Reign in the New Year with a fresh start by legally expunging old criminal records! Imagine starting 2019 with a clean slate, and dropping any “convicted criminal” weight. Work with Attorney Laura Golub to expunge or seal the criminal records for you or a loved one. Unlock new growth opportunities and be set free from state laws that limit a convicted criminal’s liberties when you have a cleared record! Beyond the state-level laws, also keep federal restrictions in mind. The American Bar Association (ABA) reports more than 1,100 identifiable federal restrictions or limits that apply to people convicted of various crimes. These include limits on the rights of someone to receive disaster assistance, apply for student loans, apply for federal jobs, and receive certain federal business licenses or certifications.
The American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section created the ABA National Inventory of the Collateral Consequences of Conviction (NICCC) an online catalog of federal and state statutes and regulations that impose collateral consequences on persons convicted of crimes.
“Collateral consequences are legal and regulatory sanctions and restrictions that limit or prohibit people with criminal records from accessing employment, occupational licensing, housing, voting, education, and other opportunities.”
If you or a loved one have ever been convicted of a crime, it is advised to visit the National Inventory of the Collateral Consequences of Conviction (NICCC) page to gain knowledge on possible restrictions you’re experiencing as a convicted person in your region. Learning how a criminal record impacts someone’s life may be shocking, and can truly prompt someone to expunge or seal old criminal records for the sake of starting over with the New Year.
What is Expungement?
When a case is expunged in Illinois, the record of that case is treated as though the crime never occurred. The law enforcement agencies and courts expunge and destroy the records.
Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 5.2 (b) allows for those who have never been convicted of a criminal offense to expunge the records of their arrests and any charges not initiated by arrest. If a criminal record carries convictions, it may not be eligible for expungement in Illinois, but instead is eligible for record sealing.
What is Sealing?
When a record is sealed, the record becomes unavailable to the public and most government entities without a court order. However, persons involved in civil litigation may petition to unseal criminal records for the purpose of using them in the litigation. The Illinois Department of Corrections has access to all sealed records upon any new conviction though.
Court Considerations for Record Sealing or Expungement
The court can consider: (1) the strength of the evidence supporting the conviction, (2) the reasons that the State wants to keep the records public, (3) the petitioner’s age, criminal history and employment history, (4) the period of time been the arrest and filing of the petition for expungement, and (5) the consequences that the petitioner will face if it is not expunged. (20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(7)).
What happens after record sealing or expungement is granted?
After a judge grants the case, the client will receive an order sealing or expunging the case. Criminal record agencies and databases will be notified that they must update their records to reflect that the conviction was sealed or expunged. Once finalized, the record will not appear on a background check of government records. Another benefit is that employers may not ask if you have had any criminal records sealed or expunged while navigating the hiring process – which means brighter employment prospects!