Five Common Questions about the Expungement Process in Illinois

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal law, Illinois criminal lawyer,Being charged with a misdemeanor or felony impacts nearly every aspect of your life. The moment these charges are placed on your public record, the ability to acquire a new job or even keep an existing one can become a challenge, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Your credibility and reputation are on the line, placing a lot at stake as you work to move forward after your arrest. This is where petitioning for an expungement comes in. The process is a helpful one, but obtaining an expungement order in Illinois can be difficult to accomplish unless done so under certain circumstances.

Knowing Where You Stand

Expungement laws vary from state to state and there are certain time restraints on obtaining an expungement order in the state of Illinois, why is why it is important to know as soon as possible if you qualify for a petition. Here are five of the most common questions offenders typically have regarding the expungement process:

1. Where do I file?

You must file your petition in whichever county you were arrested or wherever the charges were brought against you.

2. Are expungement and sealing the same thing?

Sealed records are not the same thing as expunged records. If your public records are sealed, this means federal and state agencies continue to maintain the records and law enforcement will continue to have access to them. Expunged records are destroyed by the agencies. They will remove any mention of your name from the record.

3. Am I required to tell future employers about my expungement?

Illinois law forbids current or potential employers from asking you if you have ever had a record expunged. However, if your record expungement has not been ruled by the court yet, you are still required to disclose your criminal history to employers.

4. How long will it take for my records to be expunged?

In general, it can take up to 60 days for your order to be processed. A number of factors can affect how long it takes for your case to be brought to a close, such as potential objections to your order. You can expect to wait a few months for the process to be completed in full.

5. What if I am found not guilty?

You must still have your record expunged even if the court deems you not guilty, as your public record will still contain a list of your arrests. If you want to ensure your record is clean – especially in the case of being found not guilty – it is imperative you follow through with the expungement process.

If you are concerned about the impact of your criminal charges on your future and are wondering whether or not you are eligible to have them expunged from your public record, take the next step by consulting with a competent Chicago criminal defense attorney who can advise and direct you as you pursue an expungement order. Call the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney at 312-270-0999 today for a personal consultation.

Sources:

https://www.illinois.gov/osad/Expungement/Documents/Crinminal%20Exp%20Guide/ExpungementSealingOverview.pdf

https://www.illinois.gov/osad/expungement/Pages/default.aspx

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