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Rolling Meadows, IL expungement lawyer

Having a criminal record can make impact your life negatively in many ways. It can be much more difficult to rent a house or apartment, pass a background check for potential employment, or even obtain a loan or mortgage. You do not even have to be convicted of a crime to have a criminal record; if you have ever been arrested or charged with a crime, you have a criminal record. These records are public, meaning anyone who wants to see your record can, including friends and family. Fortunately, you have options when it comes to clearing your criminal record in Illinois.

Expungement Versus Sealing

There are two main ways you can clear your criminal record in Illinois: through expungement or sealing. Although both methods are similar to each other, they do not produce the same exact result. Expungement results in your criminal records either being returned to you or being destroyed. This makes it as if you never had a criminal record at all and does not allow the police, government, or the public to view these records. If you seal your record, they are hidden from the public, but they are not erased. This means your records will still be visible to the government and to law enforcement.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_513221947.jpgThe justice system allows for a number of alternatives for offenders who, rather than serving jail time, can make amends for illegal behavior by taking part in a diversion program. One specific type of program is the Veterans Treatment Court, which was created to for those who served in a branch of the military who find themselves facing drug charges or a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest.

An Alternative to Incarceration

Set up similar to that of a drug treatment or mental health treatment court, the very first veterans court began hearing cases in 2008 in Buffalo, New York. These veterans courts have since been established throughout the country, including Illinois. These courts were designed specifically to hear cases involving United States veterans after it was determined that many offenses were the result of battles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

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