Shorter Waiting Periods For Sealing Illinois Records | Illinois Criminal Record

CalendarEffective January 1, 2016, Illinois records are eligible for sealing sooner. Illinois legislature amended 20 ILCS 2630/5.2 shortening the waiting period for sealing Illinois records from 4 and 3 years to 3 and 2 years depending on the disposition of the case.

Under the new law, arrests resulting in an order of supervision are now eligible to be sealed 2 years after the termination of petitioner’s last sentence. Additionally, arrests and charges resulting in convictions, first offender probation, Section 410 probation, and eligible class 3 and class 4 felony convictions can now be sealed 3 years after the termination of petitioner’s last sentence.

All arrests resulting in release without charging, charges resulting in acquittal, dismissal, or conviction when the conviction was reversed or vacated are still eligible for sealing at any time.

Source: Shorter Waiting Periods For Sealing Illinois Records | Illinois Criminal Record

Certificate of Good Conduct

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.

Illinois Passes The Medical Marijuana Law

On August 1, 2013, Gov. Pat Quinn signed The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. The law will take effect on January 1, 2014.

Under the new law, patients will have to be diagnosed with one of 33 debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, or HIV/AIDS in order to qualify for medical marijuana.

Pursuant to the Medical Cannabis Act, a registered qualified patient will not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or denial of any right or privilege for the possession of 2.5 ounces of cannabis per 14 days. In addition to a registered qualified patient, a registered designated caregiver will also be given the same immunity.

The Act provides for a rebuttable presumption that a registered qualifying patient or a designated caregiver is engaged in the medical use of cannabis if he/she (A) is in possession of a valid registry identification card; and (B) is in possession of an amount of cannabis that does not exceed the amount allowed (2.5 ounce per 14 day period). This presumption may be rebutted by evidence that conduct related to cannabis was not for the purpose of treating medical conditions.

Section 25(f) of the Act also grants immunity from prosecution to individuals involved in: (1) selling cannabis paraphernalia to a cardholder; (2) being in the presence or vicinity of the medical use of cannabis; or (3) assisting a registered qualifying patient with administering cannabis.

The General Assembly also addressed the discrepancy with federal law, saying that states are not required to enforce or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law. (This, of course, does not mean that the FBI cannot enforce federal laws within the state.) Although it should be noted that approximately 99 out of 100 cannabis arrests in the U.S. are made under state law, not federal.

For a more comprehensive coverage of The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act click here.