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Expungement / Sealing

A criminal record can have a significant impact on your personal and professional life. If you have ever been arrested, you likely have a criminal record that is readily accessible to the public, even if you were never found guilty of the crime. This means that your employer, prospective employer, friends and family all have the ability to see your criminal past. This is true even if the case was dismissed, you were placed on court supervision, or if you were found not guilty. Background checks are used frequently by employers, educational institutions and even by former spouses (i.e. custody disputes). Our Illinois expungement attorneys may be able to help give you a clean slate.

There are two methods our attorneys use to help clear your criminal record from public view in Illinois: expungement and sealing. Despite what you may have heard, expungement and sealing are typically not automatic. Once you are arrested, you will likely have an arrest record regardless of the final disposition of the case (i.e. dismissal). A petition to expunge or a petition to seal must be filed at the proper courthouse and a court order must be signed by a judge in order to clear your criminal record.

Expungement and sealing laws are complex and the process can be confusing. Every county and courthouse in Illinois has a different set of rules, guidelines and procedures that must be followed. Hiring an experienced Illinois expungement attorney is highly recommended. By ensuring that the procedure is followed precisely, we can ensure your best chance at a clean record. If a hearing is required or the State contests the petition, we are prepared to argue on your behalf in court.

The most practical first step in the process is obtaining a copy of your entire criminal record. We prefer to review any and all arrests in your past in order to determine if we can help. This means we need information all of your cases, even charges that were dismissed in court. This information should include type of charge, case number, courthouse information, arresting police department, final disposition (i.e. dismissal, not-guilty, guilty, etc.), sentence (i.e. supervision, conditional discharge, probation, etc.), and termination date of the sentence. It may be necessary to order your records from the Illinois State Police, the county circuit clerk's office(s), and/or the arresting police department(s).

Expungement and sealing laws are continuously changing and expanding. Illinois legislation has greatly expanded the number of offenses, including felony offenses, that are eligible to be sealed. All misdemeanor and felony convictions are now eligible for sealing EXCEPT: DUI, reckless driving (subject to certain exceptions), domestic battery, violations of orders of protection, sex crimes (aside from prostitution and misdemeanor public indecency), and crimes under the Humane Care for Animals Act.

The Chicago expungement lawyers at The Davis Law Group, P.C. can evaluate your criminal record and determine if you are eligible for expungement or if you qualify for sealing. Our office primarily practices throughout Cook County, Lake County, and DuPage County. Our firm has helped hundreds of clients clean up their record and we have stayed up to date on the ongoing changes to the law. Having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can make a substantial difference and increase the odds of a successful outcome.

Answers to frequently asked Illinois expungement and sealing questions can be found here. Feel free to contact us so we can help clear your criminal record and give you a fresh start.

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Client Reviews
I wanted to let you know that I finally got my license back today. I want to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. You did an amazing job and helped another person turn their life around. I will forever be indebted. Rest assured that I will refer anybody that I hear is in trouble to you guys. Thank you again. All the best. M.M.
I want to extend my sincere gratitude for the success in getting my charges reduced. It has been a rather traumatic experience for me. Though I try to keep an optimistic outlook, it didn't seem possible. But you guys pulled it off and I couldn't be more grateful. This has been a great weight lifted off my shoulders. D.F.
I would like to take this time to thank you for a job well done. I received my full reinstatement documents today for full driving privileges. This took me by surprise. I did not expect to see the results this fast. I just want to say that I am blessed to have a very good lawyer like yourself to guide me through the process... I am very grateful. You're the best. Thanks again. G.B.
My special thanks for your help, guidance, and support during a most difficult time. You came recommended as "the best" and you lived up to your reputation! I wish you a lovely holiday season and a new year of challenges overcome, new joys experienced, and much fulfillment realized. All good thoughts your way. S.S.
I am very grateful for your work and representation. Although it is difficult for me to truly express my gratitude through e-mail, I hope you can still understand how thankful I am that we were able to dismiss my case on the first court date. I am very pleased with the outcome. Again, thank you very much for your time. Please enjoy the rest of your week. D.K.