Archive for the ‘criminal history’ tag

Changes to the Law Concerning How Juveniles Can Seek Expungements

February 13th, 2017 at 9:39 am

expungements, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerOne of the most detrimental aspects of a juvenile getting in trouble with the law for committing a criminal offense is that the incident will create a law enforcement and juvenile court record for the minor. Parents and affected juveniles can try to obtain an expungement, which means that they obtain a court order that hides the criminal record from the view of the public. However, a few select entities, such as the government, may still have access to expunged records.

Expunging the record means that the criminal record would not appear in a background check conducted by most individuals, and the affected individual would not have to disclose his or her expunged criminal history.

New Changes to the Law Concerning How Juveniles Can Seek Expungements

The trouble with obtaining a criminal record expungement in the past for a juvenile in Illinois was that there were many restrictions on how and when a juvenile could seek an expungement. However, in 2017 there will be several changes made to Illinois’ criminal justice laws. One change that has particular relevance to minors is how juveniles can seek expungement of their criminal records.

The new law provides that a person who is under the age of 18 years old can petition the court at any time to have his or her criminal record and juvenile court record expunged, or once the juvenile court proceedings against them related to the offense have concluded. The old law limited seeking expungement to juveniles who were 17 years old or older. Eligibility for the ability to petition the juvenile court for expungement is available to:

  1. Juveniles who were arrested, but no petition for delinquency was filed with the clerk of court against them, i.e., if the charges were dropped against the juvenile;
  2. Juveniles who were charged with an offense and a petition for delinquency was filed with the clerk of court, but the petition(s) were dismissed by the court without a finding that the juvenile was delinquent; i.e., the judge dismissed the case against the juvenile;
  3. Juveniles who were arrested and charged, but were not found to be delinquent by the juvenile court, i.e., the juvenile was found not guilty; 
  4. Juveniles who are placed under supervision of the court, and the juvenile’s period of supervision has been successfully completed; and
  5. Juveniles who are adjudicated for a low-level offense, such as a Class B misdemeanor, Class C misdemeanor, or petty or business offense.

It is important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer fighting the juvenile charges against you so that you will be able to have the charges dropped or dismissed. Once your defense is won, you can seek an expungement of your juvenile criminal record.

Juveniles With Criminal Records Need Help With Expungement

A criminal record may prevent you from getting a job or getting into school. If you want to do something about getting your record expunged, you should contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer for immediate assistance.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=5017&GAID=13&SessionID=88&LegID=94377

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

Federal Drug Offenders May Have Shorter Prison Terms

July 15th, 2014 at 7:00 am

criminal history, drug offenders, fair criminal justice system, federal drug offenders, overcrowded prison, Rolling Meadows drug crimes lawyerStrict sentences for drug offenses have recently been debated, in addition to the problem of overcrowding at prison facilities across the country and the associated cost to house so many inmates. Not only are states struggling with these problems, but the government on the federal level is seeking ways to address the same issues as well.

A recent news article revealed that Attorney General Eric H. Holder supported a proposal to reduce the incarceration time for some of those in prison in an effort to achieve a more fair criminal justice system for minorities as well as lower costs for taxpayers.

The Proposal

Under the proposal, about 20,000 out of 215,000 federal inmates would be eligible for reduced sentences. The potential reduction in sentence would be available to nonviolent low-level drug offenders who do not have strong criminal ties. The new sentences would apply retroactively and the U.S. Sentencing Commission is currently reviewing the proposal. Just a few months ago, the Commission decided to reduce the base offense for possession of specific quantities of controlled substances, which ultimately reduced average sentences by just under a year.

The proposed plan would act to make that guideline retroactive, effectively applying to inmates who were already sentenced and are serving time under the old guidelines. The retroactive sentencing would only be available to those defendants whose crimes were not violent, who did not use a weapon, and who do not possess a long criminal history. Not all inmates could apply for a lowered sentence though, and not all of those eligible would be granted one.

Striking a Balance

The bill’s supporters believe that the proposal strikes a good balance between ensuring the safety of the public while also addressing the pressing issues presented by the criminal justice system. The issues include the problem of overcrowded prison systems, which has been made worse by extremely long incarceration sentences. Mr. Holder has a strong history of advocating for sentencing reform, aiming to more appropriately align penalties with the seriousness of the associated crime and to make the criminal justice system a more fair system for minorities. He is also attempting to speed up clemency requests, especially those coming from low-level offenders.

Criminal Defense Attorney

There are mixed positions on the issue of reduced sentences, and the current proposal by no means has universal support. However, it will be interesting, if the proposal is passed, whether the same changes will translate to the state level regarding drug offenses.

The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have successful experience representing clients who have been charged with drug crimes. Contact an experienced Rolling Meadows drug crimes lawyer today to schedule a consultation. We serve clients in Chicago and the greater 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.