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Free Expungement In Chicago 2021

Criminal And Traffic Expungement Guidelines And Forms

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Under specific circumstances, Illinois law allows felony, misdemeanor, or municipal ordinance violation records in Criminal and Traffic cases to be expunged or sealed. If you qualify, your records will either be expunged or expunged and sealed by law enforcement agencies and will be sealed by the Clerk’s Office. “Expunged” records are destroyed. “Sealed” records are closed and restricted from public access but are not destroyed. For more information on your eligibility and the process, including the necessary forms, please . If you are not eligible for expungement of your records, please check to see if you are eligible for sealing of your records under the “Criminal and Traffic Sealing Guidelines and Forms” section below.

The links below include information on the adult expungement process.

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Brandon Williams, supervising attorney at Cabrini Green Legal Aid, is part of the New Leaf Illinois statewide network helping to review cannabis-related offenses.

He says part of the process of cannabis expungement is automatic if a person has a minor cannabis offense.

Otherwise, if you have a conviction where you are sentenced, those have to either be done by the governor through a pardon or by the states attorney by filing a motion in court, Williams said. A person can file their own motion in court.

State Rep. La Shawn Ford, a Democrat from the West Side of Chicago, believes more outreach is needed.

Illinois has allocated $1.6 million toward hiring 20 organizations to get the word out and assist with legal aid counsel. Since New Leaf Illinois launched in November 2020, about 1,100 people have registered with the network.

Still, there is more work to be done, Williams said.

One of the biggest steps is for people to be aware that these services are available, Williams said. We dont just help with the cannabis conviction, we try to get their whole criminal record expunged or sealed.

Williams added that the cost of receiving assistance or speaking to an attorney is for the most part free there are fees, but people can apply to have all court fees and costs waived.

For more information on receiving legal counsel for cannabis-related offenses, contact New Leafs hotline at 855-963-9532.

Contact Acacia Hernandez: 509-5518 |

How Can I Get My Record Expunged For Free Next Steps

If the judge in your case decides that you qualify to get your record expunged for free , youll have to find and fill out the appropriate forms for your county. Youll also need supporting documentation . After your forms are complete, you must file them with your countys Clerk of Court. Then, you have to wait until your petition reaches the judges desk for a decision.

Related: Do I need a lawyer for expungement?

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New Leaf Illinois Celebrates One Year Of Free Cannabis Expungement Services

Press Release – November 15th, 2021

More than 1,300 Illinois residents have taken first step to clearing records, thousands more still eligible

CHICAGO New Leaf Illinois, a five-year pilot program developed by the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation that offers free cannabis expungement legal services and consultation through a network of 20 legal aid and advocacy organizations throughout the state, is celebrating its one-year anniversary. Since launching in November 2020 with state funding, more than 1,300 people have registered for services, so Illinois residents with prior cannabis arrests or convictions can take thefirst step to clear their records.

Among those who have utilized New Leafs expungement services is Christopher from Springfield. Christopher worked with Land of Lincoln Legal Aid, a member of the New Leaf network, to clear his decades-old cannabis conviction. Like others who pursue cannabis expungement, Christopher knew a clean record could make it easier to seek employment and with other aspects of his life.I felt like I was being singled out from others because I had a felony conviction, Christopher said. I just got my felony expunged this summer. Now Im working, Im providing for my family, so Im happy. The skys the limit now.

What Misdemeanors Cannot Be Expunged In Illinois

" A Breakdown in This Process"

Misdemeanor convictions that cannot be sealed: crimes of violence Battery, 720 ILCS 5/12-3. Assault, 720 ILCS 5/12-1. Aggravated assault, 720 ILCS 5/12-2. Domestic battery, 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2. Reckless conduct, 720 ILCS 5/12-5. Criminal sexual abuse, 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50. Violation of an order of protection, 720 ILCS 5/12-3.4.

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How To Fill Out Chicago Illinois Expungement Package

If you are looking for a relevant form template, its extremely hard to find a better platform than the US Legal Forms site one of the most considerable libraries on the web. With this library, you can get thousands of document samples for organization and individual purposes by types and regions, or keywords. With the high-quality search option, getting the latest Chicago Illinois Expungement Package is as elementary as 1-2-3. Moreover, the relevance of each document is proved by a group of skilled lawyers that regularly check the templates on our website and update them in accordance with the newest state and county regulations.

If you already know about our system and have an account, all you need to receive the Chicago Illinois Expungement Package is to log in to your profile and click the button.

If you use US Legal Forms the very first time, just follow the instructions below:

  • Make sure you have opened the sample you need. Check its information and utilize the Preview option to check its content. If it doesnt meet your requirements, utilize the Search field at the top of the screen to find the appropriate record.
  • Confirm your decision. Select the Buy now button. Following that, select your preferred subscription plan and provide credentials to sign up for an account.
  • Process the financial transaction. Use your credit card or PayPal account to finish the registration procedure.
  • Obtain the template. Pick the file format and save it on your device.
  • What Are The Final Dispositions Of The Crimes You Were Charged With

    You may be immediately statutorily eligible for an expungement if the final disposition of your case was that charges were: dropped, dismissed, acquitted or arrested without charging. This is true regardless of whether you were charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. These dispositions are immediately eligible for expunging irrespective of whether you have any criminal cases pending.

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    Criminal And Traffic Laws To Clear Your Record

    Beginning January 1, 2004, Illinois law was amended to permit people with qualifying arrests, felonies, misdemeanor supervisions and misdemeanor convictions to ask the court to either expunge or seal the records related to their cases. The law is designed to let people clear their records with or without an attorney. On this page and the associated links, the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County provides helpful information to assist customers in clearing their records.

    • Adult Expungement Advice Desk50 W Washington St, 10th Floor, Room 1006Chicago, IL 60602Open Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. -12 p.m.

    Choosing The Best Option For You

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    An expungement and a pardon are two quite different things, and both of those are different than sealing a criminal record. I will sit down with you and clearly explain which of these options is right for you. As an experienced lawyer, I am intimately familiar with both Illinois law and federal law, and I will work tirelessly to clear your record whenever possible.

    Expungement: These are normally used for clearing an arrest from your record. Expungements are commonly used to erase misdemeanor arrests, including retail theft, drug possession, prostitution, solicitation, vandalism, disorderly conduct and similar crimes. When I defend misdemeanor cases, I commonly ask for expungement early on, so there is no delay in clearing your record.

    Pardon: These are used to clear a conviction from your record. This can be a lengthy process and involves petitioning the governor, not a court. I have a solid track record of securing pardons for my clients. In addition, I was a driving force in the clemency hearings for former Gov. George Ryan.

    Sealing a record: Some records of old convictions or records of juvenile crime may be sealed. Sealing prevents the record from being viewed by the public, including potential employers. There are strict requirements concerning the crimes eligible for sealing, and I am very familiar with all of them.

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    ‘it Has Impacted Me A Lot’

    It was 1974, and 17-year-old RC Anderson Jr. drove his car to go help some friends pick up goods from a house they had burglarized in Madison County. “I was the only one that had a car at the time,” he told the Mississippi Free Press on Oct. 28 at the expungement clinic. “They had broken into a house, and I went to pick up the stuff for them like a fool.”

    “And when we got there to get the stuff, the police zeroed in on us,” Anderson added. “They were waiting for us to come get it. That’s how I got caught up in it.”

    Anderson stayed at the Madison County Jail for six months, and after the court process, he received a three-year sentence, but was released after six months in Parchman.

    Now that he is 65 and it has been decades since the crime, he still has a criminal record, and he went to the Mississippi e-Center to get help getting it erased.

    “It has impacted me a lot,” Anderson told the Mississippi Free Press. “I can’t vote, I can’t buy a gun. I can’t own a gun, you know? And it’s quite a bit on you, when you ain’t got no way to protect yourself and your family because you can’t have a gun, man, with all the stuff going on now, it is hard.”

    Fill Out The Fee Waiver

    There are instructions on the fee waiver form, but heres a quick look at what information you need to include:

    • Your first, middle and last name
    • The Defendant/Respondent, which in your case is the state of Illinois

    When you fill out the form, these are the only pieces of information you fill out. Dont check any of the boxes the judge in your case will complete the form based on the other information you provided.

    Related: How much does expungement cost?

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    Figure Out If Youre Eligible For A Fee Waiver

    If you want to expunge your record free, you have to qualify for a fee waiver. That means you have to meet at least one of these conditions:

    • You receive means-based government assistance under SSI, AABD, TANF, SNAP, GA, Transitional Assistance or State Children and Family Assistance
    • Your personal income is 125 percent less than the current poverty level and you cannot afford to pay fees, costs or charges
    • Payments of fees, costs and charges would result in substantial hardship to you or your family

    Its Just A Hassle To Try To Get Your Name Cleared

    Cook County Expungement Guide

    In 2011, Milton Pilate, now 58, said he refused to blow into a breathalyzer during a traffic stop in Jackson, Miss. I was taking medication, and they thought I was under the influence of alcohol, but I was under medication, so I refused to blow, and the case got dismissed cause they found out with documentation that my story was accurate, the truck driver told the Mississippi Free Press at the Oct. 28 expungement clinic.

    He said it was only on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022, that he heard of the event and moved to get the necessary documents. I went to Jackson Municipality Court, I asked for the court records, and I called the Hinds County Sheriff Department. They mailed me everything that they had on file, and I received them on Wednesday. So I got their documentation, everything they had, and I got the abstract of the records from the City of Jackson, Mississippi.

    He said his drive to get the expungement is so that the criminal record would not hinder him when he wants to change a job. “It just purges your records of being criminalized, like folks got to criminalize people, especially African-Americans,” he said. “We already got that serial type of being criminalized anyway, so therefore this is to clear all the records up.”

    He thought that it would be hard to get his record cleared up without the help of the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project.

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    Expungement More Cost Effective Than Job Training Says Researcher

    Researcher Prescott said studies show that publicly-funded job-training programs increase annual wages by $832 for women and $471 for men, with the government spending $6,600 per person, while expungement recipients in Michigan experience wage gains of $4594 for women and $4295 for men.

    He concluded that expungement has comparatively minimal costs, including running a background check, holding a court hearing, and processing the paperwork. “nd these could very likely be reduced much further if the process were simplified or automated,” he said. “As an employment intervention, therefore, expungement appears superior to job training in terms of both its effectiveness and its price tag.

    Louisiana and Mississippi State Director for Right On Crime Scott Peyton supports automated expungement. He said it is the right move from a public-safety standpoint in his interview with the Mississippi Free Press on Dec. 6.

    “So when we look at it through public safety, I think an expungement provides a public safety benefit as far as removing barriers for that individual when it comes to employment, when it comes to housing, and it also rewards and recognizes accountability and personal responsibility,” he said. “I do think expungement laws should be reasonably restrictive in order to keep that balance between public safety and redemption.”

    “I do support clean slate legislation that automates expungements,” he said, as he pointed to Mississippi’s “complicated” process.

    Do You Have A Qualifying Misdemeanor

    Any misdemeanor where you received court supervision is eligible two years after the successful completion of court supervision, except for the following:

    • Domestic Violence
    • DUI unless it was a reckless driving conviction before the age of 25
    • Sex Crimes , Dog Fighting, Batter to an Unborn Child, and anything that would subject you to the Sex Offender Registration Act

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    ‘i Have To Get This Expunged Off My Records’

    In 2010, Ezekiel Edwards, now 35, was driving his friend when they reached a traffic stop. He said they had a “couple of pounds of” marijuana in the vehicle. Both went to jail when neither owned up to being the drug owner. Later, his friend’s attorney convinced him to plead guilty to the possession crime.

    “He owned up to everything. So there wasn’t any need for me to be even in the case, but since I got arrested with him, I pretty much went down with him,” Edwards told the Mississippi Free Press at the expungement clinic on Oct. 28.

    Upon his release in 2010, Edwards entered a diversion program with the promise of the expungement of his arrest record. “I went through this little pretrial diversion for first-time offenders, and I stopped going. I was young. I didn’t know how important this would be. I know now,” he said.

    He works as an overnight stocker and forklift operator at a retail outlet. He says he thought that with the medical marijuana law in Mississippi, “it should be an easy process for me to get this completely off my record. I mean, I wasn’t convicted, the case was dismissed, so why was it still on my record?” he said.

    She estimates “that at least 20-30 million American adults, or 3040% of those with criminal records, fall into the ‘second chance expungement gap,’ living burdened with criminal records that persist despite appearing to be partially or fully clearable under existing law.”

    State Partners With Legal Aid Network To Expunge Cannabis

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    An estimated 34,000 Illinoisans are still waiting to have their cannabis records expunged, according to the Sentencing Policy Advisory Council.

    This is after more than two years since Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Illinois. Part of that law created a pathway to clearing a persons cannabis record.

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    Chapman Legal Aid Chicago Launch App To Clear Records

    For people with past arrests or convictions, expunging or sealing their records can open back up access to social services, housing, eligibility for jobs and other forms of participation in society that have been cut off.

    On Jan. 1, 2020, Illinois legalized cannabis and added a host of cannabis-related arrests and convictions to the list of offenses eligible for expungement and sealing. While its not known exactly how many people are affected, 365,069 people were convicted of drug crimes in Illinois in the last 40 years, according to a 2020 study by the Heartland Alliance.

    In Cook County, Illinois, Legal Aid Chicago and Chapman and Cutler LLP have launched a web application, the Legal Aid Chicago Criminal Records Relief Petitions App, to help automate the process of clearing clients records in an effort to meet a growing need. A total of 3.3 million people in the state have acquired criminal records since 1979, so while not all records are eligible for expungement or sealing, the work ahead is vast.

    Its a complicated procedure, probably more complicated than it needs to be, and there are so many people who are eligible who might not even know it, Chapman pro bono counsel Sara Ghadiri told Law360.

    Expungement and sealing is also a racial justice issue, with Black people making up 13.8% of Illinois adult population, but 28.9% of the population with a criminal record, according to the Heartland Alliance.

    Written by Emily Lever Editing by Katherine Rautenberg.

    Expungements And Pardons: Helping You Move Forward After An Arrest Or Conviction

    A mistake from your past does not have to follow you for the rest of your life. If a past arrest or conviction on your record is preventing you from finding employment or getting a professional license, it may be possible to remove these blemishes from your record with an expungement or pardon.

    At the Law Office of Stephen L. Richards, I help my clients get their lives back by using my deep knowledge of the law and the legal system to obtain expungements and pardons. With more than 25 years of criminal defense experience, I am skilled at meeting the intricate requirements for clearing a criminal record.

    To discuss your particular situation with an experienced Chicago expungement and pardon attorney, call me at , locally at or contact me online.

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