Tag Archives: expungement

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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St. Charles juvenile crime defense attorney

Did you know that a person’s brain is not fully developed until he or she is approximately 25 years old? Scientific research has shown that a teenager’s brain functions differently than an adult brain. This may be one reason why some young people are more likely to make decisions based on emotions or impulses instead of weighing the long-term consequences of their actions. This type of reckless behavior can lead to mistakes that result in being charged with a crime. However, in certain situations, juveniles charged or convicted of criminal offenses may be eligible for a second chance. Criminal record expungement is one way that a teen can clear his or her name and move on to a brighter future after an arrest or a criminal offense.

Some Juvenile Offenses Are Expunged Automatically

Adult offenses and juvenile offenses are treated differently in the Illinois criminal justice system. In some circumstances, a juvenile record is expunged automatically. Illinois offenses that may be automatically expunged one year after the arrest include:

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St. Charles criminal expungement and sealing attorneyEveryone makes mistakes from time to time, and that does not make someone a bad person. Individuals who have arrests or criminal convictions on their records deserve a second chance to live a law-abiding life. Unfortunately, having a criminal record can sometimes prevent a person from gaining the education and skills needed for lawful employment. Some employers outright refuse to hire a person if they have a criminal record – even if the record only shows a minor offense. Obtaining quality housing can also be hindered by a criminal record. If you have been charged or convicted of a criminal offense in Illinois, you should know that you may qualify for record expungement or sealing.

When Can a Criminal Record Be Expunged or Sealed?

You may have heard the terms “expungement” and “sealing” when it comes to erasing a criminal record. If a record is sealed, the information about your criminal charges is hidden from a criminal background check, but police and other government personnel will still be able to view your criminal records. Crimes that involve cruelty to animals, orders of protection, or offenses that require you to register as a sex offender are typically not eligible to be sealed.

When a record is expunged, the offense is completely deleted from your record. You will most likely be eligible for expungement if you were arrested for a crime but never convicted. In some cases, you may be able to have your criminal record expunged if you were convicted of a crime and have completed the sentence, as long as you have not committed any subsequent offenses during a certain waiting period. Similar to record sealing, you are not able to expunge records that include sex crimes involving a minor.

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St. Charles expungement attorney

Sometimes, a person can make a mistake, but it does not have to impact the rest of his or her life. In Illinois, there may be some arrests, convictions, offenses, or charges on someone's criminal record that may be eligible for expungement or sealing. By removing eligible reports from his or her police record, he or she may find it easier to obtain employment, housing, or higher education. The process of having a criminal record erased or hidden may take some time, but it can be worth it in the long run. If you have been charged or convicted of a crime, having an experienced expungement lawyer on your side is an important first step. 

Expunged Versus Sealed

The first step in cleaning up your criminal record is to understand the difference between having a recorded criminal event expunged or having it sealed. Expungement means that the crime is erased completely from your record as if it never occurred. A sealed offense is one that is still on your record, but it is hidden so no one can see it on a criminal background check. However, law enforcement and other criminal justice personnel will still have access to the details of that offense.

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Illinois drug charges expungement attorney

It is no secret that cannabis laws are changing throughout the country, with some states legalizing the sale and use of marijuana, while others continue to incriminate those found in possession of the substance. At the end of May, Illinois joined many other states by legalizing marijuana. While the drug will soon be considered legal, there will be a variety of restrictions and regulations in place. The following are frequently asked questions and answers to act as a comprehensive guide for Illinois residents.

When and Where Can I Buy Marijuana?

Consumers will be able to purchase cannabis for recreational use starting on January 1, 2020. The legal recreational sale process will begin solely through medical marijuana dispensaries in January 2020 but will expand to new stores, processors, cultivators, and transporters in mid-2020 as the state grants additional licenses. Illinois will allow up to 295 stores to operate by 2022; however, county and municipal governments will be allowed to decide whether to allow such businesses to operate in their designated area.

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