Eligibility for Expungement of Adult 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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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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In Illinois, you can have your adult criminal record expunged if the following circumstances apply:

  1. Your record can be expunged of municipal ordinance, misdemeanor and felony charges if:
    • You were found not guilty of the charges, or
    • The State dismissed the charges against you.
  2. If you were sentenced to supervision for certain misdemeanors:

    First time cannabis violation
    First time substance violation
    Illegal use of steroids
    Illegal use of alcohol
    Uninsured motor vehicle
    Suspended registration for non-insurance
    Display of false insurance
    Reckless driving
    Domestic battery
    Criminal sexual abuse
    Aggravated battery of a child
    Retail theft


    • It has been at least 5 years since supervision was discharged, and
    • You have not been arrested or criminally charged since the supervision was discharged.
  3. If you were sentenced to probation for certain misdemeanors (as listed above), and
    • It has been 5 years since successful termination of probation, and
    • You have not been arrested or criminally charged since probation was discharged, and there are no charges pending.
  4. If you were released without conviction following a sentence of supervision for certain offenses and it has been 2 years since successful discharge and dismissal from supervision, except:
    • DUI/Reckless Driving, or
    • Any sexual offenses committed against a minor younger than 18.
  5. If you were convicted or found guilty and either
    • You received a pardon from the governor that specifically authorizes an expungement,


    • Your conviction was set aside on direct review or collateral attack, and the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that you were factually innocent.
  6. You were the victim of criminal identity theft. Criminal identity theft can occur when
    1. the person arrested is carrying no identification and simply uses your name;
    2. the thief has actually stolen identity documents from you and he/she physically resembles you to the extent that the arresting agency believes that it is you (often the person who has stolen your identity is a family member;) or
    3. the thief has tampered with an identity document, in some cases inserting his/her own photograph.

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

Application Process for Sealing 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

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