A felony or misdemeanor criminal arrest can have lasting consequences in your life. Every arrest is part of the public record. You must be proactive in order to have your record removed, even in cases where you were let go without formal charges being filed and even in cases where you were found Not Guilty of a crime. An arrest will always be a part of your criminal record and accessible by anyone including family, friends and future employers. You must act now to protect your future
Expungement and Sealing Process
There are two options to remove your criminal record:
- Petitioning the Court for an Expungement of your record is the only way to protect yourself. It requires that an actual petition be filed and hearing be held to remove your criminal record. Once the court removes your arrest and criminal record, you would never have to disclose that prior arrest or conviction because it is no longer a part of the public record. An expungement of your record is the only way to remove it from the public view.
Sealing Your Record
- Certain misdemeanor and class 4 felonies can be sealed. Sealing your criminal record prevents it from being released to non law enforcement personnel.
Common Myths about Expungements and Sealing
Myth: My record is expunged automatically
Fact: There is no automatic expungement. Even if your case is dismissed, your arrest record will always be there unless you petition to have it removed.
Myth: Non violent felonies can be sealed or expunged.
Fact: Most felonies cannot be expunged, except for certain drug convictions and prostitution.
Myth: The charges were dismissed, I don’t have to do anything.
Fact: You must be proactive and petition to have the arrest removed. It is not automatic.
Misconception: I was told if I complete my supervision, I would not have a record.
Fact: Successful completion of your supervision ensures that you don’t have a conviction on your record. However, you still have a record because of the arrest and formal charges.
Felony Arrests and Records
Most felony arrests and convictions cannot be either expunged or sealed.
There are a few exceptions:
- Class 4 felony drug possession under Section 4 of the Cannabis Control Act
- Section 402 of the Controlled Substances Act
- The Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act
- The Steroid Control Act
- Class 4 felony prostitution cases, may qualify to be sealed
- Also, felony arrests that do not result in a conviction may be expunged if you do not have a conviction on your record
If you need an Expungement lawyer in Joliet Illinois, or the greater Will County area, give us a call at (815) 740-4025 for a free consultation. You need to remove your criminal record so that you can move on with your life. Calls are answered 24 hours a day. If you prefer, send us an Email. We offer affordable rates and flat fees for expungements.