An Experienced Attorney Helping You Clear Your Criminal Record
Many people assume that the hardest aspect of a criminal conviction is the sentence that follows – some jail time, expensive fines and other court-ordered punishments. This is true for certain serious crimes. But for many offenses, the longest-lasting consequence is the blemish on your criminal record.
Background checks are typically mandatory for anyone seeking a job, applying for housing, applying to college or pursuing a professional license. A conviction on your record – and sometimes just an arrest – can be enough to disqualify you from these important necessities and opportunities.
Thankfully, help is available. At Law Office of Stephen L. Richards, our defense attorneys are proud to help clients clear their records after they have served their time and paid their debts to society. We commit to using our more than 35 years of legal experience to help you petition to have your record sealed or expunged. In some cases, we may even be able to help you obtain a pardon.
Understanding Your Options For A Clean Slate
In Illinois, there are generally three ways to address your criminal record. You can petition to have a record sealed, petition for expungement or seek a pardon. Each is explained below.
Sealing a record: If you have an old conviction on your record or one from when you were a juvenile, we can petition the court to seal it. Doing so doesn’t take the conviction off your record – it is still visible to law enforcement – but sealing a record does remove it from public view (such as during an employment background check). Not all crimes are eligible for sealing, and there are numerous requirements you must meet. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with an experienced criminal law attorney.
Expungement: When you have an old arrest on your record, especially for a misdemeanor offense, expungement can be used to clear the arrest. When we defend clients against misdemeanor charges, we typically seek expungement as early in the process as possible.
Pardons: These are harder to obtain because they can only be granted by the governor of Illinois (for state crimes) or the president of the United States (for federal crimes). Although the process for seeking a pardon can be lengthy and complex, it is quite possible to receive one. We have a solid record of success seeking pardons on behalf of clients.
Discuss Your Legal Options With Me In A Free Consultation
Our team at the Law Office of Stephen L. Richards offers experienced criminal defense to clients in Chicago and the surrounding areas. If you’d like to learn more about your options for clearing your criminal record, contact us to schedule a free consultation. Call 773-877-3981 or send an email.