St. Charles Expungement Lawyers

Compassionate St. Charles Attorneys Devoted to Your Fresh Start through Expungement Services

Expunging a criminal record in Illinois serves as a way for eligible defendants to have their history of arrests or convictions effectively destroyed. This opportunity extends beyond sealing criminal records because, unlike sealing, no agencies can access an expunged record. Potential employers, government officials, or others cannot hold a criminal record against someone whose records have been expunged. Expungement can provide benefits for a person if they face future criminal charges, seek employment within certain professions, and generally live their daily lives.

It is not easy to qualify for expungement in Illinois, and it is important for anyone who is eligible for this opportunity to take full advantage of this chance to move forward and protect their future. It is also important for those who may not be eligible for expungement to understand that they may qualify for other forms of post-conviction relief. Seeking legal guidance from an attorney who understands how expungements are handled in Illinois can ensure that these matters will be addressed correctly.

Expunging Juvenile Records

The state of Illinois broadly acknowledges that youthful transgressions should not bar minors from seeking meaningful opportunities once they reach adulthood. As a result, juvenile offense records are sealed automatically. Some juvenile records are even expunged automatically, while others cannot be expunged until a former juvenile offender has successfully petitioned the court to take such action. Nevertheless, most juvenile records can be expunged with the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney.

Expunging Adult Records

The state of Illinois is less generous in extending expungement opportunities to adult offenders, but this does not mean that securing an expungement is necessarily out of your reach. If you were criminally charged, but the case against you was ultimately dismissed, if you were arrested on suspicion of wrongdoing but you were not formally charged, or if you were tried and acquitted, you are eligible to expunge your relevant records. You may also be eligible for expungement if you were convicted of specific, lesser offenses or if you completed diversion programs that allowed you to resolve criminal charges while avoiding a conviction.

Other Forms of Post-Conviction Relief

When defendants are ineligible to have their records expunged, they may benefit from exploring alternative forms of post-conviction relief. For example, some criminal records can be sealed by the courts. When records are sealed, they cannot be accessed by the general public, nor will they show up on standard background checks initiated by landlords, banks, most employers, and volunteer coordinators. However, because these records still exist within the legal system, they may be accessed by law enforcement officers or court officials in the event of future criminal charges. Other parties may also be able to access records, including potential employers within specific government agencies.

Even if one's records cannot be expunged or sealed, Illinois offers certificates of good conduct and certificates of relief from disabilities for qualifying defendants. These opportunities can help former criminal offenders secure employment and professional licenses that might otherwise be unavailable to them as a result of a criminal record. These are just a few of the post-conviction relief options available to eligible defendants in Illinois, and an experienced attorney can provide guidance on the best steps to take to clear one's record and pursue future opportunities.

Contact a Compassionate St. Charles Expungement Lawyer

If you may be eligible for expungement or another form of post-conviction relief, there is no time like the present to explore your rights and your options under the law. The respected legal team at Goostree Law Group can help you understand the opportunities available to you. To take advantage of a free case evaluation and ensure that you can make informed choices about your options moving forward, you can call us at 630-584-4800 or contact us online. We look forward to speaking with you.

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