How Will My Life Change After I Am Granted an Expungement?
If you were arrested for an alleged criminal offense, this arrest remains on your criminal record even if your charge is dismissed or disposed of through court supervision. This can create difficult, awkward situations later if you are subjected to a background check or asked if you have ever been arrested.
To avoid this type of situation, you can have your record expunged. Charges for certain felonies and most misdemeanors can be expunged from an individual’s criminal record. An expungement is not the same as having your criminal record sealed. If you were convicted of an offense, you cannot have the conviction expunged. You can only have your record sealed, which is a different process. Think of it as the difference between having a record erased versus having it made inaccessible to the general public. If you were arrested, but not convicted, you can have your record expunged and enjoy the following benefits:
Your Name is Removed from the Public Arrest Record
When an arrest is expunged from your record, your name is removed from the circuit court’s public record. It will not show up in searches of the public arrest record.
Your Arrest Record is Removed from Official Files
The record of your arrest is removed from FBI, state, and local arresting authority records. However, there are certain circumstances under which the Department of Corrections and law enforcement can access your expunged record, such as if your offense is subject to a five-year waiting period for expungement.
Your Criminal Record No Longer Comes Up in Background Checks
During background checks for employment, your criminal record will not come up if you have it expunged.
You will Not Have to Disclose your Arrest to Most Employers
In Illinois, it is illegal for an employer or potential employer to ask an employee or applicant if he or she has had any previous arrests expunged or convictions sealed. There are exceptions to this, such as employers in the law enforcement and education sectors.
If you are asked if you have ever been arrested, you can answer “no” after your record is expunged. Prior to the court’s ruling on your expungement, you must truthfully answer this question when asked, even if your expungement case is currently pending.
You also do not have to disclose your expungement in order to receive an occupational certificate or license, except for in certain fields where such disclosure is required.
Work with an Experienced Naperville Expungement Lawyer
Having your record expunged can have a tremendous impact on your life. You will no longer be subject to scrutiny related to your arrest, which can help you secure a job, housing, and maintain a positive reputation in your community.
Speak with an experienced Naperville criminal defense lawyer to determine if you are eligible for an expungement and if so, how to proceed with the process. Contact our team at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation with us.