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Posted on in Expungement

expungement, record sealing, Illinois criminal defense attorneyFor millions of people, the sting of a criminal conviction lasts far beyond the period of incarceration or probation. A tainted record creates a multitude of hurdles in many situations, such as finding a job, finding a place to live, pursuing certain professional occupations, voting in elections, and carrying a firearm. Fortunately, because of some updates that took effect this year, Illinois has one of the more liberal expungement laws in the country, meaning that more people can put their pasts behind them and move on with their lives.

Eligibility

The Criminal Identification Act is essentially designed to effectively rehabilitate first-time offenders. So, in most cases, persons with prior convictions are ineligible for expungement. That being said, some veterans who were convicted of some Class 3 or Class 4 felonies may be eligible.

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Posted on in Criminal Law

expunction, expungement, sealing, Illinois criminal defense attorneyA previous post discussed some informal and semi-formal ways to deal with the fallout from a criminal conviction. But in some cases, there is a way to either bury a criminal record or eliminate it altogether.

Once again, the relevant law is the Criminal Identification Act, and it is one of the broadest laws of its kind anywhere in the country. The underlying theory is that non-violent, first-time offenders should not face a lifetime of negative consequences, such as public prejudice and trouble finding a job or a place to live, due to a poor choice.

Pardon

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Posted on in Criminal Law

expungement, sealing, Illinois criminal defense attorneyIllinois law provides several avenues for individuals to erase their criminal history records, or at least limit the negative effects of these records. In fact, after recent amendments that took effect in January 2013, The Land of Lincoln has one of the more liberal expungement and sealing procedures in the United States.

The relevant law is the Criminal Identification Act. But despite the statute’s expansion, many people may remain ineligible for expungement or sealing. Fortunately, some other options are available.

Deferred Adjudication

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expungement, background check, criminal record, Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyA trip to the grocery store leads to arrest, expungement and a $40 million lawsuit.

One evening last April, Elizabeth Daly, a student at the University of Virginia, and two of her friends went inside a grocery store and purchased some food items, including a case of canned sparkling water. No alcoholic beverages were purchased and none of the three had been drinking alcohol. As the three got back into Daly’s vehicle, they were confronted by two agents from the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The agents began banging on the windows of the car, and yelled at the three to keep the vehicle turned off and to roll down the windows. The two agents flashed their badges, but Daly and her friends could not make out where they were from. The car was then surrounded by five more agents. At this point, Daly called 911 from her cell phone and handed it to her friend. The three girls weren’t sure the agents were actual law enforcement. The three were frightened, and Daly was shaking and confused what to do at this point. Suddenly, one of the agents drew a gun and another tried smashing one of the windows with a metal flashlight. Daly drove off with every intention of driving to the closest police station. She stopped at a red light and the 911 operator, still on the line, confirmed the agents were from the ABC. Police arrived and brought Daly to the station. While at the station, one of the ABC agents filed a criminal complaint against Daly, accusing her of assaulting two of the agents and also for failing to stop when ordered to do so. Daly spent the night in jail. Two months later, all charges were dropped and in October, the incident was expunged from her record. Daly, who now suffers from intense anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and a tremor in her hand, recently filed a $40 million lawsuit against the ABC. The lawsuit says that Daly "does not and never has consumed alcohol or abused drugs, and/or her parents, on her behalf, have incurred significant legal, medical and other costs, and will continue to do so in the future due to the malicious, intentional, and/or grossly negligent actions of the defendants.. . . The agents acted with actual malice, out of embarrassment and disgrace for their own intentional and grossly negligent acts and charged [Daly] with three felonies and did so out of anger and personal spite." Despite the charges being dropped, if Daly had not had the incident expunged from her record, it would have still shown up as public record, where it could have been seen by potential future employers, family, business associates or friends. If you have prior criminal charges that were dropped or you were found not guilty, contact an experienced Cook County criminal defense attorney today to discuss how those charges can be expunged from your record.

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