The effects of having a criminal record can be far-reaching in Illinois. Facing criminal charges and being convicted of a criminal offense in Illinois are only small steps in what is often a very long process. Once a person is convicted of a crime such as a drug offense or burglary and serves a criminal sentence, that person still has a criminal record. Whether you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense or a felony offense, you will be required to provide information about your criminal record in a variety of contexts. For example, if you apply for a new job, your employer will likely ask about whether you have a criminal record. Moreover, people with criminal records often are ineligible for certain types of student loans and other benefits.
Is there anything you can do to prevent employers, lenders, and other members of the public from knowing about your criminal record? Generally speaking, there are two ways to prevent people from knowing about a criminal record — expungement and record sealing. We want to tell you more about how record sealing works in Illinois. If you need help with sealing your criminal record, you should get in touch with an Evanston record sealing attorney as soon as possible.
If you were convicted of a crime and served your sentence, you may be looking for options to prevent potential employers and other members of the public from gaining access to or knowledge about your criminal record. As we mentioned above, there are two basic ways to do this — through expungement or by sealing your record. How are these two things different?
Under Illinois law (20 ILCS 2630/5.2), expungement refers to a process in which criminal records are physically destroyed, and the person’s name is completely removed from any records concerning the criminal conviction. In other words, once a criminal record has been expunged, it is as if it never existed in the first place. Record sealing is different. With record sealing, the criminal record still exists in some form, but they are unavailable to most people without a court order. To be clear, record sealing does not destroy the criminal record, but it makes it largely inaccessible. The criminal record exists, but it cannot be accessed.
While expungement may be preferable, not all offenses are eligible for expungement. At the same time, it is important to work with an Evanston record sealing lawyer to ensure that your criminal record is eligible for record sealing.
Under recent changes to Illinois law through the Criminal Identification Act, more people in Evanston with criminal records may be eligible to have their records sealed. More specifically, courts can order certain records sealed when the criminal record involves a charge or an arrest that ultimately resulted in an order of supervision. In addition, it is now easier to have convictions for certain misdemeanors sealed.
Do you need assistance having your criminal record sealed? An experienced and aggressive record sealing lawyer in Evanston can help with your case. At the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus, we have years of experience assisting clients with a variety of criminal defense matters and post-conviction issues, including expungement and record sealing. Contact us today for more information.
Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus has successfully defended individuals charged with every conceivable criminal offense, from traffic misdemeanors to death-penalty eligible homicides.
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