If your criminal record is holding you back, you need to know that there may be a way for you to clear it. You may be eligible to expunge or seal your criminal record in Schaumburg, which would give you the fresh start you deserve.
Schaumburg, IL Expungement Services
If your criminal record is eligible for expungement, the state of Illinois will completely erase it – it’s like nothing ever happened. However, not all records qualify for expungement; some offenses can be sealed instead (more on that later), but some things must remain on your criminal record forever.
Records That Qualify for Expungement in Schaumburg
Only some offenses on a criminal record are eligible for expungement. (If your offenses don’t qualify, don’t worry – you may still qualify for criminal record sealing.) Here’s a quick look at what records may qualify for expungement on your criminal record:
Arrests for misdemeanors and felonies that never resulted in a conviction
Convictions that have been reversed, vacated or pardoned by the governor, or that have been approved by the Prisoner Review Board
Sentences for qualified probation, after a waiting period
Sentences for supervision, after a waiting period
Some nonviolent Class 3 and Class 4 felonies if you’re an honorably discharged veteran of the Armed Forces
Some people have a mix of criminal records that qualify for expungement and that only qualify for sealing. That’s okay; you can do both.
For some offenses, you must wait a certain amount of time before you can ask the court to clear your record. Usually, that amount of time depends on the sentence you received. If your case was dismissed, the state dropped the charges, or a judge found you not guilty of committing a crime, you don’t have to wait at all; you can ask the court to clear your record right away. The table below explains the waiting times.
Dismissed or Dropped Charges
Sentenced to Supervision
Sentenced to Special Probation
Immediate. Ask the court to clear your record right away if the charges were dropped or your case was dismissed.
Immediate.Ask the court to clear your record right away if you were acquitted (found not guilty) of the charges in court.
2 years. The law usually requires you to wait until two years have passed since you successfully completed your supervision.
5 years.The law usually requires you to wait until five years have passed since you successfully completed your probation.
How to Expunge Your Record in Bridgeview
You can’t typically expunge your record overnight. In fact, expungement is a multi-step process that requires you to complete certain tasks. It also requires others, such as the state’s attorney and the judge assigned to your case, to complete certain tasks. This table outlines who’s responsible for what during your Schaumburg expungement process.
Step 1: Meeting with an attorney
You talk to a Schaumburg expungement attorney about your case. You explain your criminal record and why you need to have it expunged; that information can help your lawyer put together a successful petition for you.
Step 2: Background check
If you don’t have a complete copy of your criminal record, your lawyer will conduct a background check to get it. Your attorney needs information on all your cases (even those you don’t want or need expunged) to file your petition.
Step 3: Eligibility determination
Using your criminal record, your Schaumburg expungement attorney will determine which items on your criminal record are eligible for expungement, sealing or both. Then, he’ll talk to you about how to proceed with your case. He may ask you whether you want to only expunge certain items, or whether you want to seal those that don’t qualify for expungement.
Step 4: Supporting documentation
If you have supporting documentation, you must provide it to your attorney. That may include things like character reference letters from people who know you, proof of your completed probation, or negative drug screenings.
Step 5: Petition
Your attorney will draft a petition to ask the courts to clear your record. There are specific forms your attorney must use to submit this petition for a judge’s consideration.
Step 6: Filing
Your attorney will file your petition with the court. You’ll pay the filing fee.
Step 7: Review by interested parties
Any agency or agent of the government with an interest in your criminal record, such as the state’s attorney or the police department that arrested you and holds your records, will have a chance to review your petition. If anyone objects, they’re free to include their objection with your petition as it makes its way to the next stop. For example, if the state’s attorney objects, his or her objection will accompany your petition to the judge’s desk.
Step 8: Judicial review
The judge assigned to your case will review your petition and all the recommendations that come with it. If the judge agrees that you deserve a fresh start, which can happen even if people like the state’s attorney disagree, you’re almost finished clearing your criminal recod.
Step 9: Clearing
After a judge approves your petition, he or she will issue an order to the County Clerk, the arresting agency, the Illinois State Police and the FBI. The order tells those agencies to clear your record, which they’ll do by either destroying it or returning it to you.
Can Anyone See Expunged Records in Schaumburg?
Nobody will be able to see your expunged records. The agencies that have your records will receive a court order that tells them to erase them, which they’ll do by destroying them or returning them to you. That’s true whether your expungement takes place in Schaumburg or elsewhere in Illinois.
What if Your Record Doesn’t Qualify for Expungement in Schaumburg?
Some records just aren’t eligible for expungement – and although that may be disappointing, there’s still hope: Your record could qualify for criminal record sealing instead. If your record is sealed, only a small subset of people will be able to see it; it’s not going to be available to the general public through a standard background check.
List of People Who Can See Sealed Records in Schaumburg (or Elsewhere in Illinois)
Not many people have the clearance to see sealed records. Sealed records won’t come up on standard background checks; in fact, you don’t even have to tell people that you have a criminal record if they’re not specifically looking for it. Sealed records will show up on fingerprint-based background checks – but most employers don’t use those. People who can still see sealed criminal records include:
The Illinois State Police
Prosecutors who are working in an official capacity (such as prosecuting you for a different crime)
Judges and those who work in the court system
The Department of Corrections (if you’re later convicted of another offense)
Some employers that require fingerprint-based background checks, such as the military and law enforcement, as well as some schools and healthcare facilities
What Records Are Eligible for Criminal Record Sealing in Schaumburg?
Most misdemeanor and felony convictions are eligible for sealing. However, there are exceptions for violent crimes, some driving offenses, and crimes involving animals. If you aren’t sure whether your record qualifies for sealing, we’ll be happy to tell you during a free case review – just call us at 847-920-4540.
Records That Are Never Eligible for Sealing
Some things must stay on your criminal record – you can’t expunge or seal them, no matter how much time has passed or what you’ve done since, including:
Violation of an order of protection, a civil no-contact order or a stalking no-contact order
Ready to Discuss Your Eligibility and Options With a Schaumburg Expungement Attorney?
If your criminal record has been holding you back, you may be just a phone call away from freedom. Call our office to learn about how we can help you get the fresh start you deserve by:
Creating your expungement petition
Filing your petition with the appropriate authorities
Keeping track of where your petition is during the process – and keeping you updated every step of the way
Representing you at a hearing if you’re eligible for one (which only happens after someone objects)
Filing a motion to reconsider if the judge decides not to expunge your record
You don’t have to worry about a thing. Our team will handle it all for you. And although we can’t guarantee that a judge will grant your petition, we can promise that we’ll work hard to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
We’ve helped hundreds of people in Schaumburg and the surrounding communities get the fresh starts they deserved, and we may be able to help you, too.
Call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below now. Don’t wait any longer.
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