Can a sealed record be used against you?

If you’re like many people who have criminal records, you know that you may be eligible for sealing or expungement… but you may not know what can happen with a sealed record or who can view it.

Can a Sealed Record Be Used Against You?

If your criminal record is sealed, most people won’t have access to it. For example, a landlord who’s doing a criminal background check won’t see that you have arrests or convictions (or whatever it was that you sealed) on your criminal record. Because that information is confidential, he or she won’t be able to use it against you.

When it comes to law enforcement and the court system, though, that’s another story.

If you have a sealed record, people working in law enforcement and court officials can still see your record. That means it can, in a way, be used against you. Because the judge in your case will know that you have prior offenses, it may come up during your case.

Some other people can see sealed records, too: employers, such as the military and some in the healthcare field, may be able to access your records. In that way, you might say that your sealed record could be used against you. For example, if you have a criminal record, you may not be able to join the military without a special waiver. Likewise, some hospitals and care facilities won’t hire you if you have a criminal record.

Are You Thinking About Expunging or Sealing Your Criminal Record?

DIY criminal record sealing, or do-it-yourself criminal record sealing, is a process that you do yourself rather than hiring an attorney to do it for you. You can do your own criminal record sealing petition without paying a lawyer. In fact, we have a full suite of tools you can use to seal your criminal record on your own so that you don’t have to pay an attorney.

In our DIY sealing service, you’ll get:

  • Instant access to all the forms you need to seal your record ANYWHERE in Illinois
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to fill out and file your forms (in video and text formats)
  • Directions on where to file your forms for your jurisdiction
  • Exclusive access to a messaging system you can use to contact an attorney for free while you’re working through your own sealing case


Seal your own criminal record in Illinois now!