Address 1200 Harger Road, Suite 706, Oak Brook, IL 60523
630-472-9700Available 24/7
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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Illinois Criminal Expungement and Sealing

At Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C., we have helped many people remove arrests from their criminal record through expungement and sealing petitions. These petitions help people move on with their lives after they have made amends for their mistakes. However, we realized over the course of time that there are some problems with the statute that governs these petitions. Not satisfied to just excuse the injustice that a "loophole" in the law causes regular people, we have taken action by asking the Illinois legislators to close this "loophole".

Ordinance Violations are tickets or charges that are brought against an individual pursuant to local city or village laws. Unlike state laws, city or village laws do not provide for jail time as a punishment. Additionally, any fines collected by the courts from violators are paid to the local city and villages, which eases their budget constraints. Often times, it is up to the arresting officer as to how to charge the person suspected of a crime. Whether a crime is charged under state statutes or local city and village ordinances is often an arbitrary decision. Current statutes do not allow the expungement of Class C misdemeanors, when they have been prosecuted as Ordinance Violations. This results in the perverse effect of denying expungements to those persons who have been found guilty of the most minor of crimes, while those who have committed far more serious offenses may obtain the relief of having their arrest records removed from the public eye through the expungement and sealing process.

Illinois Criminal Offense Background

Criminal offenses are generally of three types: petty offenses, misdemeanors, and felonies. Petty offenses cannot result in jail sentences or fines that exceed $1,000. Misdemeanors are further broken down into lettered classes, A, B, or C, decreasing in seriousness from A to C. Whereas Class A misdemeanors carry the full range of misdemeanor penalties, Class C misdemeanors are limited to at most 30 days in jail and up to $1,500 in fines. Additionally, many municipalities choose to prosecute their own misdemeanors under their local municipal code or village ordinances.

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