If you’re like many people, you’re sick of your criminal record hanging over your head and holding you back from doing the things you want to – or need to – do. Fortunately, there might be something you can do about it: You might qualify for expungement or sealing. But how do you get court records expunged? Here’s what you need to know.How Do You Get Court Records Expunged
If you’re like many people in Lincoln Park or the surrounding neighborhoods of Chicago, you need to know how to get rid of your criminal record so you can have a fresh start. While there’s no guarantee that you can erase your criminal record, you do have options – and here they are.
How to Expunge a Criminal Record in Lincoln Park
Expungement isn’t the only way to clear a criminal record. While expungement does remove your record completely (the court orders that the agency that has your record to destroy it or return it to you), you could qualify for criminal record sealing. Criminal record sealing doesn’t make your record disappear, but it does make it so that only law enforcement professionals, the courts and some employers (like the military or those in healthcare-related fields) can see it.
If you’re clearing your criminal record, you’ll most likely benefit from working with a Chicago/Lincoln Park expungement lawyer who understands the system and how the laws work. He’ll be able to give you specific guidance on every step of the process. Generally, expunging your criminal record requires you and your attorney to:
- Get a complete copy of your criminal record
- File the appropriate paperwork with the court and pay the fee
- Wait for the court’s decision
In some cases, the state’s attorney doesn’t agree that you deserve a fresh start. If that happens in your case, you could be entitled to a hearing in front of a judge; your attorney can represent you at that hearing and argue on your behalf.
If the court agrees that you deserve a fresh start, it will order the agency or agencies that have your criminal records to destroy them.
What if You Don’t Qualify for Expungement?
If you don’t qualify for expungement, you could still qualify for criminal record sealing. That’s why it’s best to talk to a lawyer about your options – you might have a path to a fresh start that you didn’t even know about.
Ready to Talk to a Lawyer About Expunging a Criminal Record in Lincoln Park?
We may be able to help you clear your criminal record, either through expungement or sealing. When you’re ready to learn about your options, call us at 847-920-4540 for a free case review.