Tag Archives: sealing criminal records

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 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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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 attorneys , expungement and sealing, criminal recordThe worst decision on the worst day of someone’s life should not define who he or she is nor define the opportunities he or she has for the rest of the individual's life. People with a criminal record or who have been arrested may have a past that unfairly obstructs their future. The stigma associated after a conviction, or simply being arrested for a crime, can prevent them from getting jobs, access to certain housing, or even admission into some schools.

Illinois has a process by which an individual can petition to have his or her records expunged or sealed. Knowing the difference between the two and which one you qualify for can be an important step to getting your life back on track.

Expungement

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expungementA criminal record can be the proverbial kiss of death for many aspirations and life options, and in Illinois, you will have a criminal record even if the charges against you are ultimately dropped. However, in certain situations, there is a way by which your record can be expunged. If you are able to do this, you may be able to avoid possible negative consequences in the future.

Procedures

Expungement proceedings are available to those who have (1) never been convicted of a criminal offense; (2) have had a conviction reversed, vacated, or pardoned by the governor; or (3) had their conviction recommended for expungement by the Prisoner Review Board. If you believe you are able to have your record expunged, there are specific procedures that must be followed, and they usually differ by county. One of the most commonly known is the waiting period - depending on the fact pattern, a person must wait anywhere between two and five years before filing to expunge an offense.

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