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Certificate of Relief from Disabilities

If you are ineligible for sealing or expungement of your criminal record in Illinois, and want to obtain a professional license, you may be eligible for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities. A Certificate of Relief from Disabilities may be issued at the time you are sentenced or any time thereafter upon verified application to the Court. An employer who hires an employee with a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities cannot be held civilly or criminally liable for acts or omissions by an employee, except for a willful and wanton act by the employer in hiring the employee who has been issued a certificate. Therefore, if you have a certificate, your prospective employer may be more willing to hire you for the job despite your criminal record.

A Certificate of Relief from Disabilities, issued by a judge, shows your prospective employer that the Court has determined that there is clear and convincing evidence that you are (1) eligible for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities, (2) the relief to be granted is consistent with your rehabilitation, and (3) the relief to be granted is consistent with the interest of the public.

You are eligible for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities if:

  • You have not been convicted of more than two felonies
  • You have not been convicted of any of the following offenses or attempted offenses:
    1. Sex Offender Registration Act
    2. Arsonist Registration Act
    3. Child Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registration Act
    4. Class X Felony
    5. Aggravated DUI
    6. Aggravated Domestic Battery
    7. Forcible Felony

In making the determination of whether to issue the Certificate of Relief from Disabilities, the Court may request the probation or court services department to conduct an investigation into the applicant and provide a written report. The report is confidential and will be made available to the applicant’s attorney.

The Certificate covers the following licenses and certifications (730 ILCS 5/5-5-5(i)):

  1. the Animal Welfare Act with certain exceptions;
  2. the Illinois Athletic Trainers Practice Act;
  3. the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Act of 1985;
  4. The Boiler and Pressure Vessel Repairer Regulation Act;
  5. The Boxing and Full-contact Martial Arts Act;
  6. The Illinois Certified Shorthand Reports Act of 1984;
  7. the Illinois Farm Labor Contractor Certification;
  8. the Interior Design Title Act;
  9. the Illinois Professional Land Surveyor Act of 1989;
  10. the Illinois Landscape Architecture Act of 1989;
  11. the Marriage and Family Therapy Licensing Act;
  12. the Private Employment Agency Act;
  13. the Professional Counselor and Clinical Professional Counselor Licensing and Practice Act;
  14. the Real Estate License Act of 2000;
  15. the Illinois Roofing Industry Licensing Act;
  16. the Professional Engineering Practice Act of 1989;
  17. the Water Well and Pump Installation Contactor’s License Act;
  18. the Electrologist Licensing Act;
  19. the Auction License Act;
  20. the Illinois Architecture Practice Act of 1989;
  21. the Dietician Nutritionist Practice Act;
  22. the Environmentalist Health Practitioner Licensing Act;
  23. the Funeral Directors and Embalmers Licensing Code;
  24. the Land Sales Registration Act of 1999;
  25. the Professional Geologist Licensing Act;
  26. the Illinois Public Accounting Act; and
  27. the Structural Engineering Practice Act of 1989

Under Illinois law, after obtaining a certificate, no license listed above shall be denied because of a conviction for one or more criminal offenses, or lack of “good moral character” due to the conviction(s) unless:

  1. there is a direct relationship between one or more previous criminal offenses and the specific license sought
  2. the issuance of the license would involve an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of a specific individuals or the general public

If you are seeking a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities, contact the attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C.. Our attorneys provide legal representation throughout Cook, Lake and DuPage counties.

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