What is an Illinois Certificate of Sealing?

Going through life with a criminal record can be difficult. Fortunately, Illinois allows individuals to seal or expunge their criminal records in many cases, depending on the type of crime. Unfortunately, on the other hand, there are still many criminal offenses that are not eligible to be sealed in Illinois. For one-time Class 3 or Class 4 felony criminal records that are not otherwise eligible to be sealed, Illinois offers an alternate option – a Certificate of Sealing.

The Illinois Prisoner Review Board reviews all applications for Certificates of Sealing, and makes decisions as to whether an application will be granted or denied. The petitioner may also be asked to attend a hearing located in Springfield or Chicago. A Certificate of Sealing can be very beneficial because if your application is granted by the Board, you may file a petition afterward with the Circuit Court asking that your record be sealed from the public. Once your record is completely sealed, it would not be available to anyone except a limited number of state and federal agencies.

According to the Prisoner Review Board, there were 21 petitions for a Certificate of Sealing received in 2014. Of those 21 petitions, 15 were granted by the Board. That’s a 71.4% approval rating for 2014. Compare that with the 2015 report, in which case the Board received 10 petitions and granted 8 of them – increasing the approval rating to 80%. These are some fairly positive statistics for those that want to seal and move past their criminal record. As you may know, there are many benefits of expunging or sealing your criminal record. So, if you’re interested in sealing your Illinois record, but are unsure whether you qualify, consider speaking to one of our legal representatives to determine your eligibility today.

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