Free Consultations 312-627-9482

Chicago Expungement Lawyer

What is Expungement?

If you have been convicted of a crime in Illinois, you may find it difficult to move on with your life. With a criminal record, you may struggle to find a job or a place to live, and you may also be unable to pursue educational opportunities or enjoy other benefits. Fortunately, there are options available that may help you clear your criminal record. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can advise you on the steps you can take to expunge or seal your record. If you are still serving a sentence following a conviction, or if other forms of relief are not available, an attorney can provide guidance on whether you can apply for clemency from the governor of Illinois.

The knowledgeable criminal defense attorney of the Law Offices of James F. DiQuattro can help you understand what forms of relief may be available to help you move forward with your life after a criminal conviction. We will work with you to make sure you meet all of your legal requirements, and we will advocate on your behalf and help you demonstrate that you are ready to put the mistakes of the past behind you and move forward with your life. We will fight to protect your rights and help you obtain the clean slate you deserve so that you can reclaim control over your future.

Expungements and Record Sealing

Depending on the facts of your case, the types of criminal charges and/or convictions, and the amount of time that has passed, you may be able to apply for an expungement of your criminal record. With an expungement, all records related to your arrest and criminal charges will be removed from your record and erased or destroyed. However, expungements are only available in limited circumstances.

In general, if your case ended without a conviction, including if charges were dropped or if you were acquitted, or if a conviction was later reversed, you can apply for an expungement. If you were sentenced to court supervision for domestic battery or criminal sexual abuse of a person over the age of 18, expungement will be available five years after completing your sentence. A sentence of court supervision for most other offenses will usually allow for expungement after two years. If you were sentenced to qualified probation for a drug crime conviction, you will be able to apply for expungement five years after completing probation.

For offenses that cannot be expunged, record sealing may be available. When a criminal record is sealed, it will not be visible to members of the general public, although it may still be accessed by law enforcement and certain government agencies. Most of the time, you can apply to seal a record after three years have passed since completing your sentence.

There are some offenses that cannot be sealed. These include driving under the influence (DUI), reckless driving (with some exceptions for those who were under the age of 25 at the time of an offense), domestic battery, violation of an order of protection, solicitation of prostitution, public indecency, and other sex crimes that require registration as a sex offender. In addition, if you had previously been convicted of a felony and had that conviction sealed, any subsequent felony convictions cannot be sealed, and the previous conviction may be unsealed.

Pardons and Executive Clemency

Those who have been convicted of crimes may request clemency from the governor of Illinois. These requests must be made in writing, and they must detail the history of their case, the reasons they are seeking clemency, and any other relevant information. A request will be reviewed by the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, which will make recommendations to the governor about whether clemency is appropriate. The governor will have the final decision over whether to grant clemency in each individual case. Usually, clemency may be granted if a person can show that they have made an effort to better themselves and are ready and willing to move forward from the mistakes of their past and live as a productive member of society.

The most common form of executive clemency is a pardon, which will remove some of the consequences of having a conviction on a person's record. In some cases, a pardon will allow for the expungement of a criminal record, and it may also restore a person's right to own a firearm. Other forms of executive clemency may include a commutation, or a reduction in a person's sentence, or a reprieve, which will delay the carrying out of a sentence.

Contact Our Cook County Expungement Attorney

The process of applying for expungement, record sealing, or executive clemency can be complicated, and failure to follow the correct procedures or provide the required information may result in the denial of a request. To ensure that you take the right steps to receive relief following a conviction, the Law Offices of James F. DiQuattro can work with you to file the correct forms and documents. We will provide you with representation and help you demonstrate that you are ready to move forward with your life and avoid criminal activity in the future. Contact us at 312-627-9482 to set up a free consultation and learn more about how we can help with your case.

badge badge badge badge badge badge badge badge
Back to Top