Nowadays, almost all employers require a criminal background check, and any arrest or conviction — even for a minor offense — can be a barrier to obtaining employment and housing. But Illinois enacted a new law this year that allows for the immediate expungement of criminal records if the charge was dismissed, the client was acquitted or the conviction vacated or reversed. Unlike the past rule, convictions on an adult’s record no longer bar expunging an eligible offense.
“The reality is that many individuals have arrests or cases on their records that are now expungable that were previously not expungable,” said Kelly Burden Lindstrom, a staff attorney for John Marshall’s Pro Bono Program & Clinic.
Students, faculty and staff members from The John Marshall Law School’s Pro Bono Program & Clinic and Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic joined with Illinois Joining Forces to help expunge certain records for veterans at an expungement event on Wednesday, April 26 at 1:30 at Chase Tower, 10 South Dearborn St. in Chicago.
Illinois law also provides special provisions for expungement eligibility for veterans. It is important that veterans are aware of these special exceptions that apply to them and take full advantage, said Brian Clauss, Director of John Marshall’s Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic. “Expunging criminal records are an important step in employability. We are always happy to help restore people to productive members of society.”