Chicago Criminal Expungements Blog
Friday, April 25, 2014
You see the terms pardon and clemency in the news from time to time, but they can be a little confusing. Sometimes they’re used interchangeably, but there are technical differences between the two that drastically affect the people they’re applied to. In our area, either of these is usually the result of a Chicago expungement lawyer’s hard work and negotiation.
What is a Pardon?
A pardon is like a fresh start. It completely overturns a conviction and takes it off of the person’s record. Because a pardon does that, it’s like the crime was never committed at all.
A person who has been pardoned isn’t subjected to any restrictions that other ex-convicts are; he or she won’t have to register, visit a parole officer or state on job applications that they’ve been convicted of a crime.
What is Clemency?
Clemency literally means leniency. It’s a general term for reducing penalties without completely removing a conviction from someone’s record. A good example of clemency is when a governor puts a death penalty on hold and changes a sentence from execution to life in prison; the person is still considered a convict, but the penalty has been significantly lessened.
Are You Eligible for a Pardon or for Clemency?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for who can seek out a pardon or clemency. Every case in every jurisdiction is different, so it’s important that you understand that you may not get what you’re after. If you believe that you might be eligible for a pardon or clemency in the state of Illinois, you’ll need an aggressive attorney in your corner to fight for what’s right.
Call the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury at (847)920-4540 or send us a message online. We’ll be happy to review your case and figure out where to go from here.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Getting a job is hard enough without a past drug charge casting a shadow on your past. Fortunately, with the help of a talented Chicago expungement lawyer, you may be able to have your records locked away where potential employers won’t find them.
The Facts on Drug Charges and Employment
Statistics suggest that more than 80 percent of employers do criminal background checks on people they want to hire. Having a drug charge can be bad news, particularly if you’re looking for a security position, a job that requires constant mental alertness (including factory work and construction), and just about any other job.
Getting Rid of Your Record
The last thing you want is for a potential employer to pick someone else for the job because they found a criminal drug charge in your past.
While expungement isn’t a solution for everyone, you may be able to have your record cleaned up – at least enough that most potential employers won’t be able to see drug crimes. Expunging your record isn’t a universal solution, either; some things can’t be expunged, and some potential employers (such as the military and law enforcement) may still be able to see sealed records.
How to Have Drug Charges Expunged
In most cases, it’s a good idea to talk with an attorney to determine whether you’re eligible for expungement. Even if you are not, you might still be able to have your records sealed. Your lawyer will file a petition on your behalf; from there, you may need to appear at a hearing to explain why you deserve to have your records expunged or sealed.
Once the court approves your petition, your lawyer can send the order to the Illinois State Police and the agency that arrested you. While this process can take quite some time, it’s worth a shot – especially if you’re having a hard time finding a job because of mistakes you made in the past.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's mayor is throwing his support behind legislation that would automatically expunge certain juvenile arrest records.
The bill expunges any arrest for people under 18 who are never formally charged. The records would be erased once the person turns 18.
Monday, March 31, 2014
When the state objects to your expungement, it’s normal to be upset. That doesn’t mean your judge will deny your request, but it does mean that you may be entitled to a hearing.
Remember, when you ask for your record to be sealed or expunged, you’re dealing with people who don’t know you; they don’t know anything about you other than what they’re reading on paper. That’s why it’s important to give your lawyer as much information as possible so that he can argue on your behalf.
Why the State’s Attorney Might Object
The State’s Attorney (the lawyer who represents the state of Illinois) may feel that you deserve to have your records expunged. However, in some cases, an extensive criminal record or certain types of crimes may lead the State’s Attorney to object to your expungement. If that happens, your lawyer can request an expungement hearing.
Tips for Your Expungement Hearing: What You Need to Know
Your lawyer will sit down and discuss the basics with you before your hearing. He’ll tell you how to respond to questions you may be asked, and he’ll explain how the process will go from start to finish. He’ll also answer any case-specific questions you have, so it’s a good idea to keep a running list of questions that you can ask all at once.
At your hearing, it’s important that you present a good image. If you don’t have a suit or office attire, that’s okay (but if you do, you should wear it). You just need to wear something that’s appropriate for the court’s formal environment, so aim for something that you could wear to church or to a funeral. T-shirts that have profanity, feature illegal activities or drugs, or are in bad repair should never be worn to court; open-toed shoes or sandals aren’t acceptable, either.
Address the judge as “Your Honor” and wait for your lawyer to give you the green light before you speak up. A little respect can go a long way in the courtroom, so don’t lose your cool. In short, act like you would in front of your grandmother and follow your lawyer’s lead.
While there’s no guarantee that your record will be sealed or expunged, it doesn’t hurt to try. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you may be able to work your way through this and start fresh. If you don’t know where to start, call us at (847)920-4540 or contact us online. We’ll be glad to help.
Monday, March 17, 2014
3 Things You Need to Know About Expungements:
A blemish on your criminal record can stay forever – and it can damage your chances of getting a job, a security clearance or even credit. Mistakes made in the past should remain in the past, but most people need the help of an attorney to ensure that they stay there. If you intend to have your record expunged in Chicago, there are three key things you need to know: what it means, how it’s done, and what happens the next time your background is checked.
What Does it Mean to Have Something Expunged?
When something is expunged from your record in Illinois, it basically disappears. It can’t come back to haunt you later, but it does take hard work and in many cases, legal red tape that can hold up the process. Not all offenses qualify for expungement, so it’s best to talk to your lawyer about the specifics of your case.
How Are Records Expunged in Illinois?
Through a series of complex forms and one or more court appearances, your Chicago criminal defense attorney will make an appeal to a judge on your behalf. He’ll provide the judge with a compelling reason to expunge or seal your Illinois criminal record – whether it’s because you need to get a license that’s required for a job or because you need to pass a background check for any other reason.
During this process, you may have to attend a hearing and present evidence why the court should rule in your favor.
There are three possible outcomes:
• The judge could deny your request.
• The judge could order that your record is destroyed.
• The judge could order that your records are sealed and only made available for certain law enforcement and sentencing purposes.
After a Record is Expunged or Sealed
When you have a criminal record, employers and others can see arrests, convictions and other information. However, when a judge orders your record to be expunged or sealed, that information won’t be publicly available.
Your criminal record doesn’t have to hold you back any longer. If you need help, call us at (847)920-4540 or contact us online.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Were you arrested in the suburbs and went to court in Skokie, Rolling Meadows, Maywood, Bridgeview or Markham? XpungeChicago is a division of the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury that not only servers Chicago but all of the surrounding suburbs of Cook County. In addition, XpungeChicago also serves clients in DuPage and Lake Counties who are looking to clear their criminal records.
Criminal background checks are done by employers on a routine basis. Landlords run your rap sheet before extending a lease. Even educational institutions check your history before accepting you into their program. With new laws that went into effect earlier this year, it is easier than ever to Expunge Your Past and Expand Your Future!
Contact us today at XpungeChicago.com or call 847-920-4540 for a free case review
Sunday, January 19, 2014
We have all made mistakes. Some mistakes, however, are more costly than others. If an arrest or criminal conviction is affecting your personal or professional life, call Xpunge Chicago today for a free and confidential case review.
When an expungement is granted, all records related to your arrest are destroyed. With more than 80 percent of employers conducting criminal background checks, hiring an expungement attorney is a necessary investment.
At Xpunge Chicago, we will handle your expungement petition from start to finish. We will conduct all case research and file the petition on your behalf. Sit back while we expunge your past and expand your future!
Call today for a free case review -- (847) 920-4540.
Friday, January 3, 2014
BLOOMINGTON - A new state law that makes it easier for low-level felony offenders to have their records sealed could stem the potential problems many people face after acquiring a criminal record.
As of Wednesday, people convicted of certain Class 3 and Class 4 felonies can file a petition with their circuit clerk’s office asking a judge to seal records of their convictions.
Friday, January 3, 2014
2014 could be your year to Expunge Your Past and Expand Your Future. Many of us have old arrests or even convictions that are prohibiting our future growth. But an expungement or sealing can give you a clean slate and provide the opportunities you deserve.
If you are eligible, an Expungement can literally clear your criminal record. A Sealing under Illinois law can hide or cover your record from the general public and most employers. With new laws effective January 1, 2014, your eligibility to expunge or seal a criminal record is better than ever.
XpungeChicago is a Division of The Law Offices of Matt Fakhoury that focuses on Criminal Record Clearing. Contact XpungeChicago today for a free case review. XpungeChicago.com or ILDefense.com.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Beginning January 1, 2014 Felony offenses such as Theft, Retail Theft, Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance, Deceptive Practices, and even Forgery are eligible to be sealed.
Now is the Time to start the New Year off right and expunge or seal your criminal record. Xpunge Your Past, and Xpand Your Future with XpungeChicago – A Division of the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury.
With Offices in Skokie, Schaumburg and our newest office in Rolling Meadows it’s easier than ever before to serve your legal needs. XpungeChicago.com or 847-920-4540
Monday, December 9, 2013
As 2013 comes to an end, it is only fitting that we look ahead to 2014. For many of us, a new job, a new home, or going back to school, is the change needed to open up a world of opportunity.
Unfortunately, a criminal record can prevent you from obtaining the great start you were planning for in 2014. XpungeChicago - A Division of the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury, can help expunge your criminal past and expand your future for 2014, and beyond.
Criminal defense attorney, Matt Fakhoury, focuses his practice primarily in expungement and sealing law. While a prior arrest may have affected your past, no longer should you allow it to hinder your future. Call XpungeChicago today! 847-920-4540