Your criminal record can come back to haunt you at the worst times – like when you’re applying for a new job, trying to find a decent place to live, or even applying for credit with a lender.
But what if it didn’t have to be that way?
What if you could expunge your criminal record in Hanover Township (or any other city in Illinois)?
We’re here to tell you that it may be possible to get the fresh start you deserve. Here’s what you need to know about expunging your criminal record in Hanover Township.
Expunging Your Criminal Record in Hanover Township
Expungement is the process of clearing your criminal record permanently. If your record is expunged, it no longer exists; it’s been erased forever. And if you’re like many people, having a clean slate will give you the fresh start you deserve.
What Records Qualify for Expungement in Hanover Township?
Only some criminal records qualify for expungement. Some records that don’t qualify for expungement can be sealed, but some have to remain on your criminal record forever.
Records that may qualify for expungement include:
Arrests that didn’t result in a conviction (such as arrests where you were immediately released without charges or criminal cases in which you were found not guilty)
Convictions that were reversed, vacated or pardoned
Convictions that were approved by the Prisoner Review Board
Convictions for which you received a sentence of qualified probation or supervision
Some Class 3 and Class 4 felonies, but only under certain circumstances
If some of the items on your criminal record don’t qualify for expungement, they may still qualify for sealing, which you can read about in the later section, “What About Sealing a Criminal Record?” You also need to know that it’s possible to expunge some of the items on your criminal record while sealing others (and leaving in place those that don’t qualify for either).
Waiting Periods to Expunge a Criminal Record in Hanover Township
Some things can be expunged immediately, such as a record of an arrest that never resulted in charges, a finding of not guilty at a criminal trial, or a dismissed case. However, if you were sentenced to supervision, you must usually wait until two years have passed after successfully completing your supervision to ask the court to expunge your record. Additionally, if you were sentenced to special probation, you must usually wait until five years have passed before you may ask the court to clear your record.
How to Expunge a Criminal Record in Hanover Township
Unfortunately, criminal record expungement isn’t an overnight process. In fact, it takes time – sometimes several months – before it’s complete. Most expungement petitions follow the same path, though, which is outlined in the table below.
1. You meet with an attorney.
You and your Hanover Township expungement attorney discuss your case in person, over the phone, or through a video conference. You should let your lawyer know what’s on your record and why you want to expunge it.
2. Your attorney conducts a background check.
Unless you have a complete copy of your criminal record, your attorney conducts a background check to make sure he has access to all the items on your criminal record.
3. Your attorney determines your eligibility.
Your attorney uses your criminal record to determine whether you’re eligible for expungement, sealing, or a combination of the two. He’ll also tell you which offenses on your record are not eligible for expungement or sealing.
4. You provide supporting documentation.
Your attorney needs supporting documentation, such as proof of negative drug tests or proof that you completed community service, probation or an educational program. This information goes with your petition to show the judge why you deserve an expungement or sealing.
5. Your attorney creates a petition for you.
Your attorney uses all the information you’ve provided to create your expungement petition. That’s the official name for the packet of documents that asks the court to consider clearing your criminal record.
6. Your attorney files your petition.
Your lawyer files your expungement petition with the appropriate court for you. You pay the filing fee, as well.
7. Other parties review your petition.
Interested parties, such as the state’s attorney, review your petition and make recommendations that are passed along to the judge in your case.
8. The judge reviews your petition and all the recommendations with it.
The judge working on your case reviews your entire petition, including all the supporting documentation your attorney included and the recommendations made by interested parties (like the state’s attorney). After reviewing all available information, the judge makes a decision.
9. Your record is expunged.
If the judge approves your petition, the court will send an order to the County Clerk, the agency that arrested you, the Illinois State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The order says that your records must be destroyed or returned to you. After this step is complete, you no longer have a criminal record in Hanover Township.
Who Can See Your Expunged Records in Hanover Township?
Nobody can see your criminal records in Hanover Township or anywhere else. After your records are expunged, they’re gone forever – and that means there’s nothing for anyone to see, period.
Some people in Hanover Township don’t qualify for criminal record expungement due to what’s on their criminal records, but that doesn’t mean you should lose hope. When it comes to criminal records, for many people, sealing is just as effective as expungement. With criminal record sealing, your records still exist, but very few people can see them – and most people won’t even know that they’re there. Landlords, creditors and most employers, along with the general public, cannot see sealed criminal records. The only people that can see these records are those that use fingerprint-based background checks, such as:
Prosecutors who are working in an official capacity
Judges and those who work in the court system
The Illinois State Police and local police agencies
The Illinois Department of Corrections
Some employers that require fingerprint-based background checks, such as law enforcement, some healthcare facilities and schools, and the military
What Records Can You Seal in Hanover Township?
You can seal most misdemeanor and felony convictions in the state of Illinois. However, there are some crimes that must stay on your record – like those that involve violence, some crimes involving animals, and some driving offenses. Specifically, you can’t seal:
Violation of an order of protection, a civil no-contact order or a stalking no-contact order
If you’re not sure whether your record qualifies, call us at 847-920-4540 for a free case review.
Are You Ready to Speak to an Attorney About Expunging Your Record in Hanover Township?
We can help you by:
Creating and filing your expungement or sealing petition with the court in Hanover Township
Keeping track of your petition as it makes its way through the process, as well as keeping you updated on the status of your case
Represent you at a hearing if you’re entitled to one
File a motion to reconsider if the judge denies your petition
Call us at 847-920-4540 now or fill out the form below for your free case review. We’ll ask you some questions about your criminal record and help you get started on the path to the fresh start you deserve.
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