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Clearing Your Name: Expungement and Sealing Your Records

Posted on in Expungement

Expunging your record means the physical records of your criminal history will be destroyed or returned to you and that your name will be removed from any official index or database.

Sealing your record means records will be physically and electronically maintained, but they will be unavailable to the public without a court order.  Your name will be removed from any official index or public record; however, law enforcement agencies and the courts will still have access to the records, as will a few employers and other entities allowed by law.

Charlie expunge

Whether you can get your record expunged or sealed is dependent upon your entire criminal record. Only those individuals who have never been convicted of a criminal offense or municipal ordinance violation are eligible to expunge records. If you have been convicted of a criminal offense or a municipal ordinance violation, your record may still be eligible for sealing, but you cannot expunge any records, regardless of the outcome of the individual case.

You must have the following information for every case:

  • The case number;
  • The date of your arrest;
  • The law enforcement agency that arrested you;
  • The charges that were brought against you, if any.
  • The "disposition," or final outcome of each case.
  • The date each case was completed. For example, if you were sentenced to probation, you must know the date your probation ended.
  • The "chief legal officer of the unit of local government that affected the arrest."
  • The State’s Attorney or prosecutor that prosecuted your case.

If you hope to expunge or seal a blemish on your record, you should contact an Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney who can help you compile this information, walk you through the process, and represent you if necessary in court.

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