gavel with open handcuffsThis is the next article in my series on the handling of drug possession charges in Peoria, Illinois. My last article discussed Illinois’ penalties for the possession of drugs. It is important to understand that, in addition to jail time, a defendant faces possible fines as well as the consequences of having a permanent criminal record. Such a record can result in difficulty finding employment, difficulty finding housing, as well as other problems. By retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you, you help to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process. In this article I will discuss the possibility of sealing an Illinois criminal record stemming from drug possession charges. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

Illinois law changed in regards to the sealing of records in 2017. This change in the law made it more likely that an individual with a non-violent conviction would be able to seal their criminal history. Sealing one’s criminal history results in their prior record not being visible in most background checks and it also results in their ability to answer “no” when asked if they have ever been convicted of a crime. This can make it much easier for an individual to pass a background check and to move forward with their life. Whether you are eligible to seal your record will depend on the specific facts of your case. It is suggested that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible to understand whether or not you are able to clear your criminal history.

It is important to understand that sealing your criminal record does not erase it from existence. Law enforcement will still be aware of the record in the event that you are stopped or otherwise arrested. Also, if you are arrested and convicted of a new offense, the court will be able to take the fact that you have a prior for a drug possession into consideration. With that being said, there are many benefits to sealing one’s record.

If you have been convicted of drug possession and are able to seal your record then it is suggested that you begin the process as soon as possible. Sealing one’s record can take significant time. It is not a process you want to begin if you find yourself in a situation in which you need to pass a background check as soon as possible. By clearing your history now, you help to ensure that you do not have additional hurdles to clear in the event that you have to look for a job, that you have to look for a place to live, or if you need to apply for a position which will be concerned about your history. In my practice, I have seen individuals who did not seal their record when they had the chance and, as a result, opportunities passed them by.

If you have a prior conviction for drug possession and wish to seal your records then contact my office today to speak with a Peoria criminal defense lawyer. As someone who devotes his practice to protecting the rights of the accused, I understand the importance of needing to move your situation forward. I will promptly request all necessary records and submit your Petition to the Court. I will make sure you know what to expect from the process and will answer your questions as the matter moves forward. Call today to schedule a consultation. I look forward to speaking with you. I also serve the Illinois counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.