automatically expunge arrest records for individuals arrested for possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana if:
- One year has passed since the date of your arrest.
- The arrest did not involve the delivering of marijuana to a person under the age of 18 or a person at least three years younger than the defendant.
- The arrest did not involve a violent crime.
If you believe you meet the criteria to have your record expunged, there’s a decent chance that it has already been expunged. That being said, the expungement process takes a few steps, and we’ve heard from clients that although they should be up for automatic pardons that their conviction is still showing on their criminal record. That’s because these convictions are supposed to be automatically identified by the Illinois State Police, forwarded to the Prisoner Review Board, cleared by their administration and they forwarded to the governor for pardon. If the governor grants the pardon, the state attorney general will recommend that the record be expunged.
Considering all the steps that are involved and the likelihood that these expungements are on the low end of the priority scale for those departments involved, it’s no surprise that past marijuana convictions are still appearing on criminal records. If you believe you are eligible to have your criminal record expunged, either for a past marijuana charge or another non-violent offense, reach out to the attorneys at Appelman Law to see what we can do for you. We can help you in your quest to expunge your record or simply provide you with the resources you need to do it on your own.
For more information, contact Appelman Law today at (630) 717-7801.