Getting charged for a criminal offense in Illinois may create a permanent criminal record. Such a record remains even if a judge drops your criminal charges and is available for public view. Your employer, school board, or loved ones can view your criminal past.
Employers, educational institutions, and credit agencies regularly conduct background checks. They may deny you several privileges and opportunities after viewing your records. Their decisions may affect your ability to earn an income or get a scholarship.
To have your records erased or hidden, you have to file a request to expunge or seal criminal records with the court, and a judge must approve your request. At the Hirsch Law Group, our Illinois expungement attorneys can help give you a clean slate.
We know the consequences of having a criminal record and their impact on your life. So, our knowledgeable Illinois expungement lawyers will handle the entire expungement process.
The expungement of your criminal record is the complete removal of the crime from your record. Arrests and court supervision are erased from your criminal history like they never happened. Therefore, they will no longer be available or accessible to the public.
You may be eligible to have your criminal record expunged in the following circumstances:
The state has dismissed your criminal charges.
You were arrested by law enforcement but never charged.
You were sentenced to court supervision and have completed the supervision.
You were sentenced to probation and have completed your probationary period.
The court found you not guilty of the offense. You were acquitted, or your charges dismissed.
Your conviction was vacated or reversed.
If you are unsure of your eligibility for expungement, you may consider talking to a criminal defense lawyer from the Hirsch Law Group.
You may request record sealing (hiding) if you are not eligible for expungement. By sealing your record, the public cannot access or view those records. But, a few government agencies or the court may still have access to your criminal record. The following records are eligible for sealing:
Arrests resulting in release without charges being filed.
Arrests or charges resulting in acquittal or dismissal.
Arrests or charges resulting in criminal convictions.
Arrests or charges resulting in felony convictions, unless specifically excluded under the law.
Arrests or charges resulting in first-offender probation under specified acts.
Arrests or charges resulting in orders of supervision that have been successfully completed.
Some examples of sealable offenses include theft, driving under the influence, and minor traffic offenses. Nevertheless, you have to wait a few years (generally three years) after completing your final sentence to apply for the sealing of your criminal record.
If you are not eligible for expungement or sealing, you may apply for a pardon from the Governor. A pardon will not erase or hide your conviction. But, if you receive a pardon authorizing expungement, you may apply to have your record expunged.
You will not qualify for expungement or sealing if any of the following are present:
Pending criminal charges.
Sentences, including parole, probation, or court supervision, that need to be completed.
Any eligible court supervision and qualified probation where the waiting period has yet to pass.
Life after a drug conviction is difficult. If you were convicted of a federal drug crime, you might wonder if it is possible to expunge a drug conviction. All states have different laws for expunging crimes under state law. But, most federal convictions are not eligible for expungement.
According to 18 U.S.C. 3607(c), individuals convicted of a minor offense under the Controlled Substances Act can have their record expunged. Therefore, federal offenders who meet the age criteria may have their criminal records expunged.
Consider speaking to a Chicago criminal defense attorney from Hirsch Law Group to learn if your criminal record is eligible for expungement.
The expungement or sealing process may take a few months or even a year in some cases. The Illinois State Police, state’s attorney, and arresting agencies have sixty days to object to your request once it is received.
The duration of the process also depends on the court’s schedule and how busy they are. If the judge is busy, reviewing your request may take a while. Additionally, law enforcement agencies may take up to sixty days when clearing your criminal record.
Clearing your criminal record may be a complex process, especially if you are unsure of your eligibility for expungement. Depending on your conviction, the waiting time for bringing an expungement claim may be lengthy. So, it is important that your claim is filed correctly to avoid dismissal.
An expungement lawyer at the Hirsch Law Group can make the process easier by assisting you with the following:
Reviewing your records to determine whether you qualify for expungement or sealing.
Collecting all the necessary documents for filing an expungement petition.
Assisting you through the filing process and ensuring that it is filed correctly.
Filing an expungement request on your behalf and representing you at your hearing.
Presenting a solid case for the court to show that you deserve the expungement.
The expungement of your criminal record can help you avoid the restrictions on criminals living in Illinois. But, expungement laws are complex, and the process can be confusing. So, hiring an experienced Illinois expungement lawyer from the Hirsch Law Group can be an excellent move for your case.
Expunging and sealing a criminal record requires a knowledgeable lawyer who understands court procedures. This is because various courthouses in Illinois have their own set of rules and procedures to be followed.
We can help prevent your petition from getting rejected due to a violation of any court rules. Our lawyers are familiar with the expungement process. We can precisely follow all procedures to give you a better chance of obtaining a clean record.
Our law firm is prepared to argue and advocate for your rights in court. We can professionally represent you throughout your case if a hearing is required. For more information about expungement and sealing, contact us today!
We represent clients for expungements and other criminal matters throughout Illinois.