If you’re like most people, you know that having a criminal record can hold you back – and a record is the last thing you want hanging over your head. Fortunately, many people who have criminal records are eligible for expungement or sealing. In fact, people all over the Northwest Side, which includes Portage Park, Irving Park, Dunning, Montclare, Belmont Cragin, and Hermosa, have gotten a fresh start through criminal
If you live in New City – one of Chicago’s 77 official community areas, which includes Back of the Yards, Canaryville and a few other neighborhoods – and you have a criminal record you’d like to expunge, we may be able to help you. We work all over Chicago’s neighborhoods. Here’s what you need to know about criminal record expungement and criminal record sealing.
Criminal Record Sealing in New City
Sealing is one of the most common ways to clear a criminal record. It involves the process of asking a judge to close off your criminal record so that it’s not available to the general public. That means landlords and most employers won’t be able to find anything when they perform a background check
Not everyone is eligible for criminal record sealing, though – it’s a process that requires you to meet certain criteria, such as completing probation and making it through a waiting period. The crimes on your record have to meet certain criteria, too – some crimes can never be sealed. For most people, the best (and easiest) choice is to call a New City/Chicago expungement attorney who can check the record and find out whether sealing is even an option.
Some people who qualify for sealing also qualify for expungement, and in some cases, expungement is a better option. However, you’ll have to ask a lawyer which is the better choice for you based on your needs and what you’re trying to accomplish.
Expungement in New City
Like criminal record sealing, expungement requires a full copy of your criminal record. For the most part, you can’t expunge a conviction – so if you were actually convicted of a crime, you may need to look at criminal record sealing as your option.
If you do meet the criteria for expungement, your lawyer can fill out all the paperwork and file the right forms with the court for you.
An expunged record is truly a fresh start. When a judge grants your petition for expungement, the agency or agencies that have your criminal records have to destroy them or return them to you – and that means nobody can ever find them. You can even tell people that you’ve never been arrested, because as far as the state of Illinois is concerned, you have a clean slate.
What to Know About Expungement and Sealing
Before your record can be expunged or sealed, the state’s attorney will have a chance to look at your petition and your record. If he or she disagrees and feels that your criminal record should stay as-is, where everyone can see it, you might be entitled to a hearing – and your attorney can fight for you at the hearing.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Expungement or Sealing in New City/Chicago?
If you’re thinking about getting your criminal record cleared so you can have a fresh start, we may be able to help you. Call us right now at 847-920-4540 for a free case review. We’ll ask you some questions about your situation (and answer your questions as well) to see if you’re eligible.