If someone you love has a criminal record, it can be tough to see them being denied employment or tenancy. It’s hard to watch your loved one suffer under the weight of an old criminal record – but there’s good news. You may be able to help your spouse, significant other or other loved one have his or her criminal record expunged in Cook County.
How to Help a Loved One Get a Criminal Record Expunged in Cook County
First, know that you’re not alone. There are hundreds of thousands of people with criminal records in Cook County, so that means there are people like you—people who care—all over Chicago and the surrounding areas.
Your loved one will need to get his or her criminal record first. From there, the two of you can connect with a Chicago expungement attorney. Your lawyer can help you determine whether your loved one is eligible for expungement or sealing (many misdemeanors and even a handful of felonies are eligible for some type of criminal record removal).
Providing Support for Your Loved One
During expungement or sealing proceedings, the State’s Attorney has the option of objecting to the petition. This can happen if he or she feels that your loved one doesn’t deserve the fresh start that expungement or sealing can provide. In the event of an objection, the attorney that you’ve hired will be able to go to bat for your loved one, explaining the circumstances and making it clear why a fresh start is necessary.
If the judge ultimately decides in your loved one’s favor, an order will be sent to the appropriate offices (those that have the criminal record on file) to properly dispose of the record.
How Long Does Expungement or Sealing Take in Cook County?
Expungement and sealing criminal records in Cook County isn’t an overnight process. In fact, it can take quite some time. It’s important that you support your loved one and make sure that he or she stays positive. A good attitude can make a huge difference in your everyday life; besides, with a talented attorney on your team, your loved one has a fighting chance at starting over with a clean slate.Matt Fakhoury