If you’ve ever been arrested, you have a criminal record.
If you’ve ever been charged with a crime, you have a criminal record.
If you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, served a sentence (whether it’s probation, supervision, fines, or time behind bars), you have a criminal record.
Unfortunately, that means tens of thousands of people in Chicago and the surrounding communities have criminal records.
And those criminal records are far from private.
The worst part? Nearly anyone can gain access to your criminal record—and even worse, they can use it to deny you employment, credit, or even a place to live.
Who Can See Your Criminal Record in Chicago and the Surrounding Communities?
Typically, in order to perform a criminal background check, employers, lenders and others must have your permission. In most cases, you’ll have to sign a form to give your consent.
However, employers, lenders and others can make your consent to a criminal background check a condition of giving you a job, allowing you to borrow money, or otherwise doing what you need them to do.
What’s On Your Criminal Record?
If you don’t know what, exactly, is on your criminal record, it may be a good idea to get in touch with an attorney who can conduct a criminal background check for you.
Your lawyer will be able to pull arrest records, convictions and other documentation (otherwise known as your RAP sheet, or “record of arrests and prosecutions”) so you know what potential employers, lenders and landlords will see if they conduct a check on you.
Many people actually qualify for criminal record expungement or sealing. With expungement, your criminal record is completely destroyed; it no longer exists, so nobody will be able to see it in the future. With criminal record sealing, your record is made private; it’s only accessible to law enforcement agencies, some employers (particularly those in the healthcare field), and the military.
Are You Interested in Clearing Your Criminal Record?
If you’re thinking about clearing your criminal record through expungement or sealing, we may be able to help you. You can find out whether you’re eligible for expungement here, or you can call us at 847-920-4540 for your free expungement or sealing case evaluation.