Just this past Thursday, August 24, 2017 Governor Rauner signed Illinois House Bill 2373, which expands the current Illinois Criminal Identification Act to allow for virtually ALL felonies to be eligible for sealing relief! Effective immediately, any felony conviction, except for those currently found listed at 20 ILCS 2630/5.2 (a)(3)(A) (i.e., domestic battery and/or violation of an order of protection, Class A and above offenses listed under the Humane Care for Animals Act, driving under the influence and reckless driving (with the youthful offender exception) and sex crimes under Article 11 of the Criminal Code of 2012) will now be eligible for sealing relief through the court system! The three (3) year waiting period (as determined from the end of the last criminal sentence on a person’s record) remains in effect, though on convictions that require a person to register on the Murder and Violence Offense Against Youth Registry, that person cannot apply for sealing relief until he or she is no longer required to remain on the registry.
Many individuals who have been told by me, or other attorneys, that they are simply and unfortunately ineligible to petition for sealing relief can now revist the issue to see if this barrier has effectively been removed…I dare say in many, if not most cases, the answer to that question will be “yes”. Keep in mind sealing is not as comprehensive of relief as expungement is, but this is absolutely a huge positive step in the right direction by our legislature and it will undoubtedly help many in need of finding jobs, housing, etc. Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have questions about whether or not this monumental expansion pertains to your own situation.