This Chicago Criminal lawyer has heard it time, and time, and time again. "That was so long ago". "Why are they bringing up a case from when I was a kid?" "I was all set to get this job and then they ran a background check and now they won’t hire me."
It isn’t fair but when you get charged with a crime, the easiest thing in the world, at the time, may seem to be to plead guilty. You may not have chosen your lawyer, or perhaps you spent the night in jail already and the Government is telling you if you plea now this case will be over. Unfortunately, they don’t really mean that.
So what happens if you did something horrible when you were “young and dumb” but now you are an upstanding citizen? Well maybe you qualify for an expungement, but you have to know that expungement is an all or nothing process. So perhaps you had a DUI case where you got supervision ten years ago and then you got charged with a serious criminal charge, like murder, and you beat the murder charge. You probably want to get the murder arrest expunged, removed from your background, but you won’t be able to because of the “all or nothing” nature of expungement. You can’t expunge the old DUI. So, that leaves you with a Pardon or Clemency. This is not easy.
Just ask this guy:
From the Chicago SunTimes:
State law bars felons from holding municipal office in Illinois, and Alpogianis had been convicted more than two decades ago of aggravated battery.
But if Alpogianis runs again — and he plans to — his record won’t be an obstacle. He was one of 43 people pardoned this summer by Gov. Pat Quinn.
Alpogianis, 46, is probably best known as a member of the family that owns Kappy’s Restaurant & Pancake House in Morton Grove and the America’s Dog locations in the Loop and Lincoln Park and at Navy Pier and O’Hare Airport.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez argued unsuccessfully against clemency for Alpogianis, praising him for urging children to avoid the mistakes he’d made but adding, “Perhaps the greatest lesson for these youth is that when you commit violent crimes, they can never be erased.”
Pardons come from the sitting governor in the state where the crime occurred or the President of the United States of America. Yep. That’s not easy is it?