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Criminal records can restrict access to employment, housing, bank loans, school admission, and more. It is possible to expunge or seal these records depending on the nature of the crime. None of this will happen automatically, and you will have to work proactively with a highly-capable criminal defense attorney to ensure that your criminal record does not prevent you from enjoying certain privileges in the future.

What Crimes Can Be Sealed

Having a crime expunged from your record means that you eradicate it and it will never have an impact on you in the future. Not all crimes are eligible for this treatment, but many more are allowed to be sealed. This means that the crime in question will not be used against you in a background check and will not be available in the public record, but law enforcement will have access to your record and it will be available via court order.

If you were charged with a misdemeanor or a felony but were never convicted, you can seal your record at any moment. The exception to this rule is for minor traffic offenses, but if you were released before being charged with such, you can still seal your record.

The rest of the cases that you can seal all require that it has been at least three years since serving your last sentence. Convictions for most misdemeanors and felonies can be sealed except for a DUI, reckless driving, domestic battery, violation of an order of protection, sexual offenses, animal offenses, or any felony convictions you were charged with after already having a felony conviction sealed.

While you can seal qualifying offenses three to five years after your last sentence, an exception is made in which you can seal immediately upon completing either a high school diploma, associate’s degree, career certificate, vocational certification, bachelor’s degree, or the GED test.

Contact a Elgin Criminal Defense Attorney

If you want to seal your criminal record to protect your future, it is essential to work with an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney. At the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we have years of experience helping those formerly convicted of misdemeanors and felonies expunge and seal their records. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 847-488-0889.

 

SOURCE:

https://www2.illinois.gov/osad/Expungement/Documents/Adult%20Exp/ExpungementSealing_Instructions_Approved.pdf

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Posted on in Criminal Defense

criminal records expingement, Kane County criminal defense lawyerCriminal convictions often result in punishments for the offender like fines or jail time. These sentences are carefully calibrated to penalize the offender to the extent they deserve and no more. This is why judges do not hand down life sentences for petty theft. Yet all too often, the consequences of a criminal record can follow people long after they have paid their debt to society. Carrying a criminal record can make it difficult to get certain licenses and difficult to find employment. Fortunately, the law gives certain people a remedy for this by allowing them to expunge or seal their records after a certain amount of time. Expunging and sealing are two different processes, and different people will qualify for each one.

Expunging a Record

Expunging a record is the more preferable of the two options, but fewer people will qualify for it. If a person successfully gets his or her record expunged, then the police remove any record of the arrest from his or her files. Then, the court removes all public records of the arrest, and places the file in storage. The expungement then carries over to other federal databases to make sure the record is cleared out everywhere. Additionally, expunged records do not have to be reported on job applications, and they can only be retrieved by a court order.

Qualifying for an expungement is difficult. Any conviction of any criminal offense, municipal ordinance violation, or serious traffic offense is enough to disqualify a person from having his or her record expunged. This means that expungement is only available to people who have been arrested but not tried or not convicted. There may also be a waiting period for a person to have his or her record expunged, but that depends on the type of crimes and the exact outcomes of the cases.

Sealing a Record

Having a record sealed differs in important ways from having it expunged. It is a less drastic remedy that more people qualify for, but it also has fewer benefits. Unlike an expungement, people with certain convictions can still qualify to have their record sealed. People with misdemeanor convictions can still have their records sealed as long as the misdemeanor is not violent, is not a sexual crime, is not related to the Humane Care of Animals Act, and is not a severe traffic violation. However, people with misdemeanor convictions must wait four years before the sealing can occur. Sealed criminal records cannot be seen by most employers, but they can still be seen by law enforcement as well as certain employers like school systems and jobs related to children.

If you have a criminal record and would like to have it sealed or expunged, an experienced Kane County criminal lawyer can help. Contact one today to learn more about your rights.

Last modified on

Posted on in Criminal Defense

certificate of good conduct, Kane County criminal attorneyMany people with criminal records have trouble finding good jobs because the record makes them less attractive to potential employers. Some people can solve this problem using remedies like getting their records expunged or having them sealed. However, not everyone qualifies for those processes either because their record includes convictions or because their crimes were too serious. In these cases, Illinois law provides another option, the Certificate of Good Conduct.

What Certificates of Good Conduct Do

Unlike expungement or record sealing, which prevents many employers from seeing the criminal record, the Certificate of Good Conduct leaves the record publicly available. However, it provides an official finding by the court that the offender has been reformed, which can often make employers more willing to hire people with criminal records. Beyond that, the Certificate helps with employment in other ways. For instance, there are certain jobs that Illinois law forbids people with criminal records to hold. These Certificates allow the court to override those laws, so that the person can take the job despite their record. Additionally, the Certificate makes it harder for employers to be sued based on the actions of the employee, which can put many businesses at ease.

Who Qualifies

A person must meet a variety of qualifications in order to receive a Certificate. First, a certain amount of time must have passed after their convictions. For misdemeanors, the person must wait at least a year after the end of his or her probation or parole, and the waiting period for felonies is at least two years. Second, the person must be an eligible offender under the law. This means that he or she cannot have a variety of types of convictions. These convictions include:

  • Class X felonies, which are the most serious crimes like murder;
  • Any felony convictions involving great bodily harm to a person; and
  • Any convictions that require a person to register after their release.

Finally, the person must demonstrate that he or she been rehabilitated. This requirement is not as concrete as the other ones, and it tends to depend on the types of crimes on the record. For instance, with drug crimes, the courts will want to see that the person has stopped using drugs, and for gang-related crimes, the judge may look for whether the offender has cut ties with the people whom he or she knew in the gang. Often the best way to show these sorts of reformation is through a combination of letters of support from people who know the offender, as well as testimony by those people during the hearing for the Certificate

If you believe you qualify for a Certificate of Good Conduct and are interested in learning more about the process, reach out to an experienced Kane County criminal law attorney today.

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