A nolle prosequi from retail theft 3 years ago .can i be denied employment ?

UPDATED: May 13, 2009

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A nolle prosequi from retail theft 3 years ago .can i be denied employment ?

Asked on May 13, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

You should consider getting your record "expunged".  This way you could answer "no" in an employment application if asked whether or not that you have ever been arrested (unless applying for a government job).

By way of explanation, certain records can be removed from public access.  Many types of cases can be removed from the public record.  Removal never happens automatically.  An eligible person must petition the court for records to be expunged or sealed.  Without a petition the records are permanently public.

In evaluating a petition, a court must determine that the harm to a person with a record is greater than the harm to the public in taking away public access to the records. Once a judge has found in the petitioner’s favor an order is issued for the record to be "expunged".  

This means the record is erased, as if it never existed. The arresting agency returns the records to the petitioner, including police reports, fingerprint cards, and booking photographs that were generated by the arrest. The circuit court clerk erases the records, both physical and electronic of the court activity. For all purposes the case never happened.   Expungement means that from a legal standpoint the case did not happen.

You can check this out here: www.ag.state.il.us/consumers/brochures/expunge0204h.pdf

N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Nolle Prosequi under Illinois law is defined as a voluntary dismissal of criminal charges by the state. The Illinois Code specially states the following:

"(A) Unless otherwise authorized by law, it is a civil rights violation for any employer, employment agency or labor organization to inquire into or to use the fact of an arrest or criminal history record information ordered expunged, sealed or impounded under Section 5 of the Criminal Identification Act as a basis to refuse to hire, to segregate, or to act with respect to recruitment, hiring, promotion, renewal of employment, selection for training or apprenticeship, discharge, discipline, tenure or terms, privileges or conditions of employment.

(B) The prohibition against the use of the fact of an arrest contained in this Section shall not be construed to prohibit an employer, employment agency, or labor organization from obtaining or using other information which indicates that a person actually engaged in the conduct for which he or she was arrested." (775 ILCS 5/2-103, Section 2-103)

Usually, employers ask about convictions rather than arrests.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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