730 ILCS 5/5-5.5-25 provides a good alternative for relief for for those individuals who do not qualify to have their record expunged or sealed. Although expunging or sealing a record still carries more benefits than a Certificate of Good Conduct, the latter does not have the same stringent requirements. Convictions even for relatively minor criminal offices may serve as a bart expunging other records. Other offenses, such as “crimes of violence” may not be sealed. If an individual has a sentence of supervision for assault or battery, but has other convictions on his or her record, such record may not qualify for expungement or sealing. This is precisely the type of scenario under which a Certificate of Good Conduct may serve as a good alternative.
Benefits: Certificate of Good Conduct limits an employer’s liability for the conduct of a employee with a criminal record. An employer may not civilly or criminally liable for an act or omission by an employee who has been issued a Certificate of Good Conduct, except for willful or wanton act by the employer in hiring the employee who has been issued a Certificate of Good Conduct. Further, unlike expungement and sealing, an Illinois Circuit Court may issue a Certificate of Good Conduct to an individual previously convicted of a crime in any other jurisdiction, when the applicant demonstrates that there exist specific facts and circumstances that have an adverse impact and warrant the application to be made in Illinois.
Limitations: A Certificat of Good Conduct does not limit an employer from accessing criminal background information; nor does it hide it, alter, or expunge the record. The Certificate of Good Conduct can also be revoked upon subsequent convictions.
Eligibility: An applicant for Certificate of Good Conduct must prove to the Court that: 1) The applicant has conducted himself or herself in a manner warranting the issuance for a minimum period; 2) The relief to be granted is consistent with the rehabilitation of the applicant; 3) The relief to be granted is consistent with the public interest; 4) The minimum period of good conduct by the applicant shall be one year if the most serious crime the applicant has been convicted is a misdemeanor; and two years if the most serious crime an applicant was convicted of is a Class 1, 2, 3, or 4 Felony. The minimum period of good conduct is measured from the date of the payment of any fine imposed, or from the date of release from custody by parole, mandatory supervised release or commutation or terminate of his or her sentence.