Chicago Expungement: An Overview

If you’re like most people with a criminal record, you know that it can hold you back from getting a place to live, obtaining credit, and even finding a place for you and your family to live.

It may not have to be that way, though.

You could be eligible for criminal record expungement—and that can give you the fresh start you deserve.

What is Expungement?

Criminal record expungement, which most people choose to work with a Chicago expungement lawyer to obtain, clears your criminal record so employers, landlords, and other members of the public can’t see it.

How Do You Get Your Record Expunged?

The expungement process can drag out for several months, so many people choose to work with an attorney for everything from background checks to filing the paperwork to begin the clearing process.

Before anything else, you’ll need a copy of your entire criminal record (see “How to Get Your Criminal Record in Cook County” for more information). Your attorney will review your record and ensure that you’re eligible for expungement. If you are, he’ll begin putting together the necessary paperwork and petition the court to clear your record.

The state’s attorney may object to your expungement, but if that happens, your lawyer can argue your case and ensure the judge hears your side of the story… and why you deserve a fresh start.

If your petition for criminal record expungement is granted, which means the judge in your case agrees that you deserve to have your record cleared, your “RAP sheet” (your record of arrests and prosecutions) will no longer be publicly available. Instead, your records will be erased.

What if You’re Not Eligible for Expungement?

If you’re not eligible to have your criminal record completely expunged, you could still be eligible for criminal record sealing. When your records are sealed, they’re not available to the public—however, law enforcement agencies and a few others can still see them.

Do You Need to Talk to an Expungement and Sealing Lawyer in Chicago?

We may be able to help you get the fresh start that you deserve. Call us at 847-920-4540 as soon as possible. Tell us about your situation and we’ll start developing a strategy to get your record cleared right away. If it’s easier, you can also contact us online for your free expungement case evaluation