Application Process of Sealing Criminal Records in Illinois

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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The sealing process involves several steps.

The first step is to obtain a copy of your criminal record, commonly referred to as a “rap sheet”. You must go to the police station and request this information yourself. The police will take your fingerprints and then print out a copy of your rap sheet for that district. You will need to obtain your rap sheet from each police department that arrested you.

Once you have your criminal record, go to the clerk of the district court in the district where your case was filed to obtain the necessary forms, which are the “Petition to Seal Arrest Record” or a “Petition To Seal Conviction”, and “Order to Seal Arrest Record” or “Order To Seal Conviction”. The clerk will provide you with further information about the procedure, including filing fees, scheduling of court dates, etc.

You will need to make copies of the petition so that the clerk can send copies to the following agencies: the State’s Attorney of the county that you are filing in, the Illinois State Police, the Arresting Authority, and the Chief Legal Officer of the unit of local government that arrested you.

Once you have filed your Petition, the various agencies have 60 days to file an objection. The court will notify you whether or not a hearing is required. If your Petition is granted, the Circuit Clerk will mail a copy of the order to all appropriate agencies. For further online information and forms, visit https://www.illinoiscourts.gov/forms/approved/expungement/expungement.asp.

If there were arrests in multiple counties, petitions must be filed in each county courthouse.

Additionally, local procedures may be slightly different and should be followed. For example, Cook County uses its own procedures and uses its own forms for sealing. To get these forms and any further information , click https://198.173.15.31/Forms/pdf_files/CCCR0328.pdf. The guidelines for getting your Illinois adult criminal record sealed are found in the “Criminal Identification Act” (20 ILCS 2630).

For more information on expunging Illinois criminal records, click on the following articles:

Application Process to Expunge Juvenile Criminal Records in Illinois

Application Process for Expunging Adult Criminal Records in Illinois

Sealing of Criminal Records in Illinois

Clearing of Criminal Records or Expungement in Illinois

Clearing or Expungement of Juvenile Criminal Records in Illinois

Using an Attorney to Clear or Expunge Illinois Criminal Record

Certificates of Relief from Disabilities and Good Conduct in Illinois

Eligibility for Expungement of Adult Criminal Records in Illinois

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