Having any criminal record at all can have a serious impact on your life. Even if your conviction was relatively minor and happened a long time ago, you may feel as if it is still following you. Every time you apply for a job, or a lease, or a school, you may have to answer uncomfortable questions or face outright rejection. You served your sentence and have stayed out of trouble sense - but it probably feels like you are still being punished. Fortunately, Illinois courts may allow what is called “expungement,” meaning they essentially erase the charge from your public record. If you are interested in getting your life back through expungement, you will want to speak to an experienced attorney who can help determine if you are eligible.
Not every conviction can be expunged. The goal of expungement is to allow non-dangerous offenders who made a one-time mistake a second chance at a clean slate. Because courts must balance the goals of protecting the public by keeping records of individuals who may be dangerous open and helping minor offenders avoid lifelong punishment, only certain types of charges can be dismissed. Expungement may be an option in the following cases:
Misdemeanor - If you were found guilty of a misdemeanor and given probation or another type of court-supervised release, you are probably eligible for expungement. Domestic violence and order of protection violations, DUI, and any sex offense are exceptions and cannot be expunged.
Drug probation - Many Illinois residents have struggled with addiction. Courts understand that people do recover and go on to lead productive lives. If your conviction was for a possession charge and you received a qualifying type of probation such as first offender probation or were put in a treatment-oriented program, it could be expunged.
No conviction - It makes extremely little sense to keep punishing a person who was never found guilty by keeping a record of their charges public. If your charges were dismissed, or you were found not guilty, or you successfully completed a program to have your charges dismissed, you can most likely have the record expunged.
Records that are not expungable may still be eligible for sealing. Sealing a criminal record has largely the same effect as an expungement for practical purposes. Employers and landlords will not see a sealed record, but sealing offers less protection than expungement.
Expungement can open doors. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, may be able to help you take back your life through the expungement or sealing of your criminal record. Our experienced Arlington Heights expungement lawyers will build you the best possible case for having your record expunged. When you are ready to speak to an attorney, call 847-253-3400 for a free consultation.
Client accused of burglary was acquitted due to our skillful cross examination of eye witness identification.
Client accused of causing the death of another while driving under the influence - Acquitted.
Client accused of first degree murder - Acquitted.
Client accused of embezzlement - Charges never filed.
Hundreds of Secretary of State hearings for Drivers License Reinstatement - Won.