Callahan & Hockemeyer help people throughout Northern Illinois clear their criminal records with expungements and record sealing. If your past is interfering with your ability to make the most of your future, these procedures can restrict or even prevent public and private entities from accessing your arrest record, giving you a fresh start.
Don’t let an arrest or criminal conviction keep you from your goals. Call Callahan & Hockemeyer at 847-543-6910.
If you have ever been arrested and charged with a crime, your criminal arrest record was entered into state and nationwide databases Even if you were not convicted or the charges were dismissed, the record of your arrest remains accessible to the public.
Your prospective employers have access to these records when they run a background check and your criminal history could keep you from getting hired. Approximately 90% of employers in the United States run criminal background checks on prospective employees. To protect their businesses from becoming compromised, qualified workers with criminal records are often turned away.
Additionally, landlords often deny rental applications for apartments and houses when they see criminal charges or convictions on a potential tenant’s record. People with criminal records are also frequently denied financial assistance.
Excluded from certain communities, unable to find viable employment that enables them to provide for their basic needs, and lacking the ability to obtain financial assistance, ex-offenders and people with arrest records are often plagued with the burdens of their criminal histories for the rest of their lives. That’s where our expungement and record sealing attorneys come in.
Record sealing and expungement can help people with criminal records move forward with their lives. They can obtain jobs, advance their careers, and rent their next home without worrying about getting judged or excluded because of their past.
Expungement and record sealing are similar in many ways. They both restrict or prevent access to information regarding your arrest records, they both require a court order, and the procedure for obtaining the required court orders are identical.
Expungement is the destruction or return of all evidence and records pertaining to your case. When your case is expunged, it’s as if the arrest never existed. If numerous records exist, they can all be expunged at the same time. If your arrest resulted in a conviction, however, it cannot be expunged except under certain circumstances (like for veterans of the military.)If your record cannot be expunged, you may be eligible for record sealing instead. Approximately 1.14 million people in Illinois are eligible for record sealing.
Before HB 2373 was passed, Illinois’ Criminal Identification Act required certain criteria to be met for record sealing to take place. Factors like how much time had passed since the arrest or conviction, whether other crimes had been committed or other charges had been filed, and the type of offense were all considered. With the passage of HB 2373 in 2017, nearly all felonies are eligible for record sealing. DUIs, public indecency or prostitution, animal crimes, orders of protection violations and domestic battery convictions are exceptions.
If you are considering having your record sealed, it is important to hire an attorney who is knowledgeable about the ever-changing laws and alternative options for relief. Your attorney should inform you about the benefits and risks of record sealing before you decide how to proceed. In Illinois, you only have one chance to seal your conviction. If you have subsequent convictions, this type of post-conviction relief will no longer be available.