Chicago Expungement Lawyer

Criminal consequences can be severe, including incarceration and fines. However, the lasting result of a criminal record can impact all areas of your life, from reputation to future career options. If you’ve had a run-in with the law, you may be able to have your criminal record cleaned up with the help of a Chicago expungement lawyer.

Any type of entry on your criminal record can bar you from employment and make your life difficult. Some of your prior arrests, probation, or court supervision may be eligible for expungement. Through expungement, these blemishes may be taken off your record. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney with O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706 to determine if expungement is an option based on your criminal history.

Expungement in Illinois

The Illinois Criminal Identification Act allows you to expunge certain arrests, probation, and supervision. You cannot expunge convictions. The following terms found on a criminal record mean that you were not convicted of a crime, which means that the associated offense may be expunged.

  • Acquittal (not guilty)
  • Dismissal
  • No charges filed
  • NP (nolle prosequi)
  • SOL (stricken with leave)
  • FNPC (no probable cause)
  • Supervision (which was successfully completed)
  • Section 10, 70, 410, or TASC Probation (which was successfully completed)

Additionally, some felony probations are not considered convictions and may be expunged. These include first offender probation under:

  • Section 10 of the Cannabis Control Act
  • Section 70 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Control Act
  • Section 410 of the Controlled Substance Act
  • Certain offenses under the Steroid Control Act and Alcohol and Drug Dependency Act may be expunged as well.

The only exceptions are Honorably Discharged Veterans with Class 3 or Class 4 felony convictions.

Illinois law allows only crimes prosecuted in the state to be expunged. If the crime happened in another state or occurred at the federal level, it is not eligible for expungement.

Not all crimes are available for expungement. DUI offenses cannot be expunged under any circumstances, even under court supervision. If you commit a sexual offense against a minor, you will not be able to expunge that record. Expungement is also not possible for minor traffic offenses and civil matters like divorces and restraining orders.

How Do I Know If I Qualify for Expungement?

First, you need to access your criminal record. You can get this information from the local police, state police, sheriff’s office, or a county clerk. Avoid going online and paying for your criminal record. These websites are expensive to use and often give you an incomplete record. Plus, you will need an official copy of your record to attach to the expungement petition. You’ll also want to check it for accuracy.

Waiting periods often apply. However, if you were arrested but not charged with a crime or received an acquittal, you can start the process right away. You must wait 120 – 160 days for stricken without leave (SOL) cases, depending on whether or not you made a demand for trial.

If you served a period of court supervision, for most cases, you must wait two years after the time has been served. The waiting period increases to five years for cases such as theft, reckless driving, driving without insurance, domestic battery, and first-offense drug charges.

How O’Meara Law Can Help

Arrest, supervision, and probation records may stay on your criminal record for life. These records are accessible to the public, so anyone can go online and see your history. This can negatively affect your employment, educational prospects, and personal relationships. But if you apply for expungement, you can out these incidents behind you.

Expungement is an option to consider if you’ve never been convicted of a crime. Ask your Chicago expungement lawyer if you qualify. The laws may seem strict and the process may seem complicated, but with the help of a skilled lawyer, you may be able to get a fresh start.

To learn more, contact O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706 for your free and confidential initial case assessment.