The accumulation of any criminal charges on your public record can present a number of challenges as you move on with your life after the offense. Blemishes on your record can affect everything from your present and future employment opportunities to your overall reputation throughout the community. An expungement order offers a way for criminal offenders to essentially erase charges from an arrest on their record, in turn clearing any mention of their name from both federal and state agencies.
In order to qualify for an expungement, you must meet certain criteria, however. There are also sensitive time restraints on obtaining an order, so it is important to explore whether or not your particular circumstances deem you eligible sooner rather than later. To initiate the record expungement process, start with the following three steps:
- Confirm you are a first-time offender. – Illinois law only allows individuals who have never been convicted of a criminal offense to qualify for expungement. This means you must be a first-time offender to apply for an order, otherwise, your record may only be eligible for sealing, not expungement. Sealing and expungement differ in that expungement completely destroys the record, while sealing still allows certain agencies and law enforcement access to the record;
- Compile your arrest history. - If you are in fact a first-time offender, the next task you must tackle in order to request expungement is to compile your complete criminal history. You will need a number of details, including your case number, the date of your arrest, and a list of charges that were brought against you. Additionally, you will need a description of the final outcome of the case and the date the case was completed;
- Gather your contacts and resources. Once you have done a thorough evaluation of your arrest history and have compiled the required case information, it is time to gather your contacts and draw upon your resources to get the ball rolling. Create a list of important contacts that can help you move your request along, such as your arresting agency (the police or sheriff’s department), the clerk of the circuit court for whichever county handled your arrest, and a private attorney of your choosing. You will need all of these contacts to address any lingering questions or concerns regarding the details of your charges.
Having your record expunged can be difficult, but it is achievable with the help of a professional Wheaton expungement attorney who has the knowledge and necessary skills to represent your case. If you are ready for a fresh slate, secure the assistance you need by calling 630-933-8400 today.