Expunging an arrest to give you a clean record

Today, I appeared in court seeking an expungement for a client that I had represented three years ago.  In general, expungements are allowed for people who were arrested, but not found guilty of a crime, or were found or plead guilty to a misdemeanor offense.  Certain types of felony probation can also be eligible to be expunged.

At the time, he was an honors student at a top rated University, home for Christmas break.  He decided to do something a lot of college students do:  drink alcohol.  He and a couple of friends went to a local Junior High School to drink in the schoolyard.  The police received a call and when they arrived, my client and his friends ran away.  One of them was caught, and gave the police the names of his friends.  My client was charged with resisting arrest and underage consumption of alcohol.

The first problem he had was that one cannot receive a sentence of court supervision for resisting arrest.  The State’s Attorney insisted on a conviction.  However, a wise Cook County Judge took into consideration this young man’s entire life history, his complete lack of criminal behavior and community service, and convinced the prosecutor’s to reduce the charge to attempted resisting, which made him eligible for supervision.  (Supervision is a type of sentence, in which the court continues the case and  placed conditions on the defendant; upon the successful completion of which the case is dismissed).  He then plead guilty to both counts, receiving supervision with a requirement that he work in the Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program.  He successfully completed his supervision and the case was terminated satisfactorily.

In the interim, this young man graduated from college and has a great job and is a good citizen.  It is highly unlikely that he will have any future brushes with the law.

Two years after the completion of his supervision, he was eligible to have both charges expunged from his criminal record.  I filed a “Petition to Expunge” and today we went before a Cook County Judge.  This time, the State’s Attorney had no objections, and the expungement was granted.  Now, the charges will be removed from his criminal record, as well as the court system’s computer record.  The arresting police department will destroy their arrest reports too.

In this day and age, most employers run criminal histories as part of the hiring process.  There is no reason to leave an arrest on your record.  An expungement is a great opportunity to get a fresh start and have a clean record.  Please feel free to contact me if you believe that you might be eligible for either expungement or sealing of your record.