If you’re like many people, you already know that expunging a criminal record in Chicago or elsewhere can be a complicated and time-consuming process. For most people, it pays to have a criminal record expungement lawyer on their side. But either way, with or without an attorney, this guide covers the biggest mistakes people make in criminal record expungement.
Huge Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Getting Your Criminal Record Expunged in Chicago
Here are some of the biggest mistakes people make in criminal record expungement:
- Not being eligible but applying anyway
- Incorrectly filling out forms
- Failing to disclose their entire criminal histories
- Missing filing deadlines
- Not working with an experienced expungement attorney
Here’s a closer look at each.
Related: Why you need a criminal record expungement attorney in Chicago
Not Being Eligible but Applying for Expungement Anyway
There’s no point in applying for criminal record expungement if you’re not eligible, but many people make the mistake of failing to determine their eligibility before filling out and filing a petition. In fact, this is one of the most common mistakes people make when they’re seeking criminal record expungement in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois. The fact is that not all criminal records can be expunged, and some are better suited to criminal record sealing. However, working with an experienced Chicago expungement lawyer can help alleviate this issue, because your attorney will know which offenses are eligible for expungement, which are eligible for sealing, and which are not eligible for anything and must remain on your criminal record.
Related: Life after expungement: What’s next?
Incorrectly Filling Out Forms
Expungement forms can be difficult to fill out accurately and completely, which is why many people choose to work with attorneys during this process. If you fill out the forms incorrectly, it can result in a delay or even a denial of your request. It’s very important that you review the forms carefully and ensure that you include all the information necessary for the petition.
Related: The steps a lawyer will take to expunge your record
Failing to Disclose Their Entire Criminal Histories
Sometimes, people fail to disclose their entire criminal histories, which can impede the expungement process. When you want your record expunged, you must disclose your entire criminal history, even if the charges were dismissed or resulted in a not guilty verdict. If you fail to share your entire criminal history, a judge may deny your petition. For many people, the best solution is to have an attorney complete a background check that includes everything.
Related: How to figure out if you’re eligible for expungement in Illinois
Missing Filing Deadlines
You can’t miss deadlines when you’re filing an expungement petition. You need to file all of your paperwork on time and in the right locations. Again, many people find it easier to work with a criminal record clearing attorney in Chicago who understands the expungement process and has experience getting paperwork in on time.
Not Working With an Experienced Expungement Attorney
The expungement process can be convoluted and complicated, so for most people, the easiest way to handle it is to work with an experienced attorney. Although it is possible to expunge your criminal record on your own, it requires you to fill out and file extensive paperwork, stay organized, and dig up all kinds of information that may be easier for an attorney to find.
Related: The benefits of expunging your criminal record in Chicago
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Expungement or Sealing?
If you’re tired of your criminal past coming back to bite you, we may be able to help. Call us right now at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below so we can talk about your case.
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