Criminal Defense

How Does Expungement Work in Illinois?

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DuPage County Criminal LawyerWhen a person is arrested or charged with a criminal offense in Illinois, a criminal record will be created even if the person is found not guilty. Criminal records can often be read by any member of the public. To get a criminal record erased or hidden, a person must file a Request to Expunge and/or Seal Criminal Records with a court to have a judge approve the request. 

There are essentially three ways for people to erase their criminal records. Expungement erases arrests and court supervision from a person’s criminal record so it is like they never happened. Record sealing allows people to hide their criminal records from certain segments of the public, while still be accessible to entities such as law enforcement. Executive clemency is a pardon from the governor of Illinois that will authorize expungement.

Understanding Domestic Battery Charges

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DuPage County Violent Crimes LawyerDomestic battery is a criminal offense established under Illinois law defined as an individual knowingly causing bodily harm or making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature to a family or household member. A key thing to understand about domestic battery charges is that a person does not have to physically injure another party to face this type of charge.

Facing charges or a conviction of domestic battery can significantly impact someone’s life. Working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer can provide the legal guidance needed to protect your rights and avoid penalties.

DuPage County Criminal Defense AttorneyRetail theft involving “smash and grabs” has been making headlines in Illinois and across the United States. Organized retail theft typically involves a group of people who work together to steal many items at once. Last year, Illinois governor JB Pritzker signed a bill addressing organized retail theft and instituting stiffer penalties for individuals convicted of organized retail theft. This legislation went into effect January 1, 2023.

If you or a loved one were charged with shoplifting or theft, make sure you understand what you are up against. Theft is often a felony offense in Illinois and the penalties for a theft conviction can have a massive influence on an individual’s life.

DuPage County Expungement LawyerIn general, an acquittal means that the court found you not guilty of the crime you were charged with. This means that the prosecution was unable to prove its case for the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If you were acquitted of a crime, you probably assume that you do not have a criminal record. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is a record of every arrest that occurs in Illinois. When someone has a criminal record, it is usually available for public viewing, even if the charge was later dropped or the person was acquitted of the crime. A criminal record can negatively impact many aspects of life, such as employment opportunities and housing access.

If you have an arrest or criminal charge on your record, you may be able to clear your record through expungement.

The Illinois SAFE-T Act is Now in Effect

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DuPage County Violent Crimes LawyerMultiple new laws went into effect January 1, 2023. Among the recent Illinois legislative changes is the SAFE-T Act, which amended prison policy, criminal sentencing, and police reforms. Whether you or a loved one are currently facing criminal charges, or you simply want to be an informed citizen, it is important to understand the changes implemented by the SAFE-T Act.

Ending of Cash Bail is Still Uncertain

The Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act or SAFE-T Act passed the Illinois legislature in 2021 but some elements of the act are still in limbo. One of the main purposes of the legislation is to end the cash bail system – a matter that has been the subject of controversy and criticism for years. Cash bail is a system used by the criminal justice system to ensure that people who are charged with crimes show up to their court dates. This system requires individuals to pay money as collateral for their release from jail, and if they do not appear in court for their scheduled date, then the money will be forfeited.  It also allows individuals to be released from jail while they wait for their trial, rather than being held without bond or detained for extended periods of time. Many people believe that the cash bail disproportionately affects individuals who are unable to post a large amount of money, while favoring wealthy individuals.

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