Anyone who has been arrested or convicted of a crime in the past can tell you how having a misdemeanor or felony record can hinder one’s ability to apply for a job, housing, a loan, or even admission into school. However, the outlook for offenders may be looking up with the implementation of new laws dealing with the expungement or sealing of criminal records in Illinois.
New Laws Offer Relief
Two bills passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Bruce Rauner in 2017 are expected to help ex-offenders find employment and other opportunities while saving the state money. These bills made the following changes to Illinois law:
• An ex-offender can apply to have their criminal record sealed from public view by filing an application in the court where they were convicted. The process requires the applicant to notify the prosecutor and police department involved in their arrest and the prosecution of their case, and, if no objections are brought, the court can grant the request. Future viewing of the record would be limited only to those who obtain a court order that allows them to do so.
• The second bill passed automatically expunges juvenile arrest records that do not result in an adjudication of delinquency, as well as other records after a certain period of time has elapsed. This will not include sexual offenses, most types of violent crimes, and other crimes considered serious in nature. However, even juvenile records that have not been expunged will be sealed from viewing by the general public.
These new laws are expected to make finding work easier, as research shows that unemployment is very high among ex-offenders. High employment not only costs the state money, but it is believed to put public safety at risk. Additional research indicates that ex-offenders who are able to find employment are less likely to re-offend, and many believe that reducing the rate of early recidivism also has the ability to reduce crime, since ex-offenders are less likely to commit crimes once they are married and start a family.
Clear Your Record With the Help of a Knowledgeable Illinois Expungement Attorney
A criminal record can follow you around for a long time. Whether you made a mistake when you were young or are ready to put indiscretions of the past behind you, relief is now available. Most arrests and convictions for misdemeanors or felonies can now be expunged or sealed, and an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you clear or seal your criminal record from public viewing. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba provide the knowledge and resources necessary to assist clients who desire a fresh start free of past problems. Contact a Joliet expungement lawyer today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.