Chicago Criminal Expungements Blog

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

How to Expunge Retail Theft From Your Record

If you’re like most people who have a criminal record that involves retail theft, you’d probably like to have it expunged.

And there’s good news: If you were charged with retail theft but never convicted, you may be eligible for expungement. If you don’t qualify for expungement because you were convicted of retail theft, you might still be able to have your criminal record sealed.

What’s the Difference Between Expunging Retail Theft and Sealing Retail Theft?

When your record is expunged, it’s gone forever. The agencies that have your records must destroy them or return them to you, so essentially, it’s like it never happened.

People who don’t qualify for expungement might still qualify for sealing. (You can’t expunge most convictions, but there are a few exceptions, such as honorably discharged veteran expungement.) Sealing means that your records still exist, but the general public doesn’t have access to them. Landlords and most prospective employers won’t be able to see them, and neither will a member of the general public who’s running a simple background check on you.

Related: Am I eligible for expungement?

How Do You Expunge Retail Theft?

The process of expungement is similar to the process of sealing. For most people, because it can get complicated and because it requires you to file the right forms in the right places, it makes sense to work with a lawyer.

You can only expunge a retail theft record that resulted in:

  • Acquittal, dismissal or release without charges
  • A vacated or reversed conviction
  • Completed supervision or certain types of probation

Otherwise, you’ll have to talk to your attorney about sealing your retail theft record. There are restrictions on criminal record sealing, too, so not everyone (and not every crime) is eligible.

Your attorney will file the right paperwork with the court after looking over your complete criminal record, and eventually, your petition for expungement or sealing will end up on the state’s attorney’s desk. The state’s attorney can decide to object to your petition – and if he or she does, you could be entitled to a hearing. (Don’t worry. Your lawyer will represent you if you have a hearing.)

After your petition gets approval or disapproval from the state’s attorney, it’ll end up with a judge. The judge makes the final decision on whether you can expunge or seal your retail theft record.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Expunging Retail Theft From Your Record?

If you think you’re eligible for expungement or sealing of your retail theft record, or if you’re not sure whether you qualify for either, call us right now at 847-920-4540. We’ll talk about your situation, find out what’s on your criminal record (aside from retail theft) and start developing a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.

 



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