Are you ready for a fresh start? Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes are more serious than others. If you are arrested or charged with a crime, a criminal record is opened. Even if you are cleared of the charges – or never even officially charged, are found to be not guilty or are convicted and serve your penalty, the criminal record remains a part of your history. A criminal record can haunt you for years, and even decades, and comes to light during a routine criminal background check:
• job application
• apartment rental applications or a home mortgage
• professional licenses
• credit cards or loans
• education facilities
• immigration applications
• filing for citizenship
Expungement is a chance for a fresh start. Under Illinois law, you could be eligible to have your criminal record expunged (destroyed) or sealed so that no one can access it. If your criminal record is expunged, it will no longer show up in police or court records during a criminal background check.
An expunged criminal record is destroyed, there will be a record but the underlying information will not be disclosed to the general public.
A sealed record is hidden from the public, but it may still be seen by some groups including law enforcement.
Under Illinois law, some crimes qualify for expungement, others may qualify for sealing and some crimes cannot be either sealed nor expunged.
Note: If you have an expungement and are applying for immigration benefits and are asked about any previous arrests or criminal history by an immigration official you must reveal your criminal history even if it expunged or sealed. You should consult an immigration attorney on how to proceed in your situation.
Whether your criminal history qualifies for expungement or sealing depends on:
• Whether you were found guilty
• The type of crime for which you pled or were found guilty
• The amount of time that has passed since you were convicted
Many misdemeanor and felony convictions do qualify for expungement sealing. Some crimes including domestic battery, animal crimes, and most sex offenses do not qualify for expungement or sealing in Illinois. You should consult an expungement attorney to review your case and qualifications.
At Godoy Law Office, we want to help you clean up your criminal record and all your court and arrest records. Mario Godoy began his criminal attorney career at the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office. While with the State’s Attorney, he clerked for the misdemeanor, felony, and civil divisions of that office. As a criminal prosecutor, Attorney Mario Godoy prosecuted battery, DUI, and drug cases. For a consultation regarding your immigration law concerns, Contact Us online or call us at 630-912-0322.
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AREAS WE SERVE: Godoy Law Office serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, and Lake Counties