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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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Arlington Heights Drug Crimes Lawyer

In recent years, many cities and states have initiated the clearing of marijuana-related charges and convictions from the records of thousands of people. For example, San Francisco is currently in the process of clearing all misdemeanor marijuana convictions dating back to 1975 and will also wipe arrest records of all those arrested on related charges. 

Illinois may soon follow suit with a similar law that will clear low-level marijuana convictions with the permission of a judge.

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IL defense lawyerYou do not have to be convicted of a crime to have a criminal record - if you have been arrested or charged with a crime, you have a criminal record. Criminal records are public, meaning that anybody can see them, including friends, family, and employers. If you meet certain criteria, you can have your record expunged or sealed, meaning your slate could potentially be cleansed.

Expungement vs. Sealing

Though the processes to get your records expunged or sealed are very similar, they are not the same. Expungement is when your criminal record is either destroyed or returned to you, almost as if the events in the record never happened. The public nor police or the government can see anything on your record. Sealing is the process of hiding your record from the public but does not erase your record completely.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-23_20171215-045512_1.jpgHaving a conviction or even an arrest on your record can make it difficult to get a good job, obtain a loan or rent an apartment. However, under the right circumstances and with the right help, it is possible to have your record expunged, which allows a person to live life without having past mistakes hold them back.

Do You Qualify?   

The first thing a person should know is that the state of Illinois does not offer record expungement of all offenses or convictions. Unfortunately, there are some things that will follow you throughout life regardless of how long ago they occurred. So what are some of the details that might impact one’s ability to seek and obtain destruction of past criminal records?

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expungement, Arlington Heights record sealing lawyerApproximately 30,000 people are released from Illinois prisons each year; most want to return to society, find a job, and support their families. Unfortunately, the current state of the Illinois justice system leaves them with few options and some very large hurdles. This can increase their risk of recidivism (re-offending) and eventually land them back in prison. Before any of this can improve, serious reform must be made, especially in regard to future opportunities and getting a fresh start.

Time Served Does Not Equal Debt Paid

When it comes to those who are convicted of a crime, time served does not usually equal a debt paid – at least not with the way the justice system is now. They may be banned from renting property in certain areas, denied educational loans, banned from receiving public assistance, and are often barred from working in certain professions. And, even if they are actually able to work in a particular field or at a particular job, they may have a difficult time convincing a potential employer to hire them. In fact, many are filtered out before they ever even receive an interview.

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