Reeder & Brown, P.C.



Will County criminal defense lawyer for expungement

Lawyers for Criminal Record Sealing in Illinois

Being arrested and charged with a crime can be a traumatic experience, and unfortunately, it can affect your life for years to come. Whether you were convicted of criminal charges or the case was dismissed, you will have a permanent criminal record. This can affect your ability to find a job, obtain housing, or pursue an education. Fortunately, there are ways to clear your criminal record and receive a fresh start.

At Reeder & Brown, P.C., our attorneys understand the challenges you face when you are charged with a crime, and we know the negative effects a criminal record can have on your life. We can provide you with affordable and dedicated representation to help you expunge or seal your criminal record, allowing you to move on from your past and prepare for a successful future.

What Is Expungement?

In certain cases, your criminal record may be expunged, meaning that it will be erased or physically destroyed and treated as if it never happened. Expungement is available in the following situations:

  • You were arrested but never formally charged with a crime.
  • Your case was dismissed.
  • You were found not guilty of criminal charges.
  • You received and successfully completed a sentence of court supervision or Qualified Probation (including First Offender Drug Probation or other forms of probation for drug charges).
  • You were convicted, but the conviction was later vacated or reversed.
  • You were convicted, but you received a pardon from the Governor of Illinois.

In cases involving court supervision or probation, there will be a certain waiting period before you can apply for expungement. This waiting period is five years after completing probation or two years after completing court supervision in most cases. However, the waiting period is five years after completing court supervision for domestic battery, criminal sexual abuse, or operation of an uninsured motor vehicle.

On January 1, 2020, marijuana became legal for both medical and recreational use in Illinois, and as part of this change in the law, some previous marijuana arrests or convictions will be automatically expunged. Arrests for possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis are eligible for automatic expungement if they did not result in criminal charges or a conviction. Those who were convicted of possession of less than 30 grams will be eligible to receive a pardon from the Governor of Illinois, and once a pardon is granted, their record may be expunged.

Expungement is usually not available in cases involving a conviction on misdemeanor or felony charges. It is also not available for sentences of court supervision in cases involving driving under the influence, sexual offenses in which the victim was under the age of 18, or reckless driving when a person was over the age of 25. However, certain types of convictions may be eligible for criminal record sealing.

What Is Sealing?

After a certain amount of time has passed since a conviction, you may be able to have your record hidden from being viewed by the public. If your record is sealed, it will become inaccessible to most people, although law enforcement agencies or prosecutors will be able to view it, and certain types of employers may be able to access a criminal record when performing a background check.

In most cases, misdemeanor or felony convictions can be sealed if three years have passed since the completion of the sentence. However, some offenses cannot be sealed, including:

  • Minor traffic offenses
  • Driving under the influence
  • Reckless driving, unless you were under the age of 25 at the time of the offense and have not had any other DUI or reckless driving convictions
  • Domestic battery
  • Violation of an Order of Protection
  • Sexual offenses that would require registration as a sex offender
  • Animal offenses, including dog fighting or torture or abandonment of an animal

Contact a Will County Expungement and Sealing Lawyer

When applying to have your criminal record expunged or sealed, you will need to meet a variety of requirements, and you may need to appear before a judge to explain why expungement or sealing is necessary. At Reeder & Brown, P.C., we can provide you with legal representation throughout this process, and we will advocate for you to receive the fresh start you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 815-885-5980.

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