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A new Illinois law, House Bill 3061, goes into effect on January 1, 2014 and will allow individuals convicted of some Class 3 and 4 felony offenses to seal the records from their conviction. This change in the expungement law expands eligibility for record clearing relief in Illinois and will allow more former offenders to secure employment, apply for housing, and move forward with their lives.

Under the current Illinois expungement and sealing laws, the only felony convictions that are eligible to be sealed are Class 4 felonies for drug possession or prostitution offenses. The new law opens up this relief to those convicted of Class 3 and Class 4 felonies and adds theft, retail theft, forgery, possession of burglary tools, deceptive practices and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver to the list of eligible offenses. The new law, HB 3061, passed both the Illinois House and Senate, and Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill into law in August of this year.

Now More People Will Be Eligible For Expungement in Illinois

The law change increases the number of former offenders in Illinois that will be eligible for criminal record sealing. Even with this expansion, there are still restrictions in place. Before petitioning to seal the criminal records of the conviction, individuals must satisfy a four-year waiting period, which begins at the end of his or her last sentence. Additionally, those who were convicted of a drug offense must also pass a drug test in the 30 days prior to filing the petition to seal records of the conviction.

While record sealing is still limited to certain types of offenses and Class 3 and Class 4 felonies only, this new law it is a great step in the right direction for Illinois. When this law becomes effective on January 1, 2014, many people with lower-level felonies will be eligible to seal their felony conviction. Having the records from their criminal case sealed will allow these individuals to obtain gainful employment, put their past behind them and move forward with their lives.

Written by Record Clearing

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