Veterans may now seek expungement of convictions of some Illinois felonies
Veterans and military personnel who have been convicted of certain Illinois felonies may now have the ability to seek certificates of eligibility of expungement under 730 ILCS 5/3-3-2(a)(11). The statute states in part that:
Persons who have been convicted of Class 3 or 4 felonies and thereafter served in the United States Armed Forces or National Guard and received an honorable discharge, may now file a petition before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board to seek a certificate of eligibility for expungement. Additionally, persons who at the time of filing such a petition are enlisted in the United States Armed Forces or National Guard and who have served one tour of duty may also file such a petition.
Following the filing of such a petition, at least three members of the Prisoner Review Board must hear that request and vote unanimously to issue a certificate of eligibility of expungement and recommend that the court order expungement of all official records concerning the arrest and conviction.
Class 3 and 4 convictions not eligible for such relief include sex offenses, firearm offenses and crimes of violence.
Persons seeking certificates of expungement that are denied must wait at least four years before filing again or filing for a pardon with authorization to expunge from the Governor unless the Governor or the Chairman of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board grants a waiver of this requirement.
This new law acknowledges that persons may make mistakes and be subsequently rehabilitated. It honors those who have served our country in a faithful manner.
Lori G. Levin
Attorney at Law
180 N. LaSalle, Suite 3700
Chicago, IL 60601