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Can a Domestic Violence Charge Be Expunged?
When an argument goes wrong with a family member, it may lead to charges of domestic violence being leveled against you. You may feel that’s unfair, or that you didn’t do anything to warrant the charges. But you may believe you don’t have grounds to avoid a conviction, either. So what are your options?
At Chicago Trusted Attorneys™, we know how severely domestic violence charges can impact your life, even if you complete your sentence after a conviction. If you’re struggling to get answers after you’re charged with a crime, talk to a criminal defense lawyer at our firm about the ways you can clear your record and start fresh.
How Expungement Can Help You
When you’re charged with a serious crime, those charges can haunt you. Even if you weren’t convicted, there may be evidence of your arrest on your criminal record. That can impact your life, making it difficult to get a job, get a loan, or get better housing. You may be limited all because of a domestic violence charge you may not have even been found guilty for.
Expungement helps you clean up your record and remove records of criminal offenses you didn’t commit. If your expungement is successful, your criminal record may be removed, as though you were never arrested in the first place.
Convictions Can’t Be Expunged
When you’re accused of a serious crime, avoiding a criminal conviction may be vital to your recovery. While some charges may be expunged from your criminal record, you may be unable to expunge others. Domestic violence is one of the charges that can’t be expunged or sealed.
Because of this, you may need to act now, not later, to protect yourself from these charges. Your Illinois defense attorney can help you prepare for court so you can avoid a conviction that will make it difficult or impossible to get your record expunged.
Luckily, you do have grounds for expungement if you were never convicted, or if you were pardoned or otherwise weren’t held accountable for the crime. For example, you may have been arrested for domestic violence, but the charges were dropped. You may seek out expungement for these charges.
Your Steps to Expunging a Domestic Violence Charge
Before you go to court, you may need to discuss your options for expungement with your lawyer. Determining whether you’re eligible for compensation can be tough, and you may need help making this determination.
Once you know you’re eligible and are taking the right steps forward, you’ll need to fill out the required paperwork. Be sure to have copies of your criminal paperwork on hand to fill in all the information correctly. After your paperwork is done, you’ll file it with the county circuit clerk.
After this, you’ll have a hearing where your lawyer can represent you before the judge. This is your chance to explain why your claim should be expunged. Once this is done, your expungement will be approved or denied. If you’re approved, that charge will be removed from your record, as though it never happened.
Get Legal Aid to Clear Your Criminal Record
When you’re facing harsh legal penalties for a crime you didn’t commit, or a crime you were never even convicted of, you may need help overcoming your situation. Going to court to prove your innocence is hard enough, and getting a clean record can be just as tough.
At Chicago Trusted Attorneys™, we understand that it’s easy to make a mistake when getting your domestic violence charges expunged. Luckily, we’re also here to help. If you’ve been accused of a crime and you need help getting your record cleared, reach out for help by calling 312-519-3171 or by completing the following online contact form.