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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 Expungement

IL defense lawyerExpungement is when Illinois government erases criminal charges from a person’s record. This is different from sealing which is when the charges are simply hidden from public view but still exist.

Not all crimes are qualified to be expunged and not every person has the ability to petition for an expungement. It boils down to the type of crime as well as the number of charges already against the person petitioning to expunge a crime.

Understanding the Expungement Process

The first step in getting a charge erased from a personal record is to determine whether or not the charge is qualified to be expunged. Also, a person must find out if they are a candidate that is able to petition for an expungement.

Factors that could keep a person from expungement include the amount of time that has passed since the crime was committed as well as the person’s citizenship status.

Once it is decided that a crime is eligible for expungement, the petitioner should:

  • Collect copies of the criminal record
  • Fill out the appropriate forms
  • File the forms with the Illinois Circuit Clerk
  • Attend court hearing with all relevant material
  • If the petition is denied, ask for reconsideration

 A crime will most likely be expunged if the person has no prior history of criminal behavior. It is also good to have evidence such as proof of completion of a drug program or a letter of recommendation from someone who can show the court that the petitioner is not likely to repeat their offense.

What Crimes Can and Cannot Be Expunged?

Illinois does not allow every crime to be expunged from the record and it is wise to know whether a crime can be expunged before going through the process. This eliminates disappointment later on when the petition is denied.

Crimes that cannot be expunged include:

  • A federal conviction outside of Illinois
  • Minor traffic offenses
  • Convictions for misdemeanors or felonies
  • Court supervision that was not completed
  • Court supervision for reckless driving or DUI
  • Court supervision for sexual abuse of a minor

Arrests made for a misdemeanor or felony crimes which did not lead to conviction are eligible for expungement along with:

  • Convictions of a misdemeanor or felony charges which were reversed or pardoned
  • The petitioner is an honorably discharged veteran
  • Sentences for supervision if the waiting period has passed
  • Sentences of qualified probation if five years have passed

Contact an Elgin, IL Expungement Lawyer

It can be an overwhelming process to petition for expungement. Hiring a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help alleviate confusion and help you figure out if your crime is eligible for expungement. Our lawyers can also represent you when you go to court and fight to clear your record. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County expungement lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/criminal-offenses-can-be-expunged-or-sealed

https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/starting-case-expunge-or-seal-criminal-record

https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/expunging-or-sealing-criminal-record

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Aurora, IL defense lawyer

After being charged with a crime, it is important to understand the potential long-term ramifications. Outside of possible jail time, significant fines or loss of driving privileges, a misdemeanor or felony conviction can impact many aspects of your life. Many individuals with a criminal charge on their record face difficulty finding employment, securing housing, and receiving financial loans. 

Some criminal charges are eligible for expungement or a record seal, which remedy many potential complications in life. The expungement process can be complex and difficult, however, and requires the guidance of a skilled criminal defense lawyer. 

Understanding the Expungement Process 

An expungement is a court-ordered process that allows the legal record of an arrest to be erased from a person’s criminal record. Eligibility for expungement depends on the type and severity of the crime. Here in Illinois, expungement is possible in a large number of cases. If you were arrested for a misdemeanor or felony, but never convicted, you will likely be able to have the charges expunged. In other cases, you can file for expungement after completing a mandated suspension, or in the instance of a conviction reversal or dropped charges. 

If expungement is not possible, you may be able to pursue a criminal record seal. While this will not result in a complete erasure of the offense, it will ensure your record can only be viewed by law enforcement or through the court. A record seal ensures any potential employers or property managers will be unable to access the record. A criminal record seal is possible with most minor traffic offenses and felony traffic offenses that are reduced to misdemeanors. In the vast majority of cases, a felony or misdemeanor conviction can be sealed three years after completion of the sentence. 

Contact an Elgin, IL Expungement Lawyer 

If want to protect your future through expungement, the first step is to hire an adept attorney. With years of experience within the state of Illinois, Attorney Brian J. Mirandola will fight to secure your expungement eligibility. His diligent care and aggressive representation can make the difference in attaining full expungement or a criminal record seal. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, contact us today at 847-488-0889. 

Sources:

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

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Posted on in Expungement

Expungement, Elgin criminal defense attorneyIf you have ever been arrested on the suspicion of a crime, your arrest becomes part of your permanent criminal record, even if you never convicted. Potential employers, financial institutions, and even educational admissions officers could conduct background checks when you apply for a job, loan, or school program. Even just a single arrest in your history could lead to uncomfortable conversations and embarrassing questions long after the incident itself has been all but forgotten. Depending on how your case was resolved, however, your arrest may qualify to be expunged or removed from your permanent record. Thanks to a new law that became effective this year, more individuals than ever before could be eligible to restore lost opportunities by clearing their record.

What Is Expungement?

When an arrest is expunged, it means that all physical and digital records related to that arrest and subsequent prosecution are destroyed, deleted, or otherwise rendered inaccessible. An expunged arrest essentially never happened, and the arrest cannot be seen on background checks conducted for any purpose. Removing an arrest from one’s record can obviously be a tremendous help to that person’s future.

In Illinois, an arrest is only eligible to be expunged if it did not result in a conviction. An expungement may also be possible for certain arrests that resulted in court supervision or probation, as long as the requirements set forth have been successfully completed.

Old Law vs. New Law

Prior to 2017, the law in Illinois prohibited individuals with a prior conviction from seeking an expungement for any other arrest. This meant that if you had ever been convicted of a crime—other than a minor traffic offense—you could never have any other arrests expunged. Your application would be immediately rejected. As one might expect, this limitation eliminated expungement as an option for thousands of people, many of whom may have committed their indiscretion decades ago.

Beginning this year, however, the application requirements were amended to allow individuals with prior convictions to seek an expungement. Of course, the other eligibility criteria must still be met, and the expungement will not apply to the offense that resulted in the conviction.

Let Us Help

If you have questions about getting an arrest permanently removed from your criminal record, an experienced Kane County expungement attorney can help you explore your options. We will review your case and work with you in determining your eligibility for restoring future opportunities. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation today.

Source:

https://www.illinois.gov/osad/Expungement/Pages/Expungement-and-Sealing-General-Information.aspx

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expungement, Kane County criminal defense lawyerResearch requested by Illinois lawmakers has produced very concerning information regarding the way in which the state handles juvenile criminal records and expungements. The report went so far as to suggest that the laws regarding such matters in the state are "among the worst in the nation." Current regulations and bureaucratic red tape, the authors of the report indicate, tend to trap young offenders in a vicious cycle, often struggling with issues such as education, employment, and housing.

Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission

In a 2014 joint resolution, the Illinois General Assembly called for a review of the state’s juvenile justice system and the process of expungement by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission. The Commission exists primarily to provide independent research and recommendations to the governor and state lawmakers on matters related to juvenile crime, punishment, and rehabilitation. At the request of the legislature, the Commission reviewed records related to more than 1.8 million juvenile arrests between 2004 and 2014 in Illinois.

Disturbingly Low Expungement Rates

The purpose of a separate juvenile justice system is to address illegal activities of a young offender without necessarily impacting the rest of his or her life. In principle, that is why it is technically possible under Illinois law to have a juvenile record expunged, or erased. The process, however, does not seem to be working, as the commission found that in the ten-year period under review, there were just over 5,300 expungements were processed, or only about three expungements for every 1,000 arrests. Fully half of the state’s 102 counties did not report a single juvenile expungement between 2004 and 2014.

Contributing Factors

The Commission’s report highlighted a number of reasons why expungements seem to be so rare, most of them related to very restrictive laws. A person cannot apply for an expungement until he or she turns 18—21 for some offenses—and an offense is not eligible to be expunged until five years have passed since the last court proceeding. However, a conviction on any charges after age 18 disqualifies the person from having his or her juvenile record expunged. In addition, the related expenses can also be prohibitive, as expunging a single arrest can cost up to $320 in processing fees.

As a result, the Commission has recommended that lawmakers take a new look at the existing juvenile expungement laws. Efforts are already underway to allow a person under 18 to begin the process. The Commission would also like to see an expansion of automatic expungement policies and the reduction or elimination of some of the costs involved, allowing for more young people to get a fresh start.

Expungement Help

If you would like to learn more about clearing a juvenile record for yourself or a family member, contact an experienced Elgin expungement lawyer. At The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we know that the laws that govern the expungement process in Illinois can be very complex, but we can assist you in getting the new beginning you deserve. Call 847-488-0889 today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-juvenile-records-expunged-0429-biz-20160428-story.html

http://www.qconline.com/news/illinois/report-laws-holding-back-juveniles-with-criminal-records/article_a4337f76-0d79-11e6-ae95-1ba5bd26ae0c.html

http://ijjc.illinois.gov/

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