Chicago Criminal Expungements Blog
Monday, June 20, 2016
"Can I Expunge My Record in Chicago?" (And Other Common Questions)
If you’ve ever been arrested, taken to jail or charged with a crime, you have a criminal record.
However, if you’re like many people, you don’t give it much thought until it gets in your way.
The harsh reality is that many people with criminal records—including people who don’t even get so much as a traffic ticket—have a tough time finding employment, getting a place to live, or even borrowing money because of mistakes they made in the past.
The good news? It may not have to be that way.
You could be Read more . . .
Monday, June 13, 2016
Which Crimes Do NOT Qualify for Criminal Record Sealing in Illinois?
In many cases, misdemeanor convictions can be sealed in Chicago, Rolling Meadows, Skokie and Schaumburg (as well as elsewhere in Illinois).
However, there are some crimes that qualify for neither sealing nor expungement—and if you have been convicted of one of them, your only other option is a pardon from the governor of Illinois, which is known as executive clemency.
What Crimes Do NOT Qualify for Sealing in Illinois?
Offenses that don’t Read more . . .
Tuesday, June 07, 2016
Criminal Record Expungement: The Basics
If you’re like many people living in Chicago or the suburbs who have a criminal record, it may not have ever crossed your mind that you could be eligible for a fresh start.
However, with Illinois laws on criminal record expungement, you could be.
What is Criminal Record Expungement?
Criminal record expungement is the process of erasing a person’s criminal arrests and, in some cases, convictions.
If you have your criminal record expunged, you will be able to move forward with your life as if it never even happened.
Why Should You Petition for Criminal Record Expungement?
The sad truth is that many employers, landlords and even lenders are hesitant to work with someone who has a criminal record.
Read more . . .
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
How Do I Find My Criminal Record in Chicago?
If you’re like many people who want to have their criminal records expunged or sealed, you’ve already done a little research on it (and if not, don’t worry—you can talk to a criminal record expungement lawyer in Chicago right now by calling 847-920-4540).
You may already know that you need your criminal record before you can petition the court to expunge or seal your record… but if you’re like most people, you’re wondering, “How do I find my criminal record?”
How Do I Find My Criminal Record?
There are two ways you can get your hands on your criminal record. First, you can have your Chicago expungement lawyer conduct a Read more . . .
Monday, May 23, 2016
Do I Qualify to Seal My Criminal Record in Illinois?
If you’re like many people who don’t qualify for expungement, you’ve wondered whether you may qualify for criminal record sealing. While expungement and sealing aren’t available to everyone, you may qualify for one or the other—and your best bet is to get in touch with a Chicago criminal record sealing lawyer who can help you get the answers you need.
Do I Qualify to Seal My Criminal Record in Illinois?
Some criminal records can be sealed, even if you don’t qualify to seal all of them.
Read more . . .
Monday, May 09, 2016
Juvenile Expungements in Illinois: Are They Automatic?
Research shows that despite laws put in place that are supposed to make it easier for juveniles to expunge their records, it’s not working out that way—and that can spell disaster for Read more . . .
Monday, April 25, 2016
Illinois Expungement Terms: What You Need to Know
When you’re trying to get a fresh start by having your criminal record expunged in Illinois, the terms can get a bit confusing. This guide can help you keep tabs on your case—but if you come up with questions, don’t hesitate to ask your Illinois expungement lawyer. He or she will be happy to answer your questions and explain what’s going on with your case.
Read more . . .
Monday, April 11, 2016
Expungement vs. Sealing: The Basics
Expungement and sealing are two different legal processes, but both have similar results: some or all of your criminal record will be hidden from public view.
So what are the key differences between expungement and criminal record sealing?
Expungement vs. Sealing in Illinois
You may be able to expunge or seal your criminal record whether or not you’ve been convicted of a crime.
If you were arrested, or arrested and charged but not convicted, you could have a criminal record that’s eligible for either expungement or sealing. However, in order to qualify for expungement, you must never have been convicted of a crime (with a few exceptions, including Read more . . .
Monday, March 28, 2016
Felony Expungement in Illinois
If you’re like many people, you’re wondering about felony expungement in Chicago, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg or Skokie.
The bottom line is that while some felony expungement cases are possible, the vast majority of felonies can’t be expunged. Some can be sealed, but that doesn’t apply to all cases. (It’s usually a good idea to find out if you qualify for expungement before you talk to an attorney.)
Felony Expungement: When is it Possible?
If the state has convicted you of non-felony crimes or some Class 4 felonies, your criminal record may be eligible for sealing. Sealing isn’t the same as expungement, but it does hide your criminal record (or portions of your criminal record) from public view.
Can You Ever Get a Felony Expunged?
For the most part, you can’t have your record expunged if you were convicted of a crime. However, if you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, you may qualify for expungement – but only if the conviction was non-violent, non-sexual and not gun-related. If you’re a veteran who wants a criminal record expunged, you should talk to a Chicago expungement lawyer about your case.
Most felony convictions cannot be expunged, but it’s always a good idea to talk to an expungement attorney to find out what type of relief you may be eligible for under Illinois law.
What to Do if You’re Eligible for Felony Expungement
If your record is eligible for felony expungement in Illinois, you’ll need to gather all the documents necessary to push the case through the court system. This can include:
- Police reports
- Court documents with docket numbers or case numbers
- Original case information, such as dismissals, dispositions and other findings
- All of your sentencing information
If you have a tough time finding all the required information, talk to your attorney. He may be able to get the information by conducting a thorough criminal background check.
Could You Qualify for Felony Expungement in Illinois?
Call us at 847-920-4540 or get in touch with us online so we can evaluate your case. You may qualify for felony expungement under Illinois law, and if you do, we can help.
Monday, March 14, 2016
What Counts as a Conviction for Expungement Purposes in Illinois?
The types of convictions on your “rap sheet” matter when you’re trying to get your criminal record expunged in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois.
However, not everything counts as a conviction. In fact, there are many types of criminal records that don’t count as convictions.
What Criminal Records Are Convictions?
Convictions always include a finding of guilt. Typically, you’ll have some sort of sentence attached to a conviction, such as:
- Supervision that you do not successfully complete
- Conditional discharges
- Jail time
- Prison time
- Time considered “served”
- Regular probation (other than 710, 1410 or TASC probation)
What Criminal Records Are Not Convictions?
Many people ask Chicago expungement attorneys about which criminal records count as convictions, and for good reason—it can be confusing.
For example, supervision is not always part of a conviction, provided that you satisfied the conditions of the supervision. However, if you didn’t successfully complete your supervision (meaning that it was revoked or terminated unsatisfactorily), you will need to talk to your attorney about whether it counts as a conviction.
Other criminal records that do not count as convictions include:
- Nolle Prosequi (NP)
- Stricken Off With Leave to Reinstate (SOL)
- Finding of No Probable Cause (FNPC)
- Released Without Charging (RWOC)
- Finding or Verdict of Not Guilty (either FNG or VNG)
- Successful completion of TASC probation
- Successful completion of 710 or 1410 probation
- Convictions approved for expungement by Prisoner Review Board
- Convictions that were reversed or vacated
Do You Qualify for Expungement?
You can take our quick questionnaire, Do I Qualify for Expungement, to find out whether you may qualify for a criminal record expungement. If you don’t qualify for expungement, you may still qualify for criminal record sealing. Even if you don’t qualify for either, you may still have options.
If you’re not sure, call us at 847-920-4540 or get in touch with us online. We’ll be happy to evaluate your case and help you get on the right track for a fresh start.
Monday, February 29, 2016
What Information Do You Need to Expunge Your Record in Chicago?
If you’re like many people, if you want to expunge or seal your record in Cook County. However, it’s important that you know not everyone qualifies to do so.
You can take our simple questionnaire to determine whether you qualify for expungement in Chicago or you can review the following checklist before calling a Chicago expungement attorney.
How to Gather Documents for a Chicago Expungement
You’ll need your entire criminal history before you can petition the court for expungement. If you are unable to gather all the required documents, your lawyer may be able to run a complete background check for you.
What Information Do You Need?
You’ll need the following information for each arrest on your record:
- The case number
- The date of your arrest
- The name of the arresting agency
- The charges brought against you
- The disposition in the case (the disposition is the final outcome of the case)
- The date each case was completed (such as the date your probation ended)
- The “chief legal officer of the unit of local government that affected the arrest”
- The state’s attorney or the prosecutor that prosecuted your case
Can You Expunge Convictions?
There are very few convictions that can be expunged from a criminal record. You’ll have to talk to your Chicago expungement lawyer to determine whether your record qualifies for expungement; if it doesn’t, you could still be eligible for criminal record sealing.
You won’t be able to expunge your record if you’re in the middle of a case (one that doesn’t have a final deposition yet).
However, if you’re an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, you may be able to expunge certain Class 3 or Class 4 felonies.
Do You Need Help Expunging or Sealing Your Record in Chicago?
If you need help with an expungement or sealing, call a Chicago expungement lawyer as soon as possible.
You can call us at 847-920-4540 or get in touch with us online to discuss your eligibility and options – we’re always here to help.