A person who is found guilty of a misdemeanor can have his record expunged in most circumstances. Most misdemeanors allow the court to impose a term of supervision if the defendant has no criminal history. Supervision is not a conviction, and it can be expunged.
A conviction, however, cannot be expunged. It can only be sealed. Misdemeanor convictions can be sealed, but not felonies.
But there are misdemeanor convictions that the legislature in Springfield has excluded from sealing all together. Our lawmakers excluded these charges from eligibility on policy grounds. In their opinion, for the protection of the public, a defendant should not be able to seal a conviction for certain charges.
The following misdemeanor convictions cannot be sealed:
- Battery, 720 ILCS 5/12-3
- Assault, 720 ILCS 5/12-1
- Aggravated assault, 720 ILCS 5/12-2
- Domestic battery, 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2
- Reckless conduct, 720 ILCS 5/12-5
- Criminal sexual abuse, 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50
- Violation of an order of protection, 720 ILCS 5/12-3.4
These charges are defined as crimes of violence under the Crime Victims Compensation Act (740 ILCS 45/2(c)).
A conviction for any of these crimes cannot be sealed.
However, a term of supervision for any of the above is eligible for expungement.