Do I Need an Attorney in Illinois to File for an Expungement or Record Sealing in Illinois?
UPDATED: March 10, 2020
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When you apply for employment, a criminal background check will probably be done. In fact, the law actually allows companies to deny you a job based solely on the reason that you were arrested. Even if you were not convicted, you can still be denied a job. This also applies to those who were convicted; regardless of the offense or the circumstances. Even if you already have a job, a company can still run a periodic background check. If something in your criminal record is discovered, you can be fired immediately.
Additionally, almost all professional certifications require a background history check prior to being issued. Also, it is very likely that if you want to adopt a child, rent an apartment, apply for college admission or student loans, your criminal record will be taken into consideration. In addition, all youth volunteer jobs require a clean criminal record. Even your insurance rates can be affected.
Contrary to what most people think, records are not cleared automatically with the passing of time. If you have a criminal record, it will show that you were arrested and charged with a crime, even though your case was dismissed or you were found not guilty.
There is no legal requirement that an attorney handle your expungenent or the sealing of your record. This is something that you are permitted to do yourself (pro-se); however, getting your record expunged or sealed can be a confusing and lengthy process. There are technical requirements that must be met in order for you to be successful. The slightest mistake in court documents or other paperwork can cost you weeks or months of precious time.
It may well be worth it to hire a lawyer, who specializes in these cases. The cost for legal representation on these matters starts for as little as a few hundred dollars.
There is a lot at stake. Hire a criminal lawyer, many of whom offer free initial consultations. For more information on expunging Illinois criminal records, click on the following articles: