Archive for the ‘Expungement’ Category

Sealing a Criminal Record in Illinois

January 18th, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Illinois criminal justice system, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, When you are convicted of a crime in Illinois, you may not want everyone to know that you have been convicted. Unfortunately, as a general rule, most criminal records are made available for public inspection. However, certain crimes may be eligible for expungement, which means that all records about that crime can be completely removed from the court records and indexes except for a copy that is provided to you, or sealing. Sealed records are kept confidential, and only a limited set of people may access them.

In some situations where you were charged with a crime, but not convicted, a criminal record will be generated, but it may also be eligible for expungement or sealing. Expungement of a criminal record is the best possible scenario, but sometimes it is not possible to obtain an expungement because the crime is ineligible. The next best option would be to try and have the record sealed.

What Does It Mean to Seal a Criminal Record in Illinois?

Sealing a criminal record in Illinois means that the record is physically and electronically maintained, but the sealed criminal record is not made available to the public without a court order. Additionally, the petitioner’s name (the name of the person with the criminal record) is obliterated, or removed, the from any official index or public record. But law enforcement agencies, the courts, as well as a few employers and other entities as allowed by law will retain the ability to access sealed criminal records.

Obtaining a Certificate of Sealing

Only certain crimes are eligible for sealing. Most misdemeanor crimes and some felonies are eligible. It is best to discuss whether the crime you are seeking to seal is eligible for sealing with an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney. One way to get your criminal record sealed is to obtain a Certificate of Sealing from the State of Illinois Prisoner Review Board.

Once you know that the crime is eligible for sealing, you must wait either five years from the end of the sentence for the crime or five years from your most recent arrest in order to be eligible to file a petition, i.e., an application, for obtaining a Certification of Sealing. Additional criteria may apply to your eligibility status. For instance, if your crime involved drugs, you are required to complete and provide proof of your mandatory drug program.

If your application is accepted, you will be granted a Certificate of Sealing by the Board, which can be filed with the circuit court so that you can obtain a court order to seal your criminal record. If your application is denied, then you must wait four more years before attempting to obtain a Certificate of Sealing.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Criminal records can be a burden on those who have them, and many people with criminal records are interested in having their records sealed from public view, or expunged all together.  If you have a criminal record that you are interested in sealing or having expunged, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer to discuss whether your criminal record is eligible. Our attorneys are prepared to assist you today.

 

Sources:

http://www.illinois.gov/prb/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.illinois.gov/prb/Documents/Certificate%20of%20Sealing%20application.pdf

The Basics about Criminal Record Expungement in Illinois

October 19th, 2015 at 7:13 am

Illinois criminal statutes, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer,A person’s criminal record is available to and viewable by the public and many people who have a criminal record in their history find that the existence of that criminal record causes a lot of problems. A criminal record might prevent someone from getting a job opportunity, or a scholarship. It can even cause a person problems if they are trying to get into professional school. For those individuals with a criminal record, there is the possibility that your criminal record can be expunged.

What Is Expungement?

Expungement is a legal process for which eligible candidates can petition the court of their sentencing county, and, if successful, an expungement effectively erases past crimes, court supervisions, and certain probations from the individual’s criminal record. This means that your criminal record is cleared of any evidence of those particular convictions, supervisions, or probations. To think of this another way, expunged records are destroyed.

You can go through the expungement petitions process with or without an attorney, but many people find determining their eligibility to be difficult and the petition process to be taxing and complex. An experienced expungement attorney can help you quickly and effectively navigate the expungement process.

Eligibility

Under Section 5.2 of the Criminal Identification Act, 20 ILCS 2630/5.2, certain qualifying arrests, supervisions, and probations made in Illinois may be expunged. The only individuals who are eligible for expungement are those who have never been convicted of a felony criminal offense, a misdemeanor criminal offense, or a violation of a municipal ordinance – with an exception for some honorably discharged veterans who have been convicted of certain Class 3 and Class 4 felonies.

There may be a time limit that must pass before you can seek to have your record expunged. Typically, the wait is five years, but some court supervisions can be expunged from your record after just two years. Some juvenile records may also be eligible for expungement as well, but they are handled differently than adult criminal records.

All or Nothing

If you have multiple convictions in your criminal record, or only some of your past offenses are eligible for expungement, but not others, you may find yourself in a tough spot. Expungement is an “all or nothing” game – either your whole record is expunged in one shot, or none of it gets expunged at all.

After Expungement

If you have your criminal record expunged, as a general rule you are under no obligation to ever tell anyone about the expunged convictions, supervisions, or probations. However, there is a limited exception when it comes to apply to certain types of jobs, which requires the disclosure of any and all criminal history – including expunged records.

Upon a successful conclusion to your expungement proceedings, the court will destroy the records relating to your expunged record, and will remove your information from any and all indexes and public records. You will be provided the only copy of your record, which you should hold onto in a safe place.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you believe that your criminal record is eligible for expungement, please do not hesitate to contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows defense attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 to discuss your case.

 

Source:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=350&ChapterID=5

An Opportunity for Expungement

July 8th, 2014 at 7:00 am

opportunity, Chicago criminal defense attorney, Cook County Circuit Court, criminal records sealed, expungement, Illinois law, law-abiding citizensUnder Illinois law, those convicted of certain crimes may be able to clear their criminal record. While this is a positive thing for many eligible people, the problem is that many are not aware of their option to do so. This often puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to education and employment opportunities after completing their sentences. However, according to a recent article, the clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court is working to spread awareness about the law so that people can take advantage of the benefits it offers in having their records expunged.

Expungement Summit

The clerk has been running a campaign for the last ten years aimed at educating offenders about their options to get their criminal records sealed or expunged. While she has made progress, there is still room for improvement, particularly among juvenile offenders. An educational summit will be held to continue the campaign. The goal is to let people know if they have an opportunity to expunge their court records, and to take advantage of the second chance it affords them to be law-abiding citizens and productive members of society. The law is aimed at removing as many obstacles as possible for people who are trying to better themselves and the life of their family. Many agencies and organizations from Cook County will be involved in hosting the event.

Criminal Convictions

After the tragedy of 9/11, the number of background checks performed on job applicants drastically increased from 20 percent to 80 percent. This statistic presented obvious difficulties in securing employment for those with a criminal record. Perhaps more problematic is that even those charged with minor infractions in the past were denied jobs and other opportunities because of the charges.

Employment opportunities are not the only thing with which a criminal record can interfere. Prior criminal charges in court records can affect education opportunities, bank loan applications, eligibility for military service, and housing or rental applications, just to name a few. Another important piece of information to keep in mind is that even if a defendant was later found innocent of a charge or never charged with a crime, he or she may still have an arrest record.

Juveniles

Although the number of juvenile applications for expungements have increased in recent years, it is believed that only a fraction of those eligible apply. Part of the problem may be that since juvenile cases are confidential, those charged with juvenile crimes mistakenly think no one can access their record anyway, so there is no need to get the case expunged. This likely causes many juvenile offenders to never think they need to seek an expungement.

Criminal Defense Attorney

There is a legal process involved in applying for and successfully obtaining an expungement. If you are interested in petitioning the court to clear your criminal record, the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can assist you. Contact us today for a consultation. We serve clients in Cook County and the surrounding area.

Expungement in Illinois

February 19th, 2014 at 12:05 pm

expungement IMAGEMany people have likely made a poor decision or two at one point in their life. Unfortunately for some, these mistakes may have legal consequences. The good news is that in the state of Illinois, those charged with certain crimes may be able to get the charges expunged from their criminal records. As echoed in an article by World News Report, individuals in Illinois can obtain an expungement in order to avoid facing the consequences of their poor judgment for the rest of their lives.

What is an Expungement?

An expungement means that a person’s records will be sealed from public access, which means that these records will only be available to view with an order form the court.

The article further explains that in Illinois specifically, an expungement means that the records will be physically destroyed or returned to the person seeking the expungement. Further, the person’s name will be removed from any public record or index in which it may have appeared in connection with the associated charges.

Why Obtain an Expungement?

Petitioning the court for an expungement of a prior arrest or conviction is almost always advisable for those who qualify for one. Having a criminal record can affect a person’s ability to get a job, obtain a lease, or purchase a home, even if the offense occurred decades ago.

If the crime appears when an employer conducts a background check or on a landlord’s rental application, the person may be denied a job or a lease because of the conviction or arrest.

However, if that person obtained an expungement, the criminal activity would not be accessible by members of the public.

Not all Crimes are Eligible for Expungement

According to the law in the state of Illinois, certain criminal offenses cannot be expunged or sealed from public access. They include, among others:

  • Sex crimes involving minors;
  • Minor traffic offenses;
  • Certain crimes graded as felonies.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in Illinois and you have questions about your eligibility for an expungement, it is advisable to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney about your situation. An attorney can discuss the specific facts of your case with you and determine if your case is able to be expunged or sealed from public view.

If you are eligible for an expungement, a criminal defense attorney can help you file a proper petition with the appropriate court. Contact us today to discuss your case and let us evaluate whether you can benefit from an expungement.

Use of Polygraph Tests in Chicago Crime Cases

December 3rd, 2013 at 11:05 am

police investigationWhen arrested for a crime in Chicago, the normal procedure is to be questioned by an officer.  Occasionally, a member of a department’s polygraph unit would examine the suspect with the help of a lie detector test.  Yet, a couple of convictions have been overturned lately, such as the murder charge against Nicole Harris.  Harris was convicted of murdering her four year old son in 2005 after being coerced into a confession with a false polygraph test.  In June of 2013, this conviction was overturned by a federal appeals court based on evidence uncovered by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

The use of polygraph examinations has decreased significantly over the past couple of years.  In 2011, around 400 tests were administered to suspects of crime compared to only 50 over eight months in 2013. The reason that the Chicago Police Department gave for the drop was that polygraph units have been reassigned from forensics units to the human resources department.  Their new orders include interviewing potential officer candidates.  “The temporary detail was made to address the backlog in pre-employment screening needs.  There hasn’t been a move away from polygraphs as a part of criminal investigations,” according to police spokesperson Adam Collins.

This change seems to coincide with an investigation by the Chicago Tribune into false confessions obtained by polygraph departments.  It was uncovered that examiners did not follow the proper procedures for giving polygraph examinations.  Rather the polygraph teams saw the examination as an opportunity to coerce a confession with possibly false information.  These departments also did not follow the standards of administering or scoring the tests they received.  Polygraph tests are supposed to be scored based on a numerical scale, but one examiner even said that they scored the test simply by “eyeballing it”.

If you have been arrested for any crime, it is important to have a defense attorney review your case.  They can make sure that the investigation follows the proper guidelines without violating your rights.  Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Cook County today.

What Is an Expungement and How Can You Get One?

November 22nd, 2013 at 3:30 pm

If you have a prior conviction on your record and have ever tried to get a job, you understand the problem: the employer is going to ask you if you have any convictions and you are obligated to disclose that you do. For many employers, this is a deal-breaker, and upon seeing a prior conviction, they will move on to the next candidate. This leaves you in the precarious position of not being able to obtain gainful employment, no matter how hard you try, because of a past mistake.

Expunging your record gives you a clean slate.Both conviction and arrest records are public, so potential employers can actually see if you have been arrested for an offense; even if you were not charged. Those of us who work in the field of criminal law appreciate that there is a huge difference between being charged for a crime and being convicted–police officers make errors all of the time. But potential employers are far less forgiving.

However, there is some good news. The State of Illinois understands this dilemma and has come up with a way to seal arrests and certain criminal convictions, making it so employers (and anyone who runs a background check) cannot see them. This is what an expungement is. Basically, an expungement erases your criminal records and lets you start off fresh again.

Do I Qualify for an Expungement?

Not all applicants can qualify for an Expungement based on the severity of their criminal history and the crimes contained therein. Generally, expungements are for misdemeanors and non-violent felony convictions that were committed a long time ago. To find out specifically whether you might qualify for an Expungement you should contact an expungement attorney today.

 Also, if you would like to learn more on your own, the Illinois State Appellate Defender’s website provides some helpful resources that shed light on this issue.

I Want an Expungement, What Should I Do?

If you are interested in starting fresh and getting your criminal record expunged, you should contact an experienced criminal defense firm. Here at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we have experience in successfully getting records expunged involving DUI offenses, traffic offenses, license reinstatement, drug charges, domestic violence, and all juvenile matters.

Click here to contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today, or call 847-394-3200 to schedule a free initial consultation and to determine if you are eligible for an expungement.

Man who Spent over 20 Years in Prison Exonerated

August 17th, 2013 at 8:00 am

criminal record expunge 164664874 (2)Over 25 years ago, James Kluppelberg was convicted of setting a deadly fire in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.  The home that was burnt contained a woman and her five children.  Elva Lupercio, 28, and her children who ranged between 3 and 10 years old, died in their home on the 4400 block of South Hermitage Avenue. After reviewing the scene, investigators determined that the fire was an accident.

Four years after the incident, Kluppelberg was identified as the perpetrator by a man who was arrested for burglary.  They booked Kluppelberg and, shortly after, he confessed to the crime.  Sentenced to life in prison, he maintained that he was innocent of all wrongdoing.

Kluppelberg was exonerated in 2012 of this crime due to advances in fire sciences.  It was also revealed that his confession of guilt was coerced by officers who had beaten Kluppelberg so badly that he started to urinate blood.  The man who turned him in was found to be lying in order to receive leniency for his burglary conviction.  The police department also withheld information about a drunk woman who started another fire nearby the

Although Kluppelburg was granted his release in May, he struggled to regain his old life.  It was very difficult to find a job with six murder convictions on his record.  Kluppelburg has applied to over 400 jobs and the only one that responded to give him an interview, didn’t give him the job because of his record.  He is forced to live with the support of his son and daughter-in-law in northwest Indiana.

For 14 months, Kluppelburg struggled to keep it together.  Luckily he was able to secure a certificate of innocence by proving that he was falsely accused.  He will also be eligible to receive nearly $200,000 in compensation for the years he was incarcerated.  Having a record makes it difficult to live the life you would want but you may be able to get it sealed or expunged.  Seek the assistance of an experienced expungement attorney in Rolling Meadows today to see if your record can be erased.

What is Expungement? Do I Qualify to Have my Record Expunged?

June 3rd, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Christine

A criminal record is serious and can hurt your future employment prospects. If you have a certain type of arrest, probation, or supervision on your record with no conviction, the state of Illinois does leave it possible for you to get your record expunged under Section 5.2 of the Criminal Identification Act (20 ILCS 263 0/5.2). Expungement eliminates a case brought up against you from your record as if it never existed. Expungement can be a good way to start fresh after an incident.

However, in order to have your record expunged, you must have had no prior criminal offense or municipal ordinance violation. If you have been convicted of either, your records can be sealed, so that your record is not public knowledge.

Expungement or sealing of records can only be applied in criminal cases and not in cases such as traffic offenses, divorces and orders of protection.  In cases where you do not qualify for expungement, you can seek out the governor for a pardon for your conviction, in which case your record will be erased for that case. This, however, is quite rare.

In order to start the process, you must file a petition in the county where the arrest was made or where the charge was brought against you. There is a filing fee you must pay of $60 that goes to the Illinois State police and then a court filing fee. It will take a few months to be processed completely, which includes the 60 days the State has to object to your petition.

Expungement and sealing can be an overwhelming and stressful process to which you may want to have someone who is experienced in the law to walk through with you. Find a criminal defense attorney who understands the process and can assist you in the Cook County area.

 

 

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