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dupage county expungement lawyerWhat many people do not realize is that if you are arrested or charged with a crime, a criminal record is automatically created even if the charges are later dropped. This can create problems later in life, especially with such common acts as applying for a job or trying to obtain credit. Sometimes, it may be possible to have your record expunged, which means that your previous charges or arrests can be erased. This is quite different from having your record sealed, which only blocks your criminal record from public view.

Do I Qualify for Expungement or Record Sealing?

Not everyone will be eligible to have his or her criminal record expunged. If you cannot, however, you may be able to have your record sealed. The criteria for having a criminal record expunged differ from state to state, but in Illinois, they are fairly straightforward. The most important point is that you must never have been convicted of a criminal offense or a municipal violation. If you have been, you will be automatically ineligible to expunge your record (with the rare exception of specific crimes committed by honorably discharged veterans).

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Illinois felony charges, Wheaton criminal defense lawyerEmployment is needed to maintain a fulfilling and consistent lifestyle, yet earning a living from the employment available to you is not always possible. Those who have been convicted of a felony often struggle to find gainful employment. Thankfully, there have been some improvements made in recent years. However, a national analysis of the programs and protections that enable employment for felony offenders recently revealed that Illinois still has a long way to go in reducing recidivism rates throughout the state.

Where Recidivism and Employability Intersect

One might assume that recidivism and employability are not connected. After all, if an offender wishes not to reoffend, then they will simply avoid doing so, right? Not exactly. Those who struggle to obtain gainful employment after they have already paid their debt to society may return to criminal activity to support their family. It is not that reoffenders are immoral or simply do not care (at least not in all cases or circumstances). The reasoning may be is that it is difficult to stand by and watch your children or spouse go without food and basic necessities because you are unable to obtain employment.

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probable cause, reasonable doubt, illinois criminal lawyerWhen it comes to criminal cases, there are three basic phrases that are often confused: reasonable suspicions, probable cause, and beyond a reasonable doubt. The following provides an overview of what these terms really mean and how they may affect your case. Any or all may be used, and the legal requirements for each are different, so be sure to consult with our criminal defense lawyers for a more in-depth understanding of how each term may or may not apply in your situation.

Reasonable Suspicion

Of all the terms used to describe the events that may lead up to an arrest, reasonable suspicion is the least demanding in terms of evidence and the reliability of that evidence. It is also where a lot of cases start. Essentially, it requires only that the officer has reason to believe that someone has (or is in the process of) committing a crime. Examples that may be considered valid reasonable cause could include stopping an erratic driver on suspicion of intoxicated driving and weapons frisks if the officer has reason to believe that the person being detained could be armed and dangerous.

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