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DuPage County expungement attorney

One of the most common questions people ask after they have come into contact with the criminal justice system is whether or not their criminal record can be cleared. Even if you were not actually convicted of a crime, you can have a criminal record if you were arrested or charged with a crime. This record can affect future employment opportunities, housing availability, and other people’s opinion of you. Depending on the circumstances of your case, expunging your criminal record may be an option for you.

Do I Qualify for Expungement?

Typically, the most favorable method of clearing your criminal record is expungement. If you are able to have your record expunged, your criminal record will be erased, as if it never existed. Because of this, there are certain requirements that your record must meet to qualify for expungement. Entries on a criminal record that qualify for expungement include:

  • Arrests that did not result in a conviction

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IL defense lawyerHaving a criminal record can affect various aspects of your life, including job opportunities, housing options, and even admission into many schools. Even if a charge is dismissed, it can remain on your record. Fortunately, people with criminal records have the ability to clear their record through the process of expungement.

An expungement is a court-ordered process that erases the legal record of an arrest or criminal conviction in the eyes of the law, which can vastly improve your ability to get a job, qualify for a mortgage, or gain admission to an educational institution. Once an arrest or criminal conviction is expunged, it no longer needs to be disclosed on job or housing applications by the person who was arrested or convicted. A record that has been expunged is destroyed, and it will not show up in public records inspections or background searches performed by potential employers and other companies or institutions.

Not Eligible for Expungement?

In cases where a record is not eligible for expungement, it may be eligible for record sealing. Record sealing does not erase a record the way that an expungement does, but instead keeps the record confidential. When a record is sealed, it will not show up in common employment background checks, but may be available for law enforcement and in a few other select circumstances. Various misdemeanor convictions, along with certain felony offenses, are eligible for sealing.

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Illinois criminal defense attorneyAn arrest or conviction on your criminal record can have a dramatic impact your personal life. It can reduce your employment opportunities and may even limit your housing options. Certain charges (particularly those related to driving while under the influence) can also increase your insurance rates and may have other collateral consequences. Thankfully, you may be eligible for an expungement of your record. Learn more about this option and how an experienced criminal defense lawyer can assist with the process.

What is Expungement?

At its core, expungement is a legal process in which your criminal charge or conviction is “sealed” from the eyes of the public. It means that most employers, landlords, insurance companies, and the public are unable to see the sealed arrests, charges, and/or convictions. However, not every record, charge, arrest, or conviction can be expunged. Instead, there are certain requirements that a person must meet to have their records sealed.

Eligibility for Expungement

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney, clearing your criminal recordIf you have a criminal record, or even a simple arrest, it may be holding you back from your life goals. You may be ineligible for a job that you would like or you may have been denied access to a rental or mortgage agreement. If you are having difficulties in everyday life due to what is being seen on your public criminal record, you may consider expunging or sealing your records.

Step by Step

The expunging and sealing laws were created in order to make clearing a record accessible to the public. Therefore, so long as you qualify based on the description previously discussed in part one of this series, and you follow the guidelines, you should not have many troubles in getting your case expunged. The steps are as follows:

  • Fill Out the Forms: There are necessary forms for filling out and filing to start the process. Each county has their own set of forms, which can be either generic or specialized. The proper forms that must be completed are the ones that belong to the county in which the charges were created. These may be obtained from a lawyer or the circuit clerk.

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DuPage County criminal defense lawyer, sealing records, expungementEveryone makes mistakes. Some mistakes can change the direction of our future and potentially haunt us for the rest of our lives. We may even look back after an incident has occurred and wish that we could erase it. Thankfully, the court system has the option to seal or even expunge records. Although these options may not be available in all circumstances, expungement and sealing records have given people a second chance at a better future.

What Can a Criminal Record Affect?

Aside from shaking your self confidence a bit, a criminal record can affect several aspects of your life. Even if you are not convicted of a crime, an arrest and investigation is still a matter of public record and can show up in any background check.

Areas where a negative mark on your background check can effect you include:

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