If you’re like many people, you want to seal your criminal record – the things in your past should stay there. But hiring an attorney to seal your criminal record in Peoria is expensive, and it might not make sense for your financial situation.
The good news: You can seal your own criminal record in Peoria (and in every other city in Illinois) if you qualify. In fact, you can even expunge your own criminal record in Illinois. Here’s what you need to know.
What is Criminal Record Sealing?
Sealing your record means that most people won’t be able to see it. That includes landlords, employers and creditors. Only a handful of organizations (like police, the military, court officials and some healthcare employers) will be able to see your record if it’s sealed – it’s not going to come up in a basic criminal records search.
The benefits to sealing your record can be pretty big, too. Your criminal record won’t be hanging over your head when you apply for a job, try to find a new place to live or try to get approved for credit – and for many people in Peoria, that’s a huge relief.
How Can You Seal Your Own Criminal Record in Peoria?
Before you can seal your own criminal record through the Peoria court system, you have to make sure you’re eligible.
Peoria Criminal Record Sealing Eligibility
If your case was dismissed, the court found you not guilty or acquitted you, you received a pardon, or you were released from police custody without being charged with a crime at all, you can expunge or seal your record.
You can seal these types of records in Peoria:
- Arrests and charges for misdemeanors and felonies that never led to a conviction
- Felony traffic offenses that the court reduced to an eligible misdemeanor
- Convictions for most non-violent misdemeanors and felonies
You cannot seal any of these types of records in Peoria:
- Reckless driving conviction
- Driving under the influence conviction
- Domestic battery conviction
- Conviction of violation of an order of protection, a civil no-contact order or a stalking no-contact order
- Conviction of soliciting or patronizing a prostitute
- Felony conviction of public indecency
- Conviction of any misdemeanor offenses listed under Article 11 of the Criminal Code
- Conviction of any offense that requires you to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act
- Dog fighting convictions
- Class A misdemeanor convictions under the Humane Care for Animals Act
If you’re eligible to seal your criminal record in Peoria, here’s how it works.
- You file a petition with the court and pay your filing fees. (Download all the court forms you need by signing up here.)
- The state’s attorney will review your petition. He or she may object. If the state’s attorney does object, you might be entitled to a hearing so you can share your side of the story.
- The judge assigned to your case will decide whether you can seal your criminal record.
Where many people get caught up is on filling out and filing the forms, which is why we created DIY Illinois expungement. We provide you with the right forms for Peoria (and we have forms for every other city in Illinois, too) and give you extensive instructions on filling them out properly. We even have video tutorials for all of the forms in case that’s easier for you.
Are You Ready to Seal Your Criminal Record in Peoria?
If you’re thinking about sealing your criminal record, now may be a great time. The process can take several months because your paperwork has to go through the court system, so the sooner you get started, the sooner you can get a fresh start. If you have questions about sealing or expunging your record, call us at 847-920-4540 – we can either do it for you or give you access to our DIY expungement and sealing service for Peoria.