Who Qualifies for Criminal Record Expungement in Illinois

joliet expungement lawyer

It can be incredibly rewarding for those with a criminal past to leave their life of crime behind them – both literally and figuratively. One way to move on from past mistakes or false allegations is to have your criminal history cleared through an expungement . Even if your case was dismissed, the only way to officially remove the record of your arrest is through an expungement. Not all offenses, however, nor is everyone eligible for an expungement. Only those who meet certain state qualifications can have their records expunged. When the expungement process is complete, your criminal records are either physically destroyed or returned to you. The Expungement process also removes the defendant’s name from public criminal records.

Criteria for Potential Expungement

To request an expungement in Illinois , the arrest or the offense in question must meet certain criteria. Typically, only offenses that did not result in a conviction are eligible for expungement. Items that can be expunged include:

• Some traffic violations;

• Court supervision for reckless driving, in some cases;

• Arrests without convictions;

• Certain probations upon successful completion and completion of the waiting period; and

• Court supervision two years after completion (five years for some specific offenses).

It is important to note that certain crimes, including DUIs and sexual crimes, are not eligible for expungement. If you have a criminal record which includes items not eligible for expungement and those that are, you can request to expunge only those items that specifically qualify.

Record Sealing Versus Expungement

If you have been convicted of a crime and are not eligible for expungement, you may be able to have your records sealed instead. Sealed records, unlike expunged records, are not destroyed. Instead, sealed records are kept confidential from the general public. Most employers cannot access a criminal history which has been sealed. However, law enforcement agencies can still view a sealed record. Felony arrests and convictions are generally not able to be expunged or sealed. However, there are a few exceptions including certain Class 3 and Class 4 felonies and certain probation offenses.

Contact a Will County Record Sealing and Expungement Attorney

If you wish to clear your criminal history through expungement or record sealing, contact an experienced expungement lawyer in Joliet Illinois . Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at (815) 740-4025 to schedule a free consultation. We will help you determine your eligibility for either process and work with you every step of the way.

Is it Legal for Police to Use a Drug-Sniffing Dog During a Traffic Stop

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It is widely known that dogs have a much more sophisticated olfactory system that humans do. Their sense of smell is anywhere between 10,000 and 100,000 times better than that of humans, so it makes sense that dogs are used in a variety of different professions. Some of the most well-known working dogs are those that are used to help police officers detect and locate illicit drugs. It is not uncommon for police to use a drug-sniffing dog , during traffic stops but does that mean it is legal?

Fourth Amendment Rights

The biggest concern with the use of drug-sniffing dogs is infringing on individual’s rights given by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution . The Fourth Amendment states that U.S. citizens have the right to be secure against “unreasonable searches and seizures” of their “persons, houses, papers and effects.” The Amendment also states that a warrant brought about by probable cause should be used to justify any search or seizure of their assets.

Supreme Court Decisions

With the use of drug-sniffing dogs, the U.S. Supreme Court and Illinois Supreme Court have examined many cases. In Illinois v. Caballes, the Illinois Supreme Court determined that Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when police use drug-sniffing dogs during a legal traffic stop. This is because drug-sniffing dogs are only trained to detect the presence of illegal items, which citizens have no legitimate privacy interest.

The court also ruled that the use of a drug-sniffing dog during a traffic stop is only legal if the dog can complete his or her duty in a reasonable amount of time. The police officer is not permitted to detain a person for any longer than it is needed to complete normal traffic stop procedures, such as running verifications on the validity of the driver’s license and insurance information. The officer must have additional probable cause to detain until a drug-sniffing dog arrives, or the evidence obtained as the result of the sniff could be dismissed by the court.

A Joliet, IL Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Can Answer Your Questions

Police have been using drug-sniffing dogs for decades, and the dogs have proven to be useful companions, but there are concerns that can arise when dogs are used during a traffic stop. If you are facing drug charges as a result of a drug-sniffing dog, you should immediately contact a Will County drug crimes defense lawyer . At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we can help you determine whether or not your traffic stop was warranted and whether or not the use of the police dog was illegal or not. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule your free consultation.

What Should a Parent Expect from a Juvenile Defense Attorney

joliet juvenile defense lawyer

When your child gets arrested, it is normal to feel angry and upset. However, being too emotional can make it hard to communicate effectively with your child, the police, and your child’s lawyer. It is important to remain calm so that you can work effectively with your juvenile defense lawyer to obtain the best possible outcome for your child. If you have not worked with a lawyer before, four things you can expect from a juvenile defense lawyer are the protection of your child’s legal rights, simple explanations of the process, a thorough investigation of the circumstances of your child’s case, and appropriate recommendations for your child’s defense.

Protection of Your Child’s Legal Rights

The first thing your child’s lawyer should do is make sure you and your child understand your legal rights within the Illinois juvenile justice system. For example, your child has the same rights as an adult to remain silent and to have a lawyer at their side to counsel them during any questioning by the police or the state’s attorney. Your child also has the right to have a parent or other adult family member with them during questioning.

Understanding Illinois Juvenile Justice Procedures

If this is your child’s first encounter with police, fear of the unknown can be stressful for both you and your child, Your lawyer should help allay your fears by providing clear and concise explanations of each step in the Illinois juvenile justice process. You should feel comfortable asking questions of your lawyer at any time.

Investigation of the Alleged Juvenile Offense

Your child’s lawyer should ask you and your child a lot of questions to understand the child’s background, including any history of prior offenses and any disabilities or medical conditions the child may have. It is important for you as a parent to understand that the lawyer needs to gather a lot of information very quickly in order to properly defend your child. Try not to be defensive when the lawyer asks what may seem like very personal questions. Your child’s lawyer will be strictly focused on serving the best interests of your child, not on judging you, your family, or your lifestyle.

Your lawyer will also obtain the police report and talk to the police officers who brought your child into the station. Your lawyer will want to determine if there were other witnesses to the offense of which your child is accused and whether there is any police video or other evidence that needs to be looked at. After analyzing all of this information, your lawyer will be able to make an initial assessment of the strength of the state’s case against your child.

Recommendations for Your Child’s Defense

Once your child’s lawyer has a good handle on the situation, he or she will explain the available options and recommend an appropriate course of action. For example, one option may be for the police to issue a station adjustment or probation adjustment rather than file formal charges against your child. If your child has to appear before a juvenile court judge, the lawyer will argue for the charges to be dismissed and where appropriate, can argue for alternative solutions, rather than be sent to a juvenile detention center.

Call a Will County Juvenile Defense Attorney

If your child has been charged with a juvenile offense in Will County, consult an experienced Joliet juvenile defense lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner we get involved, the sooner we can start working to get the charges and penalties reduced or dismissed. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation. We answer calls around the clock.


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