An expungement in Illinois protects you and your future more than you might ever believe. Many people believe that just because they were found not guilty that the arrest record is deleted. This is simply not true, and just having the arrest on your record can cost you for a lifetime. Carbondale, IL attorney Brian Roberts understands the significance and can help you get your case expunged quickly and cost effectively.
Arrest records are generally public records. Just because you were found not guilty, or charges were never filed does not mean that the record of your arrest was erased. In fact, it legally cannot be erased in Illinois until a court orders your arrest be expunged, or you are granted a pardon by the Governor of Illinois – a rare event in any state. You have to file a petition for an expungement in Illinois ordered.
Where this gets complicated is in cases where you were convicted of an ordinance violation when you were young. Later in life you are wrongfully arrested for a felony charge that was never even filed by the prosecutor’s office. That felony arrest cannot now be expunged because of the ordinance violation when you were young. Therefore, it will remain on your record for life, and could prevent you from work in schools, banks, entering the military or working for a military contractor, and other special employers.
The general rule is that convictions cannot be expunged, but arrests that do not result in a conviction can be erased provided that you do not have any other convictions on your record. Any conviction on your record will mean that your arrests cannot be expunged. Those arrests not resulting in a conviction may, however, be sealed under Illinois law. When a record is sealed it will only be viewable by certain groups of people. Read Expungement vs. Sealed for more details.
If you have been arrested and not convicted it is important that you ensure that arrest is expunged. If you are later convicted of even a municipal ordinance that wrongful arrest cannot be expunged even if it came years before your conviction. If the arrest has been expunged it cannot be re-added to your criminal history because an expungement is a deletion of the record. It simply no longer exists.
If you have been arrested for any violation in Illinois and have not had that arrest record expunged contact Carbondale, IL attorney Brian Roberts right now for a free, confidential case review. He and his staff will be able to tell you whether your case is eligible for an expungement in Illinois and collect and file the necessary paperwork for you.