Chicago Criminal Expungements Blog

Monday, August 14, 2017

Can You Really Remove Your Criminal Record?

Having a criminal record can hold you back from getting a good job, obtaining credit, or even finding a place to live for your family. If you’re like most people with a few mistakes in the past, you’d do anything to get a fresh start so people could recognize you for who you are today… not who you were when you made those mistakes.

But can you really remove a criminal record from the books? And if you can, how do you go about doing it?

Can You Really Remove a Criminal Record?

Some people are eligible to expunge an arrest record and erase some crimes from their RAP sheets; others are only able to seal criminal records so the public can’t view them.

(Find out if you’re eligible for expungement now.)

How to Remove a Criminal Record

For many people, it makes sense to work with a Chicago expungement lawyer who knows the ropes. The expungement process can take several months, depending on how complex the case is and whether the state’s attorney objects to your request.

The first thing your lawyer will need is your complete criminal history. If you don’t have an official copy of your RAP sheet (that stands for record of arrests and prosecutions) and are unable to get it yourself, your lawyer may be able to conduct a background check for you.

(Find out how to get your criminal record in Cook County.)

Once your attorney determines you’re eligible for expungement or sealing, he’ll file the appropriate paperwork to ask the court to clear your record. In some cases, the state’s attorney doesn’t agree that you deserve a fresh start; if that happens, you may be entitled to a hearing. Your lawyer can argue on your behalf at that hearing, and the judge will decide based on all the evidence presented.

Do You Need to Remove Your Criminal Record?

If you’re ready for the fresh start expunging or sealing your criminal record can give you, call us right away at 847-920-4540 for a free case review. We’ll start developing a strategy to clear your name as soon as possible.


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