Want a Truly Happy Holiday? Get Your IL Record Sealed or Expunged
In Illinois, it’s possible to have some criminal records sealed or expunged. Of course, pursuing a sealing or expungement can take time, effort, and money, but it’s worth it.
Want to know more about sealing and expungement in Illinois, and why it’s a gift you should consider giving to yourself this holiday season? Read on to find out more, including how you can pursue sealing and expungemen t– and why you should even bother to try.
Sealing and Expungement in Illinois: What’s the Difference?
Record sealing and expungement are two different actions. Both will remove criminal records from public view, but only expungement will essentially erase a record as if it’s never happened. On the other hand, having a record sealed simply means that the public cannot view it – law enforcement still can, as well as employers and other agencies.
Expungement is used to remove court supervision, some types of probation, and arrest from a person’s criminal record. Some convictions aren’t eligible for expungements, like ordinance violations, some types of probation, conditional discharge, prison time, or probations that have not been completed successfully.
Sealing, on the other hand, will simply shield your criminal history from the general public. Any agency or prospective employer who does a background check on you will still be able to see sealed criminal records. However, landlords will not be able to view these records.
Why You Should Have Your Record Sealed or Expunged
While not everything is able to be sealed or expunged in Illinois, there are still really good reasons to take the steps to have your criminal record sealed o expunged. The truth of the matter is that taking the step to erase or shield your criminal history from the public can improve your life in a variety of ways, including:
Opportunities for Employment
Some employers will do a background check on you or ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. In some circumstances, you will not have to tell them about any convictions, nor will they be able to see them on your background check. This is a great way to avoid the bias that can rear its ugly head if you’ve got a criminal history. It may open up more opportunities for your future.
Finding a Place to Live
If you have a criminal history, then it can be difficult to find a place to live, whether that’s through renting or buying. Some landlords and mortgage lenders need to be able to judge your trustworthiness. If they suspect you have a checkered past, they can deny you housing or financing.
Loans and other financial opportunities may simply be easier to obtain if you’ve had your criminal record sealed or expunged. You may even get a better rate on your credit cards or loans in certain situations.
If you have a dream of bettering your life through education, a record sealing or expungement can help. Sometimes you may get rejected for student loans or even admission to a college if you have a criminal record.
How Can You Get Your Record Sealed or Expunged?
The first thing you need to figure out is if you are eligible for record sealing or expungement. You often have to wait a certain amount of time to begin the process, so speak with an experienced attorney to help you figure out if your record is eligible and when you can begin to take advantage of it.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.