We Seal Felony Convictions
The statute labeled Expungement and sealing seems to get thicker every year. However, most of what you need to know about expungement and sealing eligibility can still be found at 20 ILCS 2630/5.2. In 2014 our legislature showed some mercy to those who have made mistakes in the past and have broadened the scope of felony convictions eligible for sealing. In particular class 4 felony convictions for: Prostitution, Possession of Cannabis, Possession of a Controlled Substance, violations of the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act, violations of the Steriod Control Act, Theft, Retail Theft, Deceptive Practices, Forgery and Possession of Burglary Tools are now on the list of felony convictions which could possibly be sealed. The legislature also included class 3 felony convictions for: Theft, Retail Theft, Deceptive Practices, Forgery, and Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance as possible felony convictions which could possibly be sealed. A convicted felon is eligible to apply to have convictions on the foregoing offenses sealed 4 years after the date in which his/her sentence terminates. However, a petitioner is not eligible to have subsequent felony convictions sealed if he/she is convicted of a felony offense after the date in which the individual has had a prior felony conviction sealed.
Of course judges always have discretion to deny petitions to expunge or seal even when a petitioner is statutorily eligible. However, the changes to the statute will bring hope to numerous convicted felons who may now have the potential to seek new career opportunities.