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Expungements are a statutorily created means of closing the records for a criminal offense. Certain issues demand strict compliance for success.

Posted on Mar 14, 2024

Expungements are a statutorily created remedy to address cases that have been dismissed.  The cases may be dismissed through a jury trial acquittal, completion of probation under certain circumstances and completion of court supervision.  The end result of the charge must be a dismissal or you won't qualify for an expungement.  The process requires a petition for expungement to be filed.  A filing fee is required.  Service of the petition must be submitted to the Illinois State Police, arresting agency, and the State's Attorney for the county where the charge was filed.  Those parties then have an opportunity to object to the petition.  If they don't object the petition is granted and the charge is expunged.  If an objection is filed the court conducts a hearing to determine if the petition should be granted.

Common objections are that the client has already received a benefit and should not be granted the relief they are petitioning for.  I think this is an absurd objection given the fact that all charged in this country are presumed innocent.  If their charge is dismissed it should result in them being placed back in the position they initially found themselves in with the new charge - presumed innocent!  Other objections are made if the charge is not actually dismissed.  This is a good objection that won't be overcome at a hearing.

The entire process costs about $1,000 and takes about four months from start to finish.  The judges want to hear that the impact the dismissed case is having upon the client is causing them hardships obtaining employment.  That argument seems to carry the most weight with the court and gives the client the highest chance of having their petition granted.

Brian L. Polinske
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