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Expunging Criminal Histories in Illinois

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EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL CASES IN ILLINOIS

            The arrest record of anyone ever arrested remains available to the public unless it is expunged.  This is true even if the case is dismissed or there is a verdict of not guilty.   

Expunged or Sealed:  Most criminal records without convictions can be expunged or sealed and even some records with convictions may be expunged or sealed.  When a record is expunged, it is erased, as if it never existed.  When a record is sealed, only law enforcement may view it.  Others, such as the general public, may not.  A record is best expunged, but is still beneficial to have it sealed.  For a record to be expunged or sealed, it must qualify. 

 

Necessary Information:  To start the process of expunging or sealing a criminal record, it is best to locate all the paperwork relating to the case or cases.  The following information is needed: 

·        Defendant’s contact information

·        Case number

·        What happened in court – a guilty plea, dismissal, etc.  This is called the “disposition” on the court record and it can be found at the courthouse where the case was heard.

·        Date of arrest

·        Agency or Police Department conducting the arrest. 

 

Additionally, it may be necessary to obtain a criminal history. Criminal histories can be obtained from the following places:

·        Illinois State Police, Bureau of Identification,

                               260 North Chicago Street, Joliet IL 60432,                   ·        The FBI, U.S. Department of Justice,                                1000 Custer Hollow Road, Clarksburg WV 26306.                 ·        The circuit clerk of the court where your case was handled. The clerks only have records for their counties not for the entire country or the State of Illinois.  Information for Illinois Circuit Clerks can be found at: http://www.state.il.us/court/CircuitCourt/CircuitCourtJudges/CCC_District.asp

            Records that can be Expunged:  To determine whether a record qualifies to be expunged or sealed, it is best to consult an experienced expungement attorney.  Some qualifying situations are listed below:

·        If the defendant was acquitted, released without conviction, found not guilty or   there was a no probable cause finding, or nolle prosequi (dismissed by the State’s Attorney).

·         Most cases qualify if there was *supervision ordered AND two years have passed since the successful completion of

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