Making a mistake that leads to a criminal record can change the trajectory of your life. However, in Illinois, there’s a glimmer of hope. With the possibility of expunging or sealing your record, you might be able to leave the past behind and pave a smoother path forward. But what do you need to know about this process? Let’s uncover the key facts together.5 Fast Facts About Expungement in Read More
If you’ve ever been arrested in Chicago, Skokie, Rolling Meadows or anywhere else in Illinois, you have a criminal record… and potential employers, landlords and other people may be able to see it.
The good news: You might be eligible for criminal record clearing.
Does Expungement Erase an Arrest Record?
As it is right now, arrest records show up on a criminal background check. That means if your potential employer, landlord or anyone else looks, your arrest record will be there.
Expungement does erase an arrest record, and it gives you a fresh start. Once your arrest record is expunged, it’s like it never even happened – and you can even tell people that you’ve never been arrested (including on job applications and in interviews).
How Does Expungement Erase an Arrest Record?
Criminal record expungement is a process in which you ask the court to erase your record. Your attorney can file all the appropriate paperwork on your behalf and guide you through every step.
Expungement works this way:
- Your lawyer gets a complete copy of your criminal record, either from you or by doing a background check
- Your attorney files a petition for expungement with the courts in the county where you were arrested.
- The judge assigned to your case makes a decision.
Your Criminal Record
Your lawyer will ask you to bring in your complete criminal record. It’s necessary, because the things on it can affect your eligibility for an expungement. If you don’t have a complete copy that includes every time you were arrested, charged and tried, or if you don’t have records of your previous dispositions (such as the court finding you guilty, not guilty or dismissing your case), that’s okay – your lawyer can get the information for you.
The Petition for Expungement
Your arrest record expungement lawyer will petition the court to ask a judge to give you a fresh start. The district attorney in the county where you were arrested has a chance to object, and if he or she does, you could be entitled to a hearing.
If you do have to go to a hearing, your attorney will represent you and argue on your behalf.
Waiting for the Judge’s Decision
Once your petition makes it out of the district attorney’s office, the judge assigned to your case will look it over. He or she will decide whether to grant your arrest record expungement or to deny it.
The whole expungement process takes some time – it doesn’t happen overnight. That’s why, for many people, it’s important to work with an attorney who deals with expungements often. An experienced lawyer with a track record of successful expungement petitions knows how to fill out the forms so they’re not kicked back for errors, how to file them (and what agencies need copies of the files), and how to work through the entire process. At the same time, your lawyer will be there to answer all your questions and make sure you understand what’s happening.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Expunging an Arrest Record?
Expungement erases an arrest record, which means you have a shot at getting a fresh start.
Call us right now at 847-920-4540 for a free expungement case evaluation. We’ll answer all your questions. If you’re eligible for arrest record expungement, we’ll help you get on track.