Do You Qualify for Criminal Record Expungement?

Posted on in Expungement

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Cook County defense lawyerThe prospect of having a criminal record expunged is an appealing one. For new offenders who have an otherwise spotless record, having anything blemish that record can be discouraging, especially when the potential long-term effects are considered. Having a criminal record can impact everything from your reputation in your community and workplace to your ability to acquire or maintain a place of employment. If you desire to have your record expunged, you first need to see what the law says about the process and whether or not you even qualify.

The Criminal Identification Act Standards

The law determines who may be eligible for the expungement process in Section 5.2 of the Criminal Identification Act. Unless you are an honorably discharged veteran convicted of specific Class 3 or Class 4 felonies, you are only eligible to have your record expunged if you have never before been convicted of a criminal offense or municipal ordinance violation. Under Illinois law, your record cannot be expunged if it is federal or out-of-state. Other factors that disqualify your record from being eligible for expungement include:


Four Criminal Expungement Myths Exposed

Posted on in Expungement

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal law, Illinois criminal lawyer,For individuals in the state of Illinois who have never been convicted of a crime, having a record expunged has the power to bring an overwhelming amount of relief and to open up a world of possibilities for the future. Criminal expungement essentially “erases” your criminal record, which can help eliminate the fear of missing out on future employment opportunities or possibly experiencing negative effects on any current employment standing. The benefits of expungement extend even further when it comes to your overall reputation. A clean record can give you peace of mind, a fresh slate, and the confidence you need to move forward after your arrest.

Truths and Common Misconceptions

As beneficial as criminal expungement can be, there are many misunderstandings about the process and what it means for the offender once everything is all said and done. The following facts and misconceptions commonly cause confusion for first-time offenders approaching the topic of expungement:


Adult Versus Juvenile Expungement

Posted on in Expungement

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal law, Illinois criminal lawyer,For first-time criminal offenders, having a record expunged following a criminal arrest can make a huge difference in the overall outcome of the arrest experience. Expungement is essentially the erasing of criminal arrests or charges from one’s record. A cleared record offers a multitude of benefits for the offender, the first being the lifted burden of having a fresh start in terms of present and future employment opportunities.

While erasing arrest details from a criminal record cannot undo the hassle or unfortunate stigma you incur from being accused of a crime, it can at least offer a ray of hope for first-time offenders who wish to possess a clean record for current and potential employers. Both juveniles and adults may have their criminal records expunged, although the proceedings differ. Here are three factors that separate adult expungement from juvenile expungement:

Differing Justice Systems


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:


criminal recordFinding a job with a criminal record can be difficult. Many employers across the country require that applicants disclose if they have a criminal record, and often turn down qualified employees based on their past arrests and convictions. According to the National Employment Law Project, nearly one third of American adults today have some type of prior conviction or arrest, meaning there are millions of Americans struggling to find employment. Fortunately, it seems the expectation that those with a criminal record will be bad employees may not be true. A new study indicates that employees with criminal records are no more likely to perform poorly on the job than their counterparts without records, and in fact, those with a record may outperform those without.

A Record Does Not Indicate a Poor Employee

Researchers with Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst conducted the study, which examined the nation’s largest employer - the United States military. The research shows that employers across the country who deny jobs to potential employees with criminal backgrounds may be losing out on quality staff. Research like this is largely unprecedented, as no evidence is available to assess the performance of past criminals in the workplace. The United States military, however, has actively pursued and hired those with felony backgrounds for years, making it a prime employer to study.

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