The end of a criminal case, whether that means release from probation or the dismissal of charges, is a great feeling. Rather understandably, the last thing people in these situations want to do is go back to criminal court. Long after the euphoria fades, the records remain behind. They tend to surface at extremely inopportune times. Sometimes, the resurfacing comes so much later that the person has forgotten the circumstances and is unable to explain what happened. That just makes things worse. A Chicago record sealing attorney can help in this situation.
The diligent attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus do not want this to happen to you. So, we quickly and thoroughly evaluate your case to determine the kind of relief for which you might qualify. Some people can press the “delete” key and expunge all their records. Other people may qualify for record sealing. This process basically makes the records invisible to most people.
The court may expunge your record if you have never been convicted of a criminal offense in Illinois or any other state and the current charge disposition falls into one of the following categories:
Court Supervision is like deferred adjudication in other states. It is not technically a conviction, so the records are easier to seal or expunge. “Qualified probation” includes Second Chance Probation, many first-time drug offense probations, and the Offender Initiative Program.
Most offenses, except for DUI, most sex crimes, and a few other ones are expungable if the defendant meets the qualifications listed above.
Contrary to popular myth, courts do not automatically seal your records after a certain number of years, even if they were juvenile records.
The good news is that sealing is a much more straightforward process than expungement. Prosecutors are less likely to fight a sealing petition because the records remain behind. Generally, judges are more willing to grant sealing petitions as well, even if the defendant had a less-than-perfect probation record or there are some other black marks in the file.
Some Class 3 and Class 4 felonies are eligible for record sealing. Common ones include:
Additionally, if prosecutors dismissed the charges or a judge or jury exonerated the defendant, any type of record might be sealable. Even if the defendant has a criminal record and received probation, sealing might still be an option. The waiting period just might be a little longer.
Most misdemeanors, except for DUI, violating a protective order, most sex offense misdemeanors, and a few others, are sealable as well.
Expungement or sealing orders make it much easier to live your life. For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago Illinois Record Sealing Attorney, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus. Convenient payment plans are available.
Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus has successfully defended individuals charged with every conceivable criminal offense, from traffic misdemeanors to death-penalty eligible homicides.