Expungement in Illinois in 2019 can be a complex process, but for many people, it’s completely worth it. An expungement – a complete clearing of your criminal record – gives you a fresh start. It’s like the things that were on your record never even happened, and for many people, that means a new ability to get a good job, find a great place to live and attend the schools they want to attend.
When you have a criminal record, it’s like there’s always something hanging over your head. That record can follow you everywhere, making it difficult to do the things you want to do.
If you choose expungement in Illinois in 2019, you could have a completely clear record by 2020.
Here’s what you need to know.
Related: Can you expunge convictions in Illinois?
Expungement in Illinois in 2019: How it Works
The first step in getting a record expunged is finding out if you’re eligible. Not all crimes qualify for expungement – some have to stay on your record. However, some crimes that don’t qualify for expungement do qualify for criminal record sealing. The process is similar, and so is the end result. But with criminal record sealing, your record still exists; most people just can’t see it. (It’ll still be available to the courts, law enforcement and some employers, but the general public won’t be able to access it.)
Related: Can you join the military with an Illinois criminal record?
What if You Are Eligible for Expungement in Illinois?
If you’re eligible for expungement, your next step is to get your hands on your criminal record. If you’re having a tough time doing so, you can hire an attorney to perform a background check or to work through the whole expungement process for you. Many people find that it’s a lot easier to work with a lawyer – that way, they don’t have to worry about filing paperwork or arguing with the state’s attorney if he or she objects to an expungement.
Related: Am I eligible for expungement?
Once you have your records in front of you, you’ll be able to file a petition for expungement and pay the filing fee. Many people find that the forms are confusing, which means you may want an attorney’s help.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Expunging a Record in Illinois?
If you would like to talk to a lawyer about whether you’re eligible for expungement or what steps you should take next, we can help. Call us at 847-920-4540 right now – we’ll answer your questions during a free case review