What are the Illinois Rules for Expunging or Sealing Criminal Records?

When a person is arrested, charged, or convicted for a crime in Illinois — such as domestic violence or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs — they can face imprisonment and hefty criminal fines. In addition, a single arrest, charge, or conviction creates a criminal record for the offender. These criminal records are publicly available and can have a negative effect on background checks for employment, housing, and more. 

Recognizing the potential consequences of criminal records, Illinois law allows certain individuals to expunge or seal their criminal records. The expungement or sealing process effectively hides a criminal record from background checks, enabling a person to move past a previous arrest, charge, or conviction. 

What is the Difference Between Expungement and Sealing?

Although expungement and sealing are closely related, there are key differences between these two processes. Furthermore, expungement and sealing are mutually exclusive. A former criminal is [...]

Illinois Man Wanted for Aggravated DUI and Resisting Arrest

Various law enforcement agencies are searching for an Illinois man who allegedly committed aggravated DUI and resisted arrest, according to an article by The Pantagraph

On October 7th at approximately 9:30 p.m., LeRoy Police Department officers stopped the Illinois man near Interstate 74 and Illinois Route 136. Before the officers could complete their investigation or an arrest, the Illinois man fled the scene by running into a nearby corn field. 

The LeRoy police officers attempted to locate the Illinois man, with assistance from the Downs and Normal police departments, McLean County Sheriff’s Office, and the Illinois State Police. Despite a coordinated search, law enforcement was ultimately unable to locate the Illinois man.

When law enforcement does locate and arrest the Illinois man, they expect to charge him with aggravated DUI, resisting arrest, and another crime. To understand the extent of criminal penalties this man could face once arrested and [...]

Examining Illinois Laws Against Possession of Cocaine

Outside of extremely narrow exceptions, it is a criminal offense to possess cocaine in the State of Illinois. Referred to legally as a controlled substance, cocaine is classified under Schedule II based on its limited medical use and abusive potential. Any person who possesses cocaine — or an imitation substance that is substantially similar — can face severe criminal penalties under Illinois, including prison time and fines. 

What are the Laws Against Possession of Cocaine?

From a general standpoint, 720 ILCS 570/402 makes it a crime to knowingly possess a controlled substance like cocaine. Section 402 also prohibits the possession of counterfeit cocaine or an analog of cocaine, both of which are intended to mimic and substantially similar to actual cocaine.

In this context, the knowledge requirement is extremely important. A person must know — or have a reason to know — that they are in possession of cocaine. Otherwise, [...]

Examining the Illinois Difference Between Robbery and Aggravated Robbery

Under Illinois law, robbery is a theft crime that involves force or the threat of force. Without the presence of threatened or actual force, it does not qualify as robbery in Illinois. For more serious offenses, the perpetrator could face charges for aggravated robbery instead. To understand the difference between these two criminal offenses, it will be helpful to review important definitions and penalties under Illinois law.

What Qualifies as Robbery in Illinois?

720 ILCS 5/18-1 provides the definition of robbery in Illinois. Under this section, a person commits robbery when he or she:

    Intentionally takes someone else’s property; From the person or presence of the owner; and Using force or the threat of force.

There is an important exception under Section 18-1. It does not qualify as robbery when a person steals a motor vehicle. Illinois has separate laws governing the theft of motor vehicles, which qualifies as either [...]