In 2008 in Illinois, I inadvertently wrote a bad check due to my husband clearing my account without my knowledge. I was ordered to pay restitution and fees and serve one year probation, all which was complete by December 2010. This was my first, and only offense ever in my life, and it is keeping me from getting a job because my bkgrnd has it listed as petty theft. The check was for $400. I called the county clerk in Illinois and was told that there is nothing I can do about it, and that it was originally a felony but that I had plead down and it was reduced to a misdemeanor. This is not what my public defender told me at all. I have been told that there is a first offenders law in Illinois which would allow for the removal of a non-violent first offense. I need this gone. I need a job.
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
As of January 1, 2013, the Offender Initiative Program allows certain types of first-time felony defendants to avoid a conviction on certain conditions. If you have a prior felony probation or a conviction, you cannot participate.
So most Illinois felony convictions cannot be either expunged. There are
a few exceptions.
If you want to hire a lawyer to get into details you may
Criminal Defense Attorney
First order of business would be to obtain the exact Certified Criminal Disposition of your Illinois adjudicated case from the Clerk of the Criminal Court of that Illinois county where the state offense was disposed of in 2008 and then fax or mail that document for a review to a selected criminal defense counsel in Illinois to see whether you are eligible to either expunge or seal it pursuant to the recently new expanded expungement Illinois law effective January 1, 2014.
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DUI / DWI Attorney
That disposition seems particularly harsh if the story is as you say. A single bad check would typically not result in a charge, let alone a felony. Were any other charges dismissed pursuant to that plea?
Some counties developed a bad check program to handle these kinds of cases and keep them out of court. You may have some remedies, but it would take some creativity by an attorney with a lot of familiarity with the court in which you were charged.