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Rolling Meadows Criminal Record Expungement and Sealing Attorney

Rolling Meadows Criminal Records Expungement Sealing Clearing Lawyer

Criminal Record Clearing Lawyer for Cook County and DuPage County

If someone does an internet search on you, will they discover that you have a criminal record? Criminal records are often easily accessible online and can prove very embarrassing if made public at an inconvenient moment in your life--as many athletes and other celebrities can attest.

What most people do not realize is: you can have a criminal record even if you were never convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime. If you have ever been arrested in Illinois, that arrest will show up on a criminal record search, even if the charges were later dismissed, you were found not guilty, or you completed court supervision resulting in no conviction.

An arrest record can remain available for public viewing forever, even if it was for something as minor as shoplifting. In addition to arrests, your criminal record will also show offenses you were charged with and the outcome of each case. Even Illinois juvenile records, which are sealed from viewing by the general public, can still be accessed by a variety of government agencies.

Aside from the humiliation factor mentioned earlier, a criminal record can cost you employment opportunities, particularly in fields that require government-issued licenses or that involve working with children. Landlords, lenders, and even universities may reject you, and your record could make you ineligible for federal student loans.

At Hartsfield Law, we understand the value of having a clear criminal record. Illinois law provides two procedures for clearing your record: expungement and sealing. Our services include:

  • Identifying what parts of your record can be expunged or sealed.
  • Filing the necessary court petitions for juvenile and/or adult records.
  • Appearing with you at court hearings to help ensure success.

Our goal is to clear as much of your record as possible, so that you can move forward in life with more opportunities open to you and without the burden of past mistakes.

The Difference Between Sealing and Expunging a Criminal Record

When a criminal record is sealed, it still exists in law enforcement files, but it can only be viewed by law enforcement agencies and by certain types of employers in connection with a job application (e.g., healthcare facilities, schools, fire and police departments, and the military). The criminal record will not be seen by other types of employers, landlords, lenders, and the general public.

When a criminal record is expunged, all police and court records related to that case are physically destroyed. Once an offense has been officially expunged, you can generally proceed as if it never happened (although there are a few exceptions where you must reveal the expungement, such as an application for military service).

It is possible to expunge some parts of your record (e.g., an arrest that did not lead to a conviction), yet have other parts that remain because they are not eligible for expungement. Depending on the crime, you may have to wait as long as five years after a conviction or completion of a sentence before you can apply for expungement.

Juvenile Records Sealing and Expungement in Illinois

Offenses committed before the age of 18 in Illinois are processed through the juvenile justice system, where all records are automatically sealed.

Virtually all juvenile offenses are eligible for expungement. The only juvenile records that cannot be expunged are guilty verdicts for first-degree murder and felony sex offenses.

In 2018, Illinois began a process to automatically purge many juvenile records after a certain period of time. However, this automatic process does not cover all records, and there is no guarantee of timeliness or even complete execution. To clear your record as surely and quickly as possible, you can file a petition for expungement in the circuit court that handled the case.

Adult Criminal Records Sealing and Expungement in Illinois

The following parts of an adult criminal record are eligible for expungement:

  • Any misdemeanor or felony arrest that did not result in a conviction.
  • Successfully completed court supervision (except for DUI, sexual offenses against minors, and reckless driving if you were age 25 or older at the time)
  • Successfully completed Second Chance Probation for a non-violent Class 3 or 4 felony such as theft, vandalism, or small-quantity drug possession.
  • Successfully completed First-Time Offender Probation for felony drug offenses (410/710 probation).
  • Successfully completed TASC probation for a non-violent crime committed by someone with a drug or alcohol addiction.
  • Some misdemeanor convictions (but not, for example, DUI, assault, or battery).

Except as cited above, felony convictions cannot be expunged. Most felony convictions, however, are eligible to be sealed. Felony convictions that cannot be sealed include DUI, reckless driving, cruelty to animals crimes, sex crimes (except prostitution), domestic battery, and violations of orders of protection.

Rolling Meadows Expungement and Sealing Attorney

Do you have an arrest record or criminal record? Is a criminal record limiting your job options or otherwise keeping you from fulfilling your potential? We can help. We understand exactly what it takes to get juvenile records expunged and adult criminal records sealed or expunged, no matter where in Illinois the offense occurred.

At Hartsfield Law, we are committed to getting your record as clean as possible. We serve clients throughout Cook County and DuPage County from our offices in Oakbrook Terrace, Rolling Meadows, and Chicago. Contact us at 312-345-1700 now to schedule a free consultation.

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