A criminal record can and will follow you for the rest of your life if you can’t prevent its disclosure. Fortunately, Illinois has good expungement laws that allow you to completely clear many misdemeanor offenses and convictions, as well as arrest records and other criminal court appearances.
Getting your criminal record cleared makes sense in a world where even a mistaken arrest can get you denied a job or raise suspicions in your personal life. Avoid embarrassing results in a background check, when applying for a job, an apartment, or even a little league coaching position or boy scout troop leader.
What kind of events can be expunged from my Illinois Criminal Record?
Most misdemeanor convictions are eligible to be expunged within 2 years of any court supervision ending.
Most arrest records, dismissals, and other events can be removed from a criminal record even sooner.
What can’t be expunged?
No DUI convictions can be expunged. If you were arrested and charged but found not guilty/acquitted or dismissed, then the case can be expunged.
Felony charges cannot be expunged, with the exception of some felony drug possession charges, and felony prostitution offenses. Eligible felony expungements are after 5 years from the charges.
Are there alternatives to Expungement if I am Ineligible?
In some cases, charges can be sealed. Sealed isn’t quite as good as being expunged, but is a possibility with some charges. If your offense is sealed, it isn’t viewable by the public, though there still may be an indication of a sealed record. Sealed charges may be reopened at the request of the court, and it cases where you are charged with the same offense in the future.
What do I need to do to get my Criminal Record Expunged?
Gather all police and court records of any and all criminal convictions and other police documents or court records, including:
- Police reports
- Court documents with docket/case numbers
- All original criminal charge information, including guilty findings, and dismissals.
- All sentencing information, including dates of discharge and/or completion of obligations imposed by the courts.
How long does it take to find out?
It takes a minimum of 30 days for Illinois courts to process an expungement application, and often much longer.
What does an expungement cost?
An expungement application costs at least $120 just for the paperwork to be submitted in the simplest cases.
Lawyer counseling fees to help you get the paperwork done properly vary depending on the complexity of your case, but expect us to charge you $500 minimum just to get into the case, and more if it is complex.