Handcuffs and fingerprintsThis is the next post in my series on Illinois’ recent expansion of the ability to seal criminal records. My last article discussed who may be eligible to seal their record under Illinois’ new laws. This change in the law will allow a greater number of people to clear their history. This, in turn, will make it easier for individuals to rejoin the workforce. Call my office to speak with a Peoria criminal defense attorney if you are unsure as to whether you are able to clear your history. In this article I will discuss another important topic – why individuals should begin this process as soon as possible. My office is able to handle such matters for as low as $499 plus court costs.

Having a criminal record can make it difficult to pass a background check. This, in turn, can make it difficult to secure employment, to secure housing, and to have access to many other benefits. By sealing your criminal record you alleviate some of these problems. Under Illinois law, someone who has sealed their criminal record is permitted to answer “no” to questions of whether they have been convicted of an offense. This means that you will not have to disclose an arrest or conviction to potential employers, to potential landlords, or to others who may wish to perform a background check. This can open a wide range of economic opportunities to those who have previously struggled due to a mistake they made in the past.

It is best to begin the process of clearing your history as soon as possible. This is for multiple reasons. First, there may be times where one has to unexpectedly subject themselves to a background check. If, for example, you are unexpectedly fired from your job then you will need to begin filling out applications as soon as possible. Second, it will take time for your Petition to be processed through the system. The longer you wait to begin the process of sealing your record then the longer it will be before that process is completed. These are just a few reasons why it is best to immediately begin the process of clearing your history.

If you wish to seal an Illinois criminal record then it is strongly suggested that you contact an attorney immediately. Counsel will analyze your situation and help you determine whether you are eligible to seal or expunge your records. Your representative will then begin gathering all necessary records and preparing a Petition on your behalf. As a Peoria lawyer I am familiar with handling such matters. My office is ready to assist you. I also service the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.