Exploring criminal record expungement is an important part of attempting to repair and clean up any documented blemishes on your record that could be affecting your reputation and preventing you from landing that next job. While a criminal record does not always dictate your employment options, it could still hinder many offenders when it comes to certain job opportunities and could even affect their standing with their current employer, depending on the circumstances. Offenders may also encounter other challenges due to their criminal background, such as difficulty renting a home or restrictions regarding educational or military involvement.
Examining Your Record
The first step in finding out if you qualify to have your record expunged is to compile and examine your arrest history. Some records are simply not eligible, and certain convictions may automatically hold you back. As a general rule, if you have been convicted of a criminal offense or municipal ordinance violation, you are unable to expunge the conviction under Illinois law. You may, however, be eligible to seal it which makes your record inaccessible to most entities, but still allows specific agencies to access and view your record.
As dictated by the state, you will need to gather the following pieces of information about your arrest(s) in order to find out if your record qualifies:
- The date of the arrest and the case number;
- The name of the law enforcement agency that arrested you;
- A list of any charges that were brought against you;
- The final outcome of the case (also referred to as the disposition);
- The name of the prosecutor or attorney who prosecuted the case; and
- The name of the “chief legal officer of the unit of local government that affected the arrest.”
To get the information you need, you can visit your arresting agency location, the clerk of the circuit court that handled your case, or the Illinois State Police Bureau of Investigation. If you were fingerprinted, another helpful piece of information to have on hand is your “SID” number, which was assigned to your name if you were fingerprinted.
Once you have collected all the necessary information, you will be able to determine whether your criminal history can be erased. Not everyone qualifies for record expungement, but the process is worth looking into, especially if this is your first arrest and your record has been clear until now.
Call Us Today
An experienced DuPage County expungement attorney can help you understand the nature of your arrest, what it means for your record, and whether you have the option to erase it for the sake of your future. Contact our office today to schedule your free initial consultation.