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Posted on in Expungement

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.

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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.

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