If you’re thinking about joining the military, criminal record expungement might be your main priority – most branches of the U.S. Armed Forces won’t accept people who have significant criminal records. And while there are some crimes you can never expunge, you may be able to clear your record so you can start your military career with a clean slate. Here’s what you need to know.Military Criminal Record Expungement:
When the state objects to your expungement, it’s normal to be upset. That doesn’t mean your judge will deny your request, but it does mean that you may be entitled to a hearing.
Remember, when you ask for your record to be sealed or expunged, you’re dealing with people who don’t know you; they don’t know anything about you other than what they’re reading on paper. That’s why it’s important to give your lawyer as much information as possible so that he can argue on your behalf.
Why the State’s Attorney Might Object
The State’s Attorney (the lawyer who represents the state of Illinois) may feel that you deserve to have your records expunged. However, in some cases, an extensive criminal record or certain types of crimes may lead the State’s Attorney to object to your expungement. If that happens, your lawyer can request an expungement hearing.
Tips for Your Expungement Hearing: What You Need to Know
Your lawyer will sit down and discuss the basics with you before your hearing. He’ll tell you how to respond to questions you may be asked, and he’ll explain how the process will go from start to finish. He’ll also answer any case-specific questions you have, so it’s a good idea to keep a running list of questions that you can ask all at once.
At your hearing, it’s important that you present a good image. If you don’t have a suit or office attire, that’s okay (but if you do, you should wear it). You just need to wear something that’s appropriate for the court’s formal environment, so aim for something that you could wear to church or to a funeral. T-shirts that have profanity, feature illegal activities or drugs, or are in bad repair should never be worn to court; open-toed shoes or sandals aren’t acceptable, either.
Address the judge as “Your Honor” and wait for your lawyer to give you the green light before you speak up. A little respect can go a long way in the courtroom, so don’t lose your cool. In short, act like you would in front of your grandmother and follow your lawyer’s lead.
While there’s no guarantee that your record will be sealed or expunged, it doesn’t hurt to try. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you may be able to work your way through this and start fresh. If you don’t know where to start, call us at (847)920-4540 or contact us online. We’ll be glad to help.