Can I get my Criminal Record Expunged?
According to the last census taken, 1 in 4 Americans have a criminal record in their background. That comes to 65 million Americans that will have difficulty finding employment or securing a new lease for an apartment. Employers and Landlords will unfairly exclude these individuals, regardless of the type of criminal offense in their criminal history.
This is why it is absolutely critical, to do whatever it takes to Expunge or Seal your Criminal Record. Many individuals believe that if they already have a job, there's really no pressing need to have their criminal history Expunged. However, if they are unexpectedly dismissed by their employer, they will have two major obstacles to overcome:
(1) Find a new job.
(2) Find a new job with a criminal record.
In Illinois, you are eligible to expunge most non-traffic misdemeanor offenses from your criminal record, as long as you do not have any convictions.
If you were placed on court supervision, received a deferred prosecution, first offender probation, or your case was dismissed, or you were found not guilty at Trial, you may be eligible to have your criminal arrest record expunged.
If you were placed on Probation, Conditional Discharge, received a Judgment of Conviction, or was sentenced to the Illinois Department of Corrections for any criminal offense, you are generally not eligible to have your criminal record expunged.
There are many nuances to Illinois Expungement Laws and you really should consult with an experienced Criminal Attorney to determine if you are eligible to have your criminal records expunged.
Even if you are not eligible to have your records Expunged, you may still be eligible to have your records Sealed. If your record is Sealed, only a Court Order from a Judge can "Unseal" your criminal record.
In any event, there really is no reason why you should have anything on your criminal history if you can avoid it!
As a final note, many individuals believe that the Expungement process moves very quickly. The time it takes from your Petition to Expunge being filed and having the Order of Expungement being entered in your case, can take up to four months. Even after the Order of Expungement is entered, it can take the Illinois State Police another four months to remove your criminal record from their database.
By thinking ahead, you can move to have your record expunged and really start anew with a "Clean Slate" without worrying if prospective employers will find out about your past criminal record.
For more information about Expungements and Sealing, visit us on the web at:
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