The negative consequences of a criminal record are many, and they can impact your life for many years to come. Luckily, it is possible to remove an arrest and criminal charges from your record in some cases. The process is called expungement. By expunging a mark on your record, you can obtain a clean slate for the future. At J. Aldrich Law, P.C., our attorneys can explain the expungement process and discuss your eligibility. If you qualify, we can assist you in filing the necessary paperwork or walk you through the process. If you do not qualify, we may still be able to help you seal your record.
When you apply for a job, an apartment, a professional license, or even a scholarship, your criminal record is often examined using a background check. Having an arrest or criminal charges on your record can work against you and hold you back long after the incident actually occurred. Even if charges were dropped against you or you were acquitted at trial, that brush with the law can still negatively impact your future. Expungement allows you to prevent that from happening. If an expungement is granted, all records of your arrest and charges will be removed from public criminal records and destroyed. No one, not even law enforcement, will be able to access the expunged records and use them against you.
You may have your record of an arrest or charges expunged immediately if your case ended in an acquittal, Stricken On Leave (SOL), Finding of No Probable Cause (FNPC), Nolle Prosequi (NP), dismissal, or no charges filed. It is also possible to expunge the record of a case that ended in court supervision for certain charges if the court supervision was properly completed. Likewise, certain minor offenses and charges related to drug possession that result in a final disposition of probation are also eligible for expungement. A two to five year waiting period for expungement applies to cases involving court supervision and probation, however. Only people who have no other convictions are eligible to have their records expunged in Illinois.
If your case is not eligible for expungement, we may be able to help you seal your record with an Order of Non-Disclosure. Sealing your record does not destroy it, but it keeps it private and prevents it from showing up on consumer background check such as the ones used by employers. While the record would still be available to law enforcement, most of the benefits of expungement are still applicable.
If you are interested in expunging an arrest or criminal disposition from your record, contact our attorneys at 630-953-3000 to schedule a free initial consultation. We will examine your record and explain your legal options for expungement. Our office is located in Naperville, Illinois, and we work with clients throughout the region. We handle cases in DuPage, Will, Cook, Kane, and Kendall Counties.