Tag Archives: expungement laws

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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St. Charles Illinois expungement attorney

People make mistakes, and if one or more of yours resulted in an arrest or conviction, having that stain on your criminal record can have a long-lasting effect, including a negative impact on your employability. The good news is, in some cases, you can apply for an expungement of your records. An expungement is the removal of an offense from your record. 

What Types of Cases May Be Expunged?

Your case may qualify for expungement if:

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Naperville Expungement Lawyer

Everyone makes mistakes at some point in their life, and for some, these mistakes can include breaking the law. When this occurs, you deserve a second chance. In Illinois, expungement and sealing are two ways you can get that opportunity. Expunging or sealing your criminal records lets you keep your past actions in the past and can prevent future employers from seeing any unfortunate mistake. There are limitations to what you can and cannot seal or expunge, however.

Differences Between Expungement and Sealing

While they are very similar, there are a few differences between record expungement and record sealing. If you qualify to have your criminal record expunged, the expungement will erase your arrests and/or court supervisions like they never happened. If you have your criminal record sealed, your record will be hidden from most of the public. Most employers are not able to see sealed records, though sealed criminal records will still be visible to law enforcement agencies.

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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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Naperville criminal defense attorneys, expunging juvenile recordsThe Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission released a study last month addressing the expungement and sharing of juvenile criminal records in the state. In its report, the Commission found that in Illinois, juvenile record sharing and loose expungement laws have proven to be an obstacle to Illinois residents in obtaining an education, jobs and housing.

The Report

The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission was formed by lawmakers to report to the governor and legislature about juvenile justice issues. The Commission released a study in April, entitled "Burdened for Life: The Myth of Juvenile Record Confidentiality and Expungement in Illinois." Tens of thousands of juveniles are arrested each year in Illinois, most for minor, non-violent offenses. However, the sharing of their records and the difficulty of getting records expunged often causes a permanent obstacle to rehabilitation.

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