Tag Archives: criminal record

St. Charles criminal defense attorney expungment

Having a criminal record can prevent a person from obtaining adequate employment, limit the person’s ability to find safe and affordable housing, and disqualify him or her from certain educational opportunities. However, everyone deserves a second chance, and a person’s past should not dictate his or her future. One way that Illinois residents may be able to avoid the negative consequences of having a criminal record is through record sealing or expungement. However, not all crimes are eligible to be expunged or sealed, so it is important to understand the difference between the two options.  

Record Sealing in Illinois

If an individual has his or her criminal record “sealed,” this means that the record is largely hidden from public view. Most employers cannot see records that have been sealed, but law enforcement officials or prosecutors are still able to view sealed records. Only some criminal offenses are eligible for record sealing. These include:

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Naperville criminal defense lawyer, criminal background check, criminal record, expungement, expungement lawsWhen you have an arrest or conviction on your criminal record, the thought of having to disclose the details about the arrest or conviction can be mortifying. With casual acquaintances, you can choose not to answer questions about your criminal past — although information about your criminal record is publicly available, most people will not take the time to seek yours out. Whether you should be honest about your criminal record with friends and acquaintances or not is your personal choice. 

When it comes to interactions with your employer, a prospective landlord, a college or university to which you are seeking admission, or even a reality show you would like to appear on, the rules are a bit different.

In Illinois, the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act makes it illegal for employers to ask about applicants’ criminal records until later stages in the hiring process, which means you cannot be required to check a box related to your criminal history on a job application. If you are concerned about how your criminal record can impact your opportunities, consider seeking an expungement. 

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expungement, Naperville criminal defense lawyer, criminal offense, criminal record, eligible for expungementIf 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

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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois criminal statutesFelony convictions have far-reaching consequences beyond incarceration, fines, or probation. One major problem is the effect that a conviction can have on employment opportunities. A new bill going through the Illinois legislature may ameliorate that problem for convicted felons. The bill would remove a lifetime ban on employment in schools for some people convicted of nonviolent felonies.

The Bill

House Bill 494 is being sponsored by Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago. The bill would mean that school districts could not automatically bar employment for a nonviolent felony conviction that was over seven years old at the time of the application for employment. For nonviolent felonies less than seven years old, the state would not bar employment at schools. The bill would instead provide for local control of the issue, and school districts would be able to make their own rules for hiring. The seven-year waiting period would begin at the end of the sentence, whether involving jail time or probation.

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Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyerHaving a criminal conviction can impair your ability to get a job, rent an apartment, and receive funding for school. One study found that only 12.5 percent of employers would accept an application from someone with a criminal record. However, an Illinois law restricts when an employer may ask an applicant if they have a criminal record. Being convicted of a crime makes finding a job difficult, but not impossible, and the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act seeks to assist those convicted find employment.

Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act

As of January 1, 2015, the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act (“the Act”) is in effect. The Act seeks to help qualified applicants get job interviews by restricting employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal record until the applicant receives an interview. Below are some key provisions of the Act.

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