Do I have a criminal record if my case was dismissed?
Yes, you do!
Here’s what you need to know.
Do I Have a Criminal Record if My Case Was Dismissed?
A lot of people are surprised to find out that they have a criminal record after having a case dismissed. That’s because the police and the court system both keep track of every case that comes through their files – and arrests and court cases stay there unless you actively take steps to remove them.
How to Remove Dismissed Cases From Your Criminal Record
If your arrest didn’t result in criminal charges, you don’t have to keep it on your record. Likewise, if your case was dismissed, it doesn’t need to stay on your record. To get rid of it and get a clean start, you may want to explore criminal record expungement or criminal record sealing.
What is Criminal Record Expungement?
Expungement is a complete reset. Your criminal record is destroyed or returned to you, which means it no longer exists in the court’s (or the police’s) files. It’s like it never even happened – and even if you have to fill out a job application, you can leave the box that says “Have you ever been arrested?” blank. Nobody can see your record… because it doesn’t exist.
What is Criminal Record Sealing?
Criminal record sealing is like expungement in that nobody can see your criminal record, but it doesn’t disappear. It’s simply blocked from public view. Law enforcement, judicial officers and some employers (like hospitals and the military) can still see it. Landlords and ordinary employers won’t see it, though; it’s not going to come up on a standard background check. Your records still exist.
How Do You Know if You’re Eligible for Expungement or Sealing?
Having a criminal record hanging over your head for the rest of your life doesn’t sound that great, does it? That record can prevent you from getting a job, finding a good place to live, or even from getting credit – so for most people, the best thing to do is explore expungement and criminal record sealing. But is getting your record expunged worth it?
If you’re like many people, you’ve considered having your criminal record expunged – but what is expungement, and could it be the right choice for you? Check out this Illinois expungement FAQ to learn more, and if you don’t see the answers to your questions here, call us at 847-920-4540 for a free case review with an experienced attorney now.