What is Expungement in Illinois?
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:
- You were arrested but not convicted;
- You were convicted but it was later reversed or vacated;
- You were pardoned by the governor; or
- You are an honorably discharged veteran.
You cannot have the following types of offenses expunged:
- Minor traffic offenses;
- Court supervision or qualified probation that you have not completed;
- Reckless driving or DUI; or
- Sexual offenses involving a minor.
What is the Expungement Process?
The path to full record expungement can be complicated, which is why it is best to secure legal counsel from an experienced expungement attorney. The first step is to obtain copies of your criminal records. If you do not already have copies, your lawyer can contact the Illinois State Police or the circuit clerk in the county(s) in which your charges were filed.
Once you have the records, your attorney can determine if there are offenses eligible for expungement. It is possible only some of your records may be expunged while others cannot, but any removal can be helpful.
Various forms must be completed, including the Request to Expunge & Impound and/or Seal Criminal Records. Your attorney can ensure all forms are completed correctly and with all applicable information. Any mistake can negate the filing and you will have to start over.
How Does Expungement Help?
A criminal record can be a burden, even if the charges are misdemeanors. Potential employers or businesses with whom you attempt to volunteer may run a background check and refuse to hire you or allow you to be a part of their organization. With an expungement, you can get a clean slate and no longer worry when your records are going to be checked.
Contact a Naperville Expungement Lawyer
If you think you may be able to have your criminal records expunged, the Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC, can help. Call an experienced St. Charles criminal defense attorney to discuss the details of your situation. Call 630-232-1780 to set up a free consultation today.