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Record Expungement Attorney Serving Clarendon Hills, Illinois

Everyone has made mistakes they regret at some point in their lives. If we're fortunate, we can learn from these mistakes and use the experience to grow as individuals. However, for some, these mistakes may result in criminal penalties that are difficult to overcome. Nevertheless, there are options available if you believe you have paid your dues and are ready to reintegrate into society as a more productive member.

One potential avenue is the expungement of your criminal record. To gain a deeper understanding of this process and to explore the steps involved in requesting expungement, consider reaching out to Gene Ognibene Associates.  

With offices located in Clarendon Hills, Illinois, Gene Ognibene is dedicated to serving clients throughout the region, including those in DuPage County, Kane County, DeKalb County, Kendall County, and Cook County. 

What Is Expungement?

Expungement literally means to “erase” something and in the criminal justice system, when you expunge someone’s permanent record you effectively destroy it and seal it from public view. Essentially, it’s as if the conviction never occurred and for most individuals, this means they will finally be able to pursue and live the kind of life they want without the cloud of their criminal record hanging over their heads. 

Who Is Eligible for an Expungement?

You may be eligible for an expungement for both misdemeanor and felony crimes, but not all charges will qualify and each state sets its own regulations about this. In Illinois, the following measures will be considered for expungement: 

  • If your charges were dismissed or dropped, or if you were found to be not guilty, you are likely eligible for immediate expungement.  

  • If you were convicted of a qualifying misdemeanor in which you were under court supervision.    

  • If you had a misdemeanor or felony conviction in which you received qualified probation. 

There are also other crimes that may or may not be eligible for expungement but this will depend on a few different factors. For instance, if you were convicted of a class 4 felony you typically cannot apply for expungement unless this was your very first conviction and you’ve successfully completed the terms of your sentence. There are also other felony convictions that are categorized as class 3 or 4 that may be eligible for expungement, but generally they must be non-violent crimes.

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Who Is NOT Eligible for Expungement?  

There are some misdemeanors and felonies that will not be considered for expungement. Among these are: 

  • Misdemeanors involving domestic abuse and violence. 

  • DUIs or reckless driving convictions (however, there will be some exceptions made if you received a reckless driving conviction when you were under the age of 25). 

  • Sex crimes not including prostitution. 

  • Dog fighting. 

  • Any act that required you to add your name to the National Registry of Sex Offenders. 

What Are the Benefits of an Expungement?

There are numerous benefits of expunging your record. Some of them have very practical implications, while others may simply help you emotionally move forward with your life. Benefits include: 

  • It can open up job opportunities since you no longer have to disclose that you have a criminal past. You may also be eligible for jobs you were previously unable to apply for such as those working in a school or with children. 

  • Similarly, you will have more options for housing since potential landlords won’t see your criminal conviction when they perform a background check. 

  • It may improve the terms you receive on loans as well as lowering your insurance premiums. 

  • It can also open up volunteer opportunities in your community such as working with youth groups like the Boy Scouts or youth sports teams. 

  • If you’re considering fostering or adopting a child, you’ll no longer have a criminal conviction holding your back. 

  • It takes away the stigma of being labeled as a “criminal” and lets you start over with a clean slate. 

What Does the Legal Process Entail?

The process of applying for expungement will be largely the same regardless of the underlying crime. However, there are different statute of limitations for when you can apply based on the nature of your crime.  

For instance, if you underwent court supervision for a misdemeanor you can apply for expungement after two years, whereas those who went through qualified probation must wait five years. 

Once you begin your application, it’s not uncommon for the entire process to take several months or even up to a year to be completed. That said, once your request is reviewed and approved, a notice will be sent to all police stations and prosecutors and within 60 days the conviction should no longer show up on your criminal record.

Record Expungement Attorney Serving Clarendon Hills, Illinois

If you’re searching for a reputable criminal defense attorney in the Clarendon Hills, Illinois to discuss your options for record expungement, look no further than Gene Ognibene Associates. The firm serves people throughout the communities of DuPage County, Kane County, DeKalb County, Kendall County, and Cook County.