Why Hiring an Experienced Lawyer Can Be the Best Move You’ll Make to Expunge Your Record

Expunging your criminal record in Illinois can significantly impact your future, opening doors that were previously closed due to past mistakes. Hiring a knowledgeable expungement lawyer can ensure that the process is handled efficiently and correctly, giving you the best chance for a fresh start.

Why Hiring an Experienced Lawyer Can Be the Best Move You’ll Make to Expunge Your Record

At the outset, it’s essential to understand the power of having an experienced lawyer when you’re looking to clear your criminal record through expungement or sealing in Illinois. Expungement erases your record, while sealing hides it from most public searches, though not from law enforcement. Illinois law provides certain allowances, especially for veterans, to clean their slates, offering a new lease on life.

This guide explains the following:

  • Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Lawyer
  • Key Differences Between Expungement and Sealing
  • What Records Can Be Expunged or Sealed
  • Process and Requirements for Expungement
  • Why Act Now

Here’s a closer look at each.

Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Lawyer

Working with an experienced lawyer can make a significant difference in the success of your expungement or sealing case. They understand the complexities of the law and can navigate the system to avoid common pitfalls that might hinder someone attempting to handle the process alone.

Related: Chicago expungement information

Key Differences Between Expungement and Sealing

It’s vital to grasp the distinction between expungement and sealing in Illinois. Expungement leads to the destruction or return of your criminal record, essentially making it as though the offenses never occurred. Sealing, however, restricts access to your record from most public inquiries but remains visible to law enforcement agencies.

Related: Can you seal a sex crime charge in Illinois?

Records That Can Be Expunged or Sealed

In Illinois, you can typically expunge arrests, dropped charges, acquittals, and vacated convictions. Convictions can often be sealed, except for violent crimes, DUIs, or certain driving offenses. Special provisions also exist for veterans seeking expungement.

Process and Requirements for Expungement

The process for expunging or sealing records involves several steps, including filing the correct paperwork, meeting eligibility criteria, and potentially attending a court hearing. An experienced lawyer can provide guidance and help streamline this process.

Why Act Now?

Delaying the expungement or sealing of your record can continue to affect your life negatively, impacting job opportunities, housing, and more. Acting now with the help of a skilled lawyer can hasten your return to a normal, unburdened life.

FAQ About Expunging Your Record

Check out these commonly asked questions about expunging your record. If you don’t see your question here, please call our office and we’ll find you the answers you need.

What Is the First Step in Expunging My Record?

The first step is to determine your eligibility. An expungement lawyer can help you determine whether you’re eligible for expungement by reviewing your criminal record.

Related: Can employers find expunged records?

How Long Does the Expungement Process Take?

The duration can vary, typically from a few months up to a year, depending on the complexity of your case and the backlog in the courts.

What Are the Costs Involved in Expunging a Record?

Costs can include filing fees, attorney fees, and potentially other administrative fees, all of which your lawyer can explain in detail.

Can a Sealed Record Ever Be Accessed?

Sealed records are not viewable by the general public but can be accessed by law enforcement agencies and in certain legal proceedings.

What Impact Does Expungement Have on My Future?

Expungement can remove many barriers to employment, education, and housing opportunities, allowing you to move forward without the burden of your past record.

By understanding the benefits and process of expunging or sealing your record, and acting with the assistance of a proficient lawyer, you can take significant steps towards reclaiming your life and securing a better future.

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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