Common Misconceptions About Expungement in Illinois

Navigating the legal landscape when it comes to dealing with criminal records can feel overwhelming. You’re not alone in this journey. The purpose of this guide is to clear up some common misconceptions about expungement in Illinois. It’s aimed to provide you with insights that’ll equip you to make informed decisions about your unique situation.

Common Misconceptions About Expungement in Illinois

In this guide, you’ll find detailed explanations on the following:

  • Not all crimes can be expunged
  • Time matters in expungement
  • It’s not an automatic process
  • Expungement isn’t synonymous with sealing
  • The process doesn’t have to be expensive

Here’s a closer look at each.

Not All Crimes Can Be Expunged

The first misconception we need to address is the idea that all crimes can be expunged. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Some serious offenses, such as violent crimes or sex crimes, generally aren’t eligible for expungement. Illinois law specifically lists the offenses that can and can’t be expunged. It’s crucial you understand your eligibility before initiating the process.

Related: Which is better – expungement or sealing?

Time Matters in Expungement

Another common misconception is that you can apply for expungement immediately after your sentence ends. The truth is, Illinois law mandates a waiting period. The duration of this period depends on the crime and its resolution. An experienced expungement lawyer can provide you with specifics regarding your case.

Expungement Isn’t an Automatic Process

There’s a misconception that expungement happens automatically after a certain period. The reality is that you must apply for it. And each case is reviewed individually. Having a lawyer to navigate the process and present your case professionally can make all the difference.

Expungement Isn’t Synonymous with Sealing

Many people believe that expungement and sealing are the same. They’re not. Expungement completely erases the criminal record as if it never occurred. Sealing, on the other hand, simply restricts access to your record. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the differences can help you decide which path to pursue.

Related: FAQ on criminal record expungement in Chicago

The Process Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

Lastly, many people believe that expungement is expensive. While there are costs involved, they don’t have to break the bank. And remember, the potential benefits often outweigh these costs. Discussing your case with an attorney will give you a clearer idea of what to expect.

FAQ About Expungement in Illinois

Check out these commonly asked questions about expungement in Illinois. If you don’t see the answers here, please call our office and we’ll get you the information you need.

Q: Does expungement erase my record from all databases?

A: Yes, when a record is expunged, it’s erased from all official databases as soon as the agencies that have your record comply with the court’s order.

Q: Does an expunged record show up on a background check?

A: No, an expunged record won’t show up on most background checks.

Q: Can I get a job if my record is sealed, but not expunged?

A: Yes, sealing a record makes it harder for employers to access your criminal history.

Making the decision to expunge or seal your criminal record is a significant step towards reclaiming your life. With the right legal guidance, you can successfully navigate this process. Remember, everyone makes mistakes, and everyone deserves a chance at a fresh start.

Related: What you need to know about clearing your criminal record in Chicago

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Expungement or Sealing?

If you’re tired of your criminal past coming back to bite you, we may be able to help. Call us right now at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below so we can talk about your case.

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