Many times, the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction are worse than the direct consequences. For example, a DUI conviction may double or even triple auto insurance rates for at least three years. So, most people continue paying money long after the court supervision has ended. The same is true in the expunction realm. Many criminal convictions make it difficult or impossible to obtain student aid, find a good job, pursue certain careers, or find a good place to live. Our Cicero record sealing attorneys have solutions.
The assertive attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus stand up for your legal rights before, during, and after a criminal trial. In many cases, these rights include the right to move out from under the shadow of a criminal conviction. Our legal team reviews your case, lays out your legal options, and then fights for you all the way. You are not satisfied with anything less than the best possible result under the circumstances, so neither are we.
Expungement means the deletion or destruction of any and all official records relating to the arrest, prosecution, and trial. On the other hand, if your records are sealed, they remain intact, but only a limited number of people can view them. These people basically include court personnel, law enforcement officers, and perhaps a few workers at a few state agencies.
Many people qualify for expungement under the expanded Illinois Criminal Identification Act. Generally, defendants are eligible if:
“Qualified probations” include most first-time drug possession offenses, Second Chance Probation, Offender Initiative Program probation, or any other Section 5.2(a)(1)(J) probation. Most offenses are expungable, except for most sex offenses and DUI. A two or five-year waiting period applies, as well.
Courts can seal most misdemeanor records, as well as most Class 3 and Class 4 felony records. The waiting period varies from two to 25 years, depending on the type of offense. Most people opt for sealing either because they are ineligible for expungement or the sealing waiting period is shorter.
Many people think the post-conviction relief process does not start until after their probation ends. But people who wait this long must play catch-up, and it is hard to win the game if you must start from behind.
Good conduct is essential during probation. If the probation officer endorses the petition, the prosecutor is less likely to contest the matter, and the judge is more likely to sign the order. Sometimes in these cases, the judge does not even hold a hearing.
A motion for early discharge from probation is usually a good idea, as well. Generally, defendants are eligible for discharge if they have completed half the term and have no outstanding obligations (e.g. all fines paid and all classes taken).
Sec. 5-6-1 discharge makes your good conduct a matter of public record. So, the probation officer’s endorsement is either easier to obtain or not necessary at all. Furthermore, the sooner probation ends, the sooner any statutory waiting period expires.
A criminal record is not set in stone. For a free consultation with an experienced Cicero Record Sealing Attorney, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus. We routinely handle matters in Cook County and nearby jurisdictions.
Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus has successfully defended individuals charged with every conceivable criminal offense, from traffic misdemeanors to death-penalty eligible homicides.