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What Is Meant By Having A Record Expunged?


Expungement is a process by which a person that has been arrested, or has a criminal background, petitions the court to remove any evidence of the offense from the court records, as well as any law enforcement databases. If the petition to expunge is granted and the record is expunged, the records are generally destroyed, or returned to the petitioner. For further information, contact a Criminal Defense attorney in Illinois.

How Does Getting A Record Expunged Compare To Having A Record Sealed?

Normally, some types of offenses cannot be completely erased or expunged. However, they can be sealed. Sealing a case hides the details of the offense from most people in the general public, but it does not remove all evidence of the arrest or crime. The Illinois State Police would generally still have access to your records. This is a good alternative if full expungement is not available.

What Are The Top Misconceptions People Have About The Process Of Expungement?

Many people think that any types of offense can be expunged if you just wait long enough. This is a common misconception. There are very limited circumstances under which cases can be sealed or expunged. This process is governed by statute, and it’s limited to situations where cases were dismissed or special were given types of probation, such as situations where judgment was withheld.

Who Is Eligible To File To Have A Record Expunged?

For the most part, any arrest without a conviction can be expunged, such as if you were arrested and they dropped the charges. Additionally, if you were sentenced on a misdemeanor case to what is commonly referred to as court supervision, most of those offenses can be expunged as well. Most felony cases cannot be expunged. Felony cases that are eligible for expungement are generally cases where you were sentenced to a special type of probation. For example 4-10 or 7-10 probation for drug and cannabis cases, TASC probation, and second chance probation ordinarily can be expunged. Felony cases with a sentence of regular probation or prison generally cannot be expunged. Overall, the rules are complicated and change frequently, so it’s best to get a copy of your criminal record and call my office so that we can talk about the details.

How Does An Ongoing Criminal Case Impact My Chances Of Having A Prior Record Expunged?

Your criminal history can affect your ability to expunge certain charges. For example, let’s say you have been arrested and sentenced for 2 different cases. One of them is eligible for expungement, and the other is not eligible for expungement. The fact that you have one offense that is not eligible makes them both ineligible for expungement. It really isn’t fair and doesn’t make any sense, but unfortunately that’s the law. Get help from an experienced Criminal Defense attorney in Illinois if you have an ongoing criminal case.

Can You Walk Me Through The Process For Having A Record Expunged?

The process requires filing a petition with the court and like most court documents you have to give notice because you are asking for a hearing in front of the courts and there are certain people and entities that are entitled to notice of your petition and of the hearing. So you have to provide notice to the state’s attorney in the county that you were arrested in, you have to provide notice to the police department that arrested you, you have to provide notice to the city attorney of the municipality that you were arrested in and you also have to provide notice to the Illinois State Police. Once you have filed notice with all of these people then you have those entities or individuals that can object to your expungement if they so choose.

After you file your petition and you send out your notices, the court will assign a court date. Every county or jurisdiction is slightly different. Some require you to appear in court and some do not. Ultimately after your hearing if the court grants your petition for expungement they usually mail a copy of the order to you or your attorney and then you’ll receive letters from State Police and the arresting agency indicating that they’ve received the order and that they are complying with the order and they’ve expunged it. You’d also get notice at that time if the court had denied your petition to expunge.

For more information on Having A Record Expunged In Illinois, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling our Criminal Defense attorney in Illinois at  (815) 290-9170 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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