Over 22 Years Experience, Rated as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer
Over 23 Years Experience Rated as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer

If you were convicted of a crime in Illinois, you may be able to seal the criminal record. The procedure around having a criminal record sealed is complicated and having the right attorney on your side can make all the difference in your case. With extensive experience, Attorney John D. Ioakimidis understands the nuances of this area of law. Recognized as one of the “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction” by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, you can trust you are in good hands at his firm.

In the state of Illinois, having your criminal record expunged is different from having it sealed. To have your record expunged means that the record is physically destroyed by the agencies and government bodies holding it or the hard copies of the record get returned to the petitioner. When a criminal record is expunged, it does not show up in any public record. To have your record sealed, on the other hand, means that the records will not be available to the public without a court order, although a physical and electronic copy of the record will remain in the database. Law enforcement agencies and courts, however, will still have access to the records.

Only the following Class 4 felonies can be sealed: Possession of Marijuana (720 ILCS 550/4), Possession of a Controlled Substance (720 ILCS 570/402) and Prostitution (720 ILCS 5/11-14). Once you have had a felony conviction sealed, you may not have any subsequent felony convictions sealed.

recordsPeople with criminal records are often unable to get jobs, access certain housing, and even get admission to schools. Attorney John D. Ioakimidis strongly believes that individuals should not be defined by their worst decisions. Fortunately, Illinois has a process though which a person can try to have his or her criminal record expunged or sealed. If you have questions about the procedures or viability of expunging your Illinois criminal record, you should speak to a seasoned Chicago expungement attorney who understands this area of law. You can trust that we have the experience needed to effectively navigate this process.

In Illinois, “expunging” and “sealing” a criminal record are two different things. If you have never been convicted of a crime or violated a municipal ordinance, you may be able to have your record expunged. If you have been convicted of a crime, however, you may be able to have your record sealed. Expunged records are physically destroyed or returned to you. The effect of expungement is to have your name removed from all public criminal records. Sealed records, on the other hand, are not physically destroyed, but they are kept confidential. In other words, the general public will not have access to the records, but law enforcement officials will still be able to see and access them.

The waiting requirements for sealing and expunging records are different. If both options are available, you may seal your record first and expunge it later. In this post, we will discuss the various time frames for expungement in Illinois.

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courtWhen the state objects to your expungement, it does not mean the judge will deny your request, but it does make the process more complicated. If you are facing a similar situation, you need to contact a seasoned Chicago expungement attorney who understands how to handle these types of cases. With years of experience, Attorney John D. Ioakimidis is committed to helping Illinois clients seek the fresh start they need to move on with their life. He has been named as one of the “Top 20 Criminal Defense Attorneys” by Expertise, and you can trust that you are in good hands with Attorney Ioakimidis.

In Illinois, you can clear your criminal record in two ways:  expungement or sealing. When a record is expunged, the arresting agency or the Illinois State Police physically destroys the criminal record or gives the record back to you. In such cases, the Clerk’s Office will clear your name from the docket system and remove the court documents so that they cannot be accessed by members of the public.

If your record is sealed, it cannot be obtained without a court order to unseal the record and is not accessible to the vast majority of the public, although these records are still available to law enforcement and prosecutors. When it comes to sealing records, the Clerk’s Office will also clear your name from the docket system and remove the court documents.

courtHaving a criminal record as a minor can adversely affect your future in every way. If you are a juvenile offender, you may be able to clear your record by having your court record expunged. Named a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers Association, Chicago expungement attorney John D. Ioakimidis understands the nuances of this area of law and can help you understand your legal rights and options.

An expungement means that all records of your case are completely removed and destroyed from all files under the government’s control. In other words, expungement is like “wiping the slate clean.” In certain cases, minors may be eligible to have their records expunged. A juvenile record includes fingerprints, photographs, arrest reports, and computer entries connecting a person arrested prior to their 18th birthday with an arrest or juvenile criminal court case.

In Illinois, any case prosecuted in juvenile court other than first-degree murder and felony sex offenses may be expunged. Certain requirements, however, must be met to be eligible for a juvenile expungement. If you were placed under arrest prior to your 18th birthday, but the matter did not go to court, police departments are required to automatically expunge the record of your arrest if you have not been arrested since then, and one full year has gone past since you were arrested. The exception to this rule is if you were placed under arrest for a sex crime or any class 2 or higher felony.

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lawyerThere is no doubt that having a criminal record can adversely affect all areas of your life, including your job prospects, housing, and even your personal reputation. At John D. Ioakimidis, our Chicago expungement attorneys represent clients who are seeking to clear their criminal record through expungement. With years of experience, we can thoroughly analyze the facts of your case and help you understand your legal rights and options.

Even if you were arrested and released without charges, or the charges were later dismissed, this information will be codified in a public record. In addition, if you received a sentence to Court Supervision for a misdemeanor or were placed on Probation for certain felonies, your case will remain a public record even after you finish your sentence.

Expungement refers to the court-ordered process through which the legal record of a person’s arrest or criminal conviction is erased in the eyes of the law and the public. The Illinois Criminal Identification Act allows persons in certain situations to clear arrests, charges, probation supervision, or even criminal convictions from their criminal records through expungement or sealing. With expungement, all or part of your record is physically destroyed so that not even law enforcement can discover it at a later time. A sealed record, on the other hand, is not physically destroyed but is made inaccessible to the general public (i.e., an employer), while it is still available for law enforcement to discover.

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Drug and TASC probation is a special kind of probation because the law allows you to avoid a criminal conviction and eventually expunge your arrest record. It is one of the few ways to avoid going to jail and avoiding a permanent criminal conviction.

Under “regular” probation, a felony conviction stays on your record forever unless the Governor issues a pardon – not very common.  Understanding the differences between drug, TASC and regular probation is important because it can mean the difference between having a clean record or being permanently labeled a convicted felon.

A further distinction is also necessary between drug probation and TASC probation.  For drug probation, you have been charged with possessing illegal drugs.  For TASC probation, the charge does not have to be drug-related, but rather, have to elect to be treated as a person with a drug problem.   For example, if you are charged with Residential Burglary, you would not be eligible for drug probation or regular probation, but may be eligible for TASC probation.

babyIn a recent Illinois appellate case, a mother challenged a conviction for child endangerment. The case arose when a Chicago cop was patrolling at 1:00 a.m. and was flagged down by someone reporting a child was left alone inside a car. There was a six-month-old baby in the baby seat in the back of the car, and he’d been crying. The rear window was open, and the car wasn’t running. The fire department was contacted, and the baby was removed from the car.

The officer ran the plates and found the car was registered to the defendant, who lived about two blocks away. When the officer went to the address where the car was registered, he found the defendant sitting on the curb with a man. The cop smelled alcohol on the mom’s breath. He asked her if she knew where her child was, and the mom responded she’d gone to a party that night and drank alcohol, but she didn’t know why her car was parked on the other street. She’d forgotten her baby was inside.

She was put in custody. At trial, the officer testified that he’d asked her if she had the name of the primary suspect. He knew the car was registered to her, and a baby was in the car, so she was never free to go. The mom’s attorney asked for leave to file a motion to suppress the mother’s statements to the police because she never received Miranda warnings. The police reports included a summary of her statements to the police, given without Miranda warnings.

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laboratoryIn a recent Illinois appellate case, the defendant appealed his conviction for delivery of a controlled substance. On appeal, he argued that the prosecution hadn’t established a proper chain of custody for the drug, even though the parties had stipulated certain things about it, and that the fines, fee order, and mittimus had to be corrected accordingly.

The case arose when the defendant and his codefendant were indicted for delivering more than a gram of heroin under 720 ILCS 570/401(c). The defendant waived a jury trial. At the bench trial, two officers were called as witnesses. The first officer testified he was assigned to the narcotics division of the bureau of organized crime. He was the surveillance officer on the date of the transaction in question, and he sometimes used binoculars to observe what was happening. The second officer was undercover, buying the heroin.

The first officer testified he saw the undercover officer talking to the codefendant and saw the codefendant get into the passenger seat of the undercover vehicle. He followed the undercover vehicle to a residential neighborhood, where it was parked on a corner, and the codefendant got out of the car. The codefendant met the defendant, who was standing on the sidewalk.

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gunIn a recent Illinois appellate decision, the defendant was convicted for being an armed habitual criminal and sentenced to eight years in prison. He appealed, arguing that he wasn’t proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for the offense of armed habitual criminal, and the armed habitual criminal statute was not unconstitutional because it potentially criminalized totally innocent actions.

The case arose when two officers were patrolling. They heard a car alarm go off and found the car that was the source of the alarm. Nearby in another car, a couple was sitting in a parked car. The smell of marijuana was coming from the car. When he saw the officers come into the parking lot, the defendant left the front seat of the car and stood by it. The officer testified he’d left his own car and come up to the defendant. As he came closer, he saw that the woman driver was smoking what looked like a marijuana cigar. She put it down. A bottle of liquor was on the console.

In the interests of his own safety, the officer handcuffed the defendant. His partner came up to the driver and asked her to get out of the car. She said her identification was in the car, so the officer took the marijuana and liquor out of the car and searched for her ID. He saw her purse on the floor, and from it, a handgun was sticking out in plain view. He recovered the gun, which was a semiautomatic handgun that was loaded.

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522344117-1-300x200In a recent Illinois appellate case, the court considered a burglary conviction. The defendant was sentenced to an eight-year Class X sentence due to his criminal record. On appeal, he argued that he wasn’t proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt because the prosecution hadn’t established that he was not allowed to be in the building or that he planned to steal.

The case arose when a university employee who worked in the telephone operating department came to work early one morning. She worked in a building that had telecommunications equipment and was only accessible by using a key or key card. She used her key card to go inside the building, and only two other employees were there. Almost two hours after arriving, she saw on the video security monitor that the defendant was in the basement hallway. She knew he wasn’t an employee. He was checking to see if doorknobs were open and looking at equipment in boxes.

The employee asked a coworker to call the police, and she kept watching the monitor. The defendant disappeared from the monitor and then appeared on the other side of the divider from the employee. The employee told him to leave and asked what he was doing there. He said he was just looking. However, surveillance later showed that he’d been in the garage looking into the windows of different cars.

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