Tag Archives: expungment

St. Charles drug crimes lawyer

Illinois is possibly on the verge of legalizing marijuana for recreational use for adults age 21 and older, perhaps as early as Jan. 1, 2020. This would mean residents of the state could possess up to 30 grams of cannabis and non-residents could have up to 15 grams. The decriminalization could also lead to expungement for certain marijuana possession convictions that were made based on the current laws.

Marijuana Possession Penalties 

Currently, if a person is caught with 10 grams or less of marijuana, it is considered a civil violation, which means no jail time and a maximum fine of $200. A first offense with 10-30 grams is a misdemeanor, which could result in a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. Anything over 30 grams is a felony, with conviction resulting in anywhere from a year to 30 years in jail and fines up to $25,000.

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St.Charles Juvenile Crimes LawyerIf you were arrested or convicted of any crimes as a minor, then you may qualify for juvenile expungement. Although not all crimes can be expunged, juvenile expungement will wipe your record clean of any crime you committed as a minor. The public will not be able to see these crimes, giving you a clean slate for adulthood. Your juvenile record may still be available to some government organizations or to employers in certain industries, such as law enforcement, education, childcare, or the healthcare industry. Most employers will not have access to the follies of your youth, enabling you to find quality employment.

How to Begin the Process

You will need to get copies of your juvenile records and ensure that all the cases are closed. Then, you and your attorney can review the documents and determine whether your records can be expunged. If so, there are forms that can be filled out and filed with the Circuit Clerk.

To expunge a Class A misdemeanor or felony, it must have been at least two years since the case ended, including the subsequent sentence and probation, if applicable. If you were found guilty of first-degree murder or a felony sex offense, those charges cannot be expunged. If you were convicted of crimes in another state, they would not qualify for expungement in Illinois.

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crimeOn August 3rd, Governor Pat Quinn authorized a series of laws that will help reformed ex-felons get back on their feet.  State Senator Patricia Van Pelt, who sponsored the change, said that there are four million ex-felons in Illinois who would be assisted by these bills.  That number accounts for 40 percent of the adult population in the state.  The hope is that these new laws will allow ex-offenders become contributing members of society. The first law establishes a new tax credit for Illinois employers who hire ex-convicts.  Changes include an increase from the previous tax credit which maxed at $600 per employee to a new maximum of $1,500.  The old law made the tax credit only available if a company hired an ex-offender within one year of being released.  Now the time frame has increased to three years to allow for more opportunities to secure employment.  The credit can also be used for up to five years. During the press conference which was held during the signing Governor Quinn explained the reasons behind the change.  “Formerly incarcerated individuals should not face a life sentence of no job prospects and no opportunities to better themselves just because they have served time in prison.  These new laws will help them get back on their feet, contribute to their communities and keep one offense from becoming a life-long barrier.” Quinn also signed other laws to help those facing trial for breaking the law.  New legislation will offer prosecutors and judges different options for the sentencing of non-violent offenders.  It was referred to as the “second chance probation” program.  Any conviction of a non-violent crime can be erased from a defendant’s record with the successful completion of a probationary period of at least two years. Also with an eye to helping people restore their lives, another law was signed to expedite the expungement process.  But these laws are not supposed to be free passes.  Probationary terms still need to be served to ensure a transition into a stable job, educational assistance and a better life. If you have been charged with any crime, it is important to have an advocate to help you.  Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in DuPage County who has a background in clearing criminal records.  Don’t waste any time before reestablishing your life.

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