To successfully expunge an arrest or conviction, you need the help of an experienced attorney. Recent changes in Illinois criminal record expungement law may prove helpful to your situation. Call us today at (312) 466-9466 to find out how Steven Hunter can aid your expungement.
When a person is arrested, it generates records that are maintained by the clerk of the court and police agencies. Often, these records are accessible to the public, including potential employers.
It is almost always in a person's best interest to expunge or seal his or her record whenever possible. Expungement is an erasure of the record. Police and clerks delete their records, and anyone doing a name search with the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County will see the words "no record found" once a record is expunged.
Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for expungement. Any person with even a single conviction on their record cannot expunge any of their record. A conviction means a plea of guilty or a finding of guilty after trial that results in a sentence of incarceration, probation (except for certain first offender probations for drug crimes), conditional discharge. Most sentences of supervision, or first offender drug probations are expungeable. However, some charges, such as DUI or sex offenses against minors as defined in 20 LCS 2630/5(g), are not expungeable. If you received Supervision and are eligible, you must wait two years from the end of your sentence to apply. For example, if you received one year of Supervision, you can apply in three years. Certain offenses, such as Retail Theft, have a five year waiting period.
If you qualify for expungement, our office can help you through the process. We can prepare the petition for you, help you assemble the supporting documents, and file on your behalf. If a hearing before the Presiding Judge is necessary, we can represent you there. However, most of the time an expungement is granted without a hearing in 6 to 8 months.
If you do not qualify for an expungement, you may wish to pursue a Petition to Seal your arrest or conviction. When a conviction is sealed, a judge orders that the records be sealed or unavailable to employers and members of the public. However, the record is maintained and not destroyed, as it is with an expungement. Not every offense is eligible for sealing. Generally, you must have a misdemeanor, though a few Class 4 felonies qualify. A number of misdemeanors, such as domestic battery and a number of sex offenses do not qualify.
Should you qualify to have your record sealed, our office can assist you in preparing the petition, obtaining the necessary records, and filing. We also have experience litigating motions to reconsider when petitions have been denied. Call us today to arrange an office consultation to learn how we can help.