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Expungement and

Sealing FAQs

HOW DO YOU BEGIN THE EXPUNGEMENT OR SEALING PROCESS?

Obtain your entire criminal background:  If you have ever been arrested, you have a record. Even if an arrest did not result in a conviction, you still have an arrest record. Our office will gather information on all cases, including the arresting agency, county, date of arrest, dismissal date, sentence, and if the sentence was completed satisfactorily.

Eligibility Determination: Once we have reviewed your entire record, we will determine whether you are eligible to expunge or seal your record, or whether you must seek a Governor’s pardon.  We will also prepare and file all the necessary documents with the court.  Each county and courthouse has its own procedures, including petitions, filing periods, and fees.

Court Hearing: Even if you are eligible to expunge or seal your record the Court is not required to grant the expungement or sealing.  Some counties require a hearing before the judge will order your record expunged or sealed, while other counties do not require a hearing.  If required by the Court, Attorney Matt Fakhoury will represent you at your hearing and provide a compelling argument for the granting of your expungement or sealing.

State’s Objection: The State’s Attorney may object to your petition for expungement or sealing. If there is an objection, you are entitled to a hearing before a judge.  Attorney Matt Fakhoury, a former Cook County Expungement Prosecutor, will appear at your hearing and provide a solid defense in support of your expungement or sealing.

WERE THE CHARGES DISMISSED OR DROPPED BEFORE GOING TO TRIAL?

Yes, these arrests may also be expunged.

WERE YOU FOUND GUILTY AND PLACED ON COURT SUPERVISION FOR A MISDEMEANOR OFFENSE?

Most of these cases may be expunged, but only after meeting certain conditions imposed by the court. You must have

  1. successfully completed the term of court supervision;
  2. not have been arrested again; and
  3. TWO years must have passed since your supervision was terminated.

WERE YOU CHARGED WITH A MISDEMEANOR OR FELONY CRIME, WENT TO TRIAL, AND FOUND NOT GUILTY?

Yes, these arrests may be expunged.

DID YOU RECEIVE 710 PROBATION, 1410 PROBATION, OR TASC FOR A DRUG POSSESSION CHARGE?

Yes, your arrest may qualify for expungement.

WERE YOU FOUND GUILTY OF A MISDEMEANOR AND PLACED ON CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE, SENTENCED TO PROBATION OR JAIL TIME?

Oftentimes, these cases cannot be expunged, but you may qualify for sealing under certain conditions.  Call Attorney Matt Fakhoury to determine your options.

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