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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.

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