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If the crime you committed is eligible, you may be able to seal or expunge your criminal conviction. The difference under Illinois law between sealing and expunging is that expunged records are destroyed while sealed records are retained but are not available to the general public.   The question that I’m often asked is, who will be able to see my record after it is sealed? It depends if (a) the case is a misdemeanor or felony, and (b) who wants to see your record.  First and foremost, the general public, landlords, and employers not required by law to do finger-print based background checks can not see sealed convictions regardless if they are felonies or misdemeanors. For all felony and misdemeanor cases, the following have access to the criminal record:  Illinois State Police; Department of Corr...

Over the last several years, there has been a radical change in how municipalities and villages in Illinois prosecute low-level criminal activity. These government entities, now more than ever, prosecute cases such as theft, retail theft, assault, battery, and drug possession as violations of their respective ordinances as opposed to State law. By pursuing these cases at the village level, they are being decided in Village Hall and not in Circuit Court. Prosecuting cases at the Village level is a huge money-maker for the municipalities. They cost very little to prosecute, and since they’re not technically criminal cases under state law, you don’t have the rights as in a criminal case in Circuit Court. The rules of evidence are so relaxed that pretty much any evidence is admissible in “Village Court.” Furt...

Just a few short years ago, a felony conviction in Illinois meant a lifelong sentence. By that, I mean that although the defendant had completed his sentence, his/her criminal record was a matter of public record that everyone could see forever. For a convicted felon, regardless of how many years had passed, getting a job, renting an apartment, coaching, getting financial aid, or getting into a certain school was monumental, if not an impossible task. Felons were delegated to working low paying jobs which not only affected themselves but also their families. Throughout my 25 years of practicing criminal law, I made a point that the prosecutor or judge understood that the penalty on the defendant also indirectly affected innocent family members – such as the defendant’s minor children.  Some prosecutors and judges care abou...

Efforts are underway in Illinois to change the way DNA evidence in rape cases is processed.  The Chicago Tribune conducted an exhaustive investigation of the problems associated with the Illinois State Police Crime Lab and discovered that many rape kits were not being tested.  A rape kit allows a nurse or a doctor to collect semen, saliva and other potential sources of DNA samples from victims.  The process of securing the DNA evidence can take up to 8 hours but the results can be very powerful.  The results may link an offender to a crime or even exonerate a suspect.  Even when rape kits are submitted to the crime lab, the lab sometimes refused to conduct any testing and returned them to the police agency.  A...

If you were convicted of a crime in Illinois, you may be able to seal the criminal record. The procedure around having a criminal record sealed is complicated and having the right attorney on your side can make all the difference in your case. With extensive experience, Attorney John D. Ioakimidis understands the nuances of this area of law. Recognized as one of the “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction” by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, you can trust you are in good hands at his firm. In the state of Illinois, having your criminal record expunged is different from having it sealed. To have your record expunged means that the record is physically destroyed by the agencies and government bodies holding it or the hard copies of the record get returned to the petitioner. When a c...

People with criminal records are often unable to get jobs, access certain housing, and even get admission to schools. Attorney John D. Ioakimidis strongly believes that individuals should not be defined by their worst decisions. Fortunately, Illinois has a process though which a person can try to have his or her criminal record expunged or sealed. If you have questions about the procedures or viability of expunging your Illinois criminal record, you should speak to a seasoned Chicago expungement attorney who understands this area of law. You can trust that we have the experience needed to effectively navigate this process. In Illinois, “expunging” and “sealing” a criminal record are two different things. If you have never been convicted of a crime or violated a municipal ordinance, you may be able to have y...

When the state objects to your expungement, it does not mean the judge will deny your request, but it does make the process more complicated. If you are facing a similar situation, you need to contact a seasoned Chicago expungement attorney who understands how to handle these types of cases. With years of experience, Attorney John D. Ioakimidis is committed to helping Illinois clients seek the fresh start they need to move on with their life. He has been named as one of the “Top 20 Criminal Defense Attorneys” by Expertise, and you can trust that you are in good hands with Attorney Ioakimidis. In Illinois, you can clear your criminal record in two ways:  expungement or sealing. When a record is expunged, the arresting agency or the Illinois State Police physically destroys the criminal record or gives t...

Having a criminal record as a minor can adversely affect your future in every way. If you are a juvenile offender, you may be able to clear your record by having your court record expunged. Named a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers Association, Chicago expungement attorney John D. Ioakimidis understands the nuances of this area of law and can help you understand your legal rights and options. An expungement means that all records of your case are completely removed and destroyed from all files under the government’s control. In other words, expungement is like “wiping the slate clean.” In certain cases, minors may be eligible to have their records expunged. A juvenile record includes fingerprints, photographs, arrest reports, and computer entries connecting a person arrested prior to...

There is no doubt that having a criminal record can adversely affect all areas of your life, including your job prospects, housing, and even your personal reputation. At John D. Ioakimidis, our Chicago expungement attorneys represent clients who are seeking to clear their criminal record through expungement. With years of experience, we can thoroughly analyze the facts of your case and help you understand your legal rights and options. Even if you were arrested and released without charges, or the charges were later dismissed, this information will be codified in a public record. In addition, if you received a sentence to Court Supervision for a misdemeanor or were placed on Probation for certain felonies, your case will remain a public record even after you finish your sentence. Expungement refers to the court-ordered process thr...

Drug and TASC probation is a special kind of probation because the law allows you to avoid a criminal conviction and eventually expunge your arrest record. It is one of the few ways to avoid going to jail and avoiding a permanent criminal conviction. Under “regular” probation, a felony conviction stays on your record forever unless the Governor issues a pardon – not very common.  Understanding the differences between drug, TASC and regular probation is important because it can mean the difference between having a clean record or being permanently labeled a convicted felon. A further distinction is also necessary between drug probation and TASC probation.  For drug probation, you have been charged with possessing illegal drugs.  For TASC probation, the charge does not hav...