Illinois Expungement Attorney and Clearing Your Record Lawyer
Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Will County Expungements and Seals
If you have been arrested, charged or prosecuted, your felony or misdemeanor criminal record is part of the public eye which can be viewed by anyone. Your current employer, potential employer, family and friends all have access to public records, especially with advent of the internet. If you have an arrest on the books, it is available to them, even if the case was dismissed or you were placed on court supervision or told the case would not be on your record by the judge or another attorney.
Many employers do an extensive background check before hiring. Even if your arrest charges were dropped, the arrest record can be a source of embarrassment for you leading to loss of employment, the inability to advance in your current position, or obtain a new job.
Don't let this happen to you. Expunge or seal your record as soon as possible. It takes time to obtain an Expungement Order from the court. Furthermore, Illinois expungement and sealing laws are very complicated and can be very confusing for most lawyers and non-lawyers, alike. It is best to hire a knowledgeable, qualified expungement lawyer like those at the offices of Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. to help you. Contact an experienced expungement attorney in the Chicagoland area, including Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, and Kane County, Illinois to discuss your situation.
Call 630-472-9700 or Contact Us.
Clearing your record does not happen automatically, despite what you may have been told in the past.
In order to get the arrest out of the public eye, you must file a petition for expungement or seal and ask for a court order expunging or sealing your arrest. Under Illinois law, each county, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Will County, has different forms to use and different procedures that must be followed to the letter. Some counties require you to appear in court. Other counties do not.
What is an Expungement?
An expungement is the process whereby the record of your Illinois arrest is destroyed and no longer available for viewing. An expungment is permanent. An Expungement Order requires the Clerk of the Circuit Court to remove your name from the list of cases it maintains and destroyed the entire court file. The order also directs the local policing agency who made the arrest and the Illinois State Police to destroy or return all records in their possession to you, the defendant. And, lastly, it instructs the Office of the State's Attorney or Village Prosecutor to destroy their files on the matter. It is the only way to keep your Illinois arrest record from being viewed by anyone. Expungement laws in Illinois do not apply to cases in other states or countries.
What is a Seal?
For those cases that are not eligible to be expunged, there may be another option available called sealing the record. A seal is similar in an expungement in that in order to obtain it, you must file a petition. However, it differs from an expungement because it does not result in the complete and total destruction of your arrest record. Rather, an Order to Seal your record will result in the Court requiring the Clerk of the Circuit Court to impound or hide your record from the general public. Your record will still remain visible to law enforcement agencies, the Office of the State's Attorney or Village Prosecutors. Illinois seal laws will not affect your records in other states or countries.
Improperly filing of your petition can lead to the denial of your expungement or seal.
The Clerk of the Circuit Court may provide you with the forms to begin the expungement process, but the Clerk can not and will not give you legal advice or instructions on how to represent yourself. Legal advice includes telling you whether your case qualifies for an expungement. Do not guess as to whether or not you are eligible. And, do not attempt this on your own. The expungment and sealing laws are very complicated and confusing to most lawyers, let alone people who have never been to law school. You should retain an experienced expungement attorney to help you review your arrest record to determine whether your case is eligible for expungement or sealing.
Our experienced lawyers testified before committees in the Illinois Senate and House in 2014.
We proposed changes to the expungement and sealing laws contained in the Illinois Criminal Identification Act which were passed and signed into law by the Governor of the State of Illinois in August, 2014. These changes were designed to make expungement and sealing available to those who had been charged with seemingly victimless crimes, but that the old statute prohibited from clearing their records. These hard-working citizens were having a hard time obtaining jobs, qualifying for special licenses, or traveling outside of the country because of their criminal records. We changed all that. Those persons charged with ordinance violations are now able to expunge or seal their records. Justice prevailed! Read More....
Our attorneys will help guide you through the confusing process of eligibility, document preparation, court appearances, hearings and making sure the Court Order to clear your record is complied with by the Illinois State Police, the Clerk of the Circuit Court and all other agencies required to act under the law.
Call now for your free consultation: (630) 472-9700 or email us. In most all cases, we offer flat fees that include court costs and the fee to the Illinois State Police. Our office accepts credit cards and debit cards. Once you hire our office, we will communicate with you by email, facsimile and phone to make the process as easy as possible for you. If you are out of state, no problem. We represent individuals from all over the country. Call us and forget about it....we will take care of the rest.