David Copp, Of Counsel

David Copp

Of Counsel

David Copp has made Chicago his home for more than a decade.

He has practiced with several law firms in the Chicago area with:

  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Condominium associations
  • Zoning and housing code enforcement
  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Defense and Expungement
  • FDCPA Matters In the Northern District of Illiois
  • David is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law.


    Don't Let Past Mistakes Hurt Your Future

    Having a criminal record in Illinois makes life more difficult. A criminal record can limit you from getting the job you want, obtaining housing, getting professional licenses, legally owning a firearm, qualifying for government programs, receiving student loans, and many other opportunities which would otherwise be available to you.

    Having a criminal record for the rest of your life isn’t a pleasant thought. Thankfully, many people qualify under Illinois law to seal or expunge their criminal records and move on from the mistakes. Illinois law permits the sealing of many misdemeanor and felony convictions, the expungement of arrest records, and even allows some to restore their Second Amendment right to own a firearm.

    If an order for a criminal record sealing is granted, that record is hidden and inaccessible to the general public. Certain law enforcement agencies can access sealed records, but they will not appear in most background checks run by employers, and you can legally state that you were never convicted of the sealed record. There are some exceptions discussed below, but, in most cases, sealing your record will make it as if the sealed offense never occurred.

    Our law firm has helped thousands of clients get seal or expunge criminal records of every kind, and we hear success stories from them often. If an Illinois criminal record is currently holding you back, keep reading to see if we can help.

    This Information Is For You

    Since the majority of people reading this aren’t lawyers, we’ve tried to simplify the legal jargon on our website, so regular people may follow along and get the information needed to understand their rights. However, before we get started, we should be clear that some of this information can get complicated, and, in many cases, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.

    To help you understand your rights, our lawyers have developed a tool that can be helpful in figuring out your options. This tool can’t be perfectly accurate in every situation, but our lawyers have invested substantial time and resources working to make it as accurate as possible.

    You can get started by using our Secure Eligibility Test, or you can give us a call at (844) 947-3732 to see if our legal staff is available for a free consultation. Be aware that our staff is often busy with current clients and a high volume of calls and appointments. If you’re serious about getting rid of your record, your best bet is to take our Secure Eligibility Test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.

    Can You Seal Your Illinois Conviction?

    Many misdemeanor and felony convictions can be sealed in Illinois. The general requirements to seal your record under Illinois law include:

    • General Requirements


      You cannot seal any of the Ineligible Offenses listed in the next section.

      You must wait three years after successfully completing the terms of your most recent sentence, unless you meet one of the educational or marijuana exceptions detailed below or have obtained a Certificate of Eligibility to Seal your record.

      You cannot have any pending charges or criminal proceedings.

    • 1. How Long Do You Need To Wait?


      In most situations, you will need to wait three years from the date you completed your most recent sentence. Remember that this three-year waiting period begins based on the date of your most recent sentence, not the sentence relating to the record you’re trying to seal. However, there are exceptions to this requirement which allow immediate sealing:

      • When the final disposition of your criminal record did not result in a conviction or
      • When you successfully complete “Qualified Probation” or “Supervision” ordered by the court and meet additional requirements.

      Completion of Educational Goals

      If you complete certain educational goals while serving your sentence, you can often immediately seal your record instead of waiting three years. There are a few additional requirements, but completing the following educational goals generally make the petitioner eligible for immediate sealing:

      Possession of Marijuana

      Illinois recently passed a law requiring the automatic sealing of marijuana possession convictions if the conviction involved less than 30 grams. In addition, possession of less than 500 grams of marijuana qualifies for record sealing, it’s just not automatic.

    • 2. Which Offenses are Ineligible to Record Seal?


      Illinois recently passed a law requiring the automatic sealing of marijuana possession convictions if the conviction involved less than 30 grams. In addition, possession of less than 500 grams of marijuana qualifies for record sealing, it’s just not automatic.

      Record sealing rules in Illinois can be quite complex, and the process is lengthy and difficult to navigate without an experienced attorney. Our law firm is happy to help guide you through the process.

    • 3. No Pending Charges or Criminal Proceedings


      While Illinois does specifically mention that you may not have any pending charges to apply to have your record sealed, it is doubtful that the court would grant your record seal if you have current charges or other pending criminal proceedings. This concept should be fairly easy to understand, but please feel free to reach out to us if you need clarification.

    Legal Effects of Sealing Your Record

    • How Will Sealing My Illinois Record Help Me Get A Job?


      When ineligible for an expungement, sealing your criminal record is the next best option. In many circumstances, sealing your record will have the same benefit as an expungement for purposes of getting a job. Sealing your record effectively hides your criminal record from the public, but law enforcement agencies may still access your record.

      Most employers cannot see a sealed conviction; however, certain employers can see sealed felony convictions, including: (i) financial institutions, (ii) fire departments, (ii) private carrier companies, (iii) schools, (iv) park districts, (v) healthcare organizations, and (vi) childcare organizations. None of these organizations can see sealed misdemeanor convictions.

    • Will Sealing My Illinois Record Restore My Second Amendment Rights?


      Unfortunately, sealing a record in Illinois will have no effect on restoring your Second Amendment right to own a gun

      We will go into more detail regarding restoring Second Amendment rights in Illinois on our Illinois Firearm Rights Restoration page, but restoration typically involves both state and federal law that should be handled by an experienced lawyer. The lawyers in our firm regularly handle complex firearm rights restoration issues, so a good first step in exploring whether you can restore your firearm rights would be to take our Secure Eligibility Test. Then, if appropriate, set up a time to speak with our legal staff about how to proceed.

    What You Need to Do to Get Seal Your Record

    If you are tired of having a criminal record hold you back, reach out to us by taking our Secure Eligibility Test or by giving us a call at (844) 947-3732. Our law firm has helped thousands of people with criminal records move on in life, leaving many of the negative effects of a criminal record behind. Our experienced attorneys and legal staff are here to help you figure out what criminal record clearing services best fit your needs, and then help you accomplish your goals. Using our secure, confidential Eligibility Test is the best way to get the process started.

    Some of the Potential Benefits of Sealing Your Record in Illinois Include:

    • Removing a finding of guilt and closing the case on your criminal record to help you get a better job
    • Restoring your Second Amendment Rights to own a firearm
    • Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
    • Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
    • Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
    • Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources

    We Are Here to Help

    Each of Illinois's methods for dealing with your criminal record have different requirements and are meant for different circumstances. To move forward, it’s important to determine what Illinois criminal record services are available to you, and then select the services that will provide the greatest benefit. Eastman Meyler, PC is here to help you navigate this very specific area of Illinois criminal law, fight to protect your rights, and assist you in moving forward in life without the effects of a Illinois criminal record.

    You can trust that you will get exceptional service from our law firm, as we have an A Rating from the Better Business Bureau, and prestigious attorney rating services such as Thompson Reuters and Avvo list our attorneys as Super Lawyers and Superb Attorneys. Our law firm has attorneys licensed to practice law in all Illinois state courts, provides low price guarantees, and is here to fight for you and put your criminal record behind you!