It’s not just you – expungement and the terms people use when referring to it can be extremely confusing. If your Chicago expungement lawyer says something you don’t understand, ask – otherwise, check out this quick-reference guide to expungement terms.
The Expungement Glossary
Adjudication: A formal court judgment
Conviction: A final judgment of guilt by the court
Criminal Identification Act: The law that allows records to be sealed and expunged in the state of Illinois
Disposition: The court’s final order on your criminal case
Expunge: To physically destroy records or return them to the petitioner (you), as well as to remove the petitioner’s (your) name from official or public records
Municipal ordinance: A law or regulation of the city or local government
Objection: The state’s protest against your petition for expungement
Petition: Your written request to the court
Sealing: To keep official records but make them unavailable to the general public without a court order, as well as to remove your name from official and public records (law enforcement and the courts can still access the records, as well as select employers and other entities)
Supervision: A court order that holds your case open for a set period of time, during which no judgment of guilt is entered
Your Lawyer is on Your Team
It’s okay if you don’t understand all of the legal jargon associated with your expungement case. Most people don’t, so you’re definitely not alone. It’s always a good idea to ask your Chicago expungement lawyer for clarification – after all, that’s what he’s there for.
If the state objects to your expungement petition, your lawyer is going to be there to help clear things up and ensure that the court gets to hear your side of the story. You might hear other unfamiliar terms in court, but again, just ask your lawyer to explain so you can make the best decisions and stay informed on what’s happening.