Even if your case has been dismissed, your arrest will show up on your criminal record until it is expunged. Further, if you received court supervision, even though it is not a conviction, it will also appear on your criminal record until it is expunged.
The lawyers at Pechter & Pechter LLP have experience in both Expungements and Sealings and will explain to you whether you are eligible to have your record expunged or sealed and will be there for you at every step of the Expungement or Sealing.
First, what is an Expungement?
Expunge means to physically destroy the records or return them to the Petitioner and to obliterate the Petitioner’s name from any official index or public record, or both.
Second, what is a Sealing?
Certain criminal offenses may not be expunged but may be sealed. Sealing a record means to physically and electronically maintain the records, but to make the records unavailable without a court order subject to a few exceptions. Having your record sealed may be helpful for employment purposes.
Third, what is the process?
There are 4 steps to an Expungement or Sealing:
Step 1: Eligibility
Determine if your case is eligible to be expunged or sealed. Only certain offenses may be expunged and only certain offenses may be sealed. The Lawyers at Pechter & Pechter will examine your criminal record to determine whether your case is eligible to be expunged or sealed.
Step 2: Time Frame
If your case is eligible, the next step is determining if you are within the time frame for petitioning the court to expunge. Certain situations, such as an acquittal or dismissal, require no waiting period, however, many other circumstances require a waiting period. For example, the general waiting period on an order of supervision is two years following the satisfactory termination of the supervision.
Step 3: Petition the court for expungement or sealing.
In order to expunge or seal certain charges, you may have to take a drug test and attach it to the petition.
Step 4: Hearing?
Wait for a determination by the court as to whether you must appear for a hearing in order to determine whether the court will grant your expungement or sealing. Sometimes, the court will grant your petition to expunge or seal without any hearing. However, other times the court will require a hearing if any party entitled to notice of the petition files an objection.
At the hearing, the court listens to evidence on whether the petition should or should not be granted and will then decide whether to grant or deny the petition to expunge or seal the records based on the evidence presented at the hearing.
What should I do if I want to expunge or seal my record?
If you are interested in expunging or sealing your record call the Law Office of Pechter & Pechter LLP at (708) 599-4300. Barry Pechter and Scott Pechter concentrate their practice on Criminal Defense and have experience in expunging and sealing countless of clients records.