If you have been arrested in Chicago or one of the surrounding suburbs, you have a criminal record. This is true even if the case was eventually dismissed. The charges will stay on your record unless a judge orders your record sealed or expunged. Only certain crimes are eligible to be sealed or expunged under Illinois law.
In order to get your criminal record sealed or expunged, there are several steps you must take.
First, get your criminal background report. If you were arrested, you definitely have a criminal record. Obtain information for all cases, including county, arresting agency, case number, date of arrest, and how the case ended.
Next, it must be determined whether you are eligible for your record to be sealed or expunged. You cannot expunge your record if you were convicted of a crime. However, even with a conviction in your background you may nevertheless be eligible to seal all or part of your record from public view.
After determining if you’re eligible for an expungement or sealing, you must file the proper petitions with the court and the filing fee. These vary depending on the county in which the petition is filed. XpungeChicago will do the filing for you and give proper notice to the Clerk of the Circuit Court and the Prosecutors.
The State’s Attorney then has a chance to either object to your petition to expunge or seal or inform the court that they will not object. If there is no objection, your expungement or sealing will most likely be granted by the court.
If the State’s Attorney objects, they usually state the grounds of their objection. This could occur if you have a long criminal record or if your crimes were of a certain type, such as sexual abuse or murder. In such a case, you may be entitled to a hearing. The Law Offices of M. Fakhoury can represent you at the hearing and present supporting evidence and witnesses that your record should be sealed or expunged.
If the order is eventually granted, it must be sent to both the Illinois State Police as well as the agency that arrested you.
As you may imagine, this is not a quick process – it may take several months for the sealing or expungement to be granted. In some complex cases, the process could take longer.
In today’s economy, it can be difficult to find a job even without a criminal record. If you have a criminal record, finding a job can become exponentially more difficult. If you have a criminal record that you need sealed or expunged, contact Expungement Attorney Matt Fakhoury – A Former Expungement Prosecutor in Chicago.