If you have ever been arrested or have had a criminal charge filed against you then you have a criminal record even if your case was dismissed and/or you were placed on court supervision and completed it successfully.
Contrary to popular belief, a criminal record does not just disappear after a certain period of time.
The process of "erasing" your arrest and/or criminal record is called "expungement" which can also be referred to as "sealing" your record. In Illinois some charges are eligible for being erased or destroyed while others are only eligible to be sealed from public view. Which charges are eligible for which is determined by Illinois Statute (20 ILCS 2630/5.2).
Not all criminal charges are eligible to be expunged or sealed. The charges that are excluded are determined by statute. A criminal charge for which you received a conviction may not eligible for expungement with the exception of Honorably Discharged Veterans convicted of Class 3 and/or Class 4 felonies. Some convictions not eligible for expungement may be eligible for sealing - as determined by statute.
In Illinois there is a waiting period from the time your charge is dismissed or when your supervision is completed before you may petition to have your record expunged. Which criminal charges are eligible for expunging and/or sealing is determined by statute (20 ILCS 2630/5.2). In Illinois there is a waiting period of 2 years from the time your supervision is completed for many common misdemeanors.
For more information on expunging or sealing your record call Macomb Illinois Attorney Susan L. Stambaugh at (309) 837-1000.