Follow

Cook

The use of and access of material available within this website or any of the links contained within this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should consult with an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal issue.

Last Updated 9/2/2016

 

This guide is designed to help you learn all about the process of dismissing prior convictions on your record, also known as expungement. Cook County also allows for sealed records pertaining to certain crimes. These methods might not work in all cases or for all crimes, but it could give you an opportunity to start fresh.

 

Do I Qualify for Expungement?

As previously mentioned, not all records can be expunged. Cook County offers expungement only for periods of supervision and probation in regards to certain offenses. However, these rules are very strict and do require waiting periods.

 

If you have any conviction on your record at all -- including but not limited to jail time, certain classifications of probation, and fines  -- you do not qualify for expungement. Instead, read on about how your record could be sealed.

 

Qualifying for Immediate Expungement

You can qualify for immediate expungement of your entire record if:

  1. You have never been convicted of a crime.
  2. Your conviction(s) were vacated or reversed.
  3. You were granted an executive pardon from the governor.

 

Qualifying for Supervision Expungement

You can qualify for expungement of supervision if:

  1. You have never been convicted of a crime.
  2. Your record does not include supervision for sexual offense against a child, DUI, or reckless driving.

* Certain supervision sentences require a 2-year waiting period, while others (most notably domestic battery and driving an uninsured motor vehicle) require 5 years. It is best to identify your supervision charge and confirm which waiting period is necessary.

 

Qualifying for Probation Expungement

You can qualify for expungement of probation if:

  1. You have never been convicted of a crime.What Can I Do About My Criminal Record?
  2. Criminal records can be a big barrier to overcome in seeking employment. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to clean up your record and get a clean slate.
  3. Your record does not include supervision for sexual offense against a child, DUI, or reckless driving.
  4. The probation is drug-related, under specific sections (including marijuana, controlled substances, and steroid control probation)
  5. It has been 5 years since the termination of your probation.

 

Do I Qualify for Sealed Records?

Even if your record does not qualify for expungement, you may be able to seal part or all of your record, done on a case-by-case basis. You may be able to seal one case on your record even if another case does not qualify for expungement or sealing.

 

Nearly all sealing requirements have a waiting period from the termination of your last sentence. This qualification is based off of your most recent sentence, not from when you were sentenced from the crime to be sealed.

 

Qualifying for Immediate Sealing

You can qualify for sealing of a case immediately if there was no finding of guilt. Additionally, cases that meet the following criteria:

  1. You were released without charging, you were acquitted or your case was dismissed.
  2. Your conviction was vacated or reversed.

 

Qualifying for Supervision Sealing

You can seal a case that resulted in supervision if:

  1. The offense is not a specific set of supervision sentences, including: sex offense against a minor,  DUI, solicitation, battery, violating no-contact orders, or animal cruelty.
  2. Your offense did not result in registration under the Sex Offender Registration Act.
  3. It has been 2 years since the termination of your last sentence, or the court has found you qualified for immediate sealing.

 

Qualifying for Probation Sealing

You can seal a case that resulted in probation if:

  1. The probation is drug-related, under specific sections -- including Cannabis Control Act and Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.
  2. It has been 3 years since the termination of your last sentence, or the court has found you qualified for immediate sealing.

 

Qualifying for Misdemeanor Sealing

You can seal a case that resulted in misdemeanor sentencing if:

  1. The offense is not a specific set of misdemeanors, including: sex offense against a minor,  DUI, solicitation, battery, violating no-contact orders, or animal cruelty.
  2. Your offense did not result in registration under the Sex Offender Registration Act.
  3. It has been 3 years since the termination of your last sentence, or the court has found you qualified for immediate sealing.

 

Qualifying for Felony Sealing

You can seal a case that resulted in felony sentencing if:

  1. The offense is listed in a specific set of felonies, including: prostitution, possession of marijuana, possession of certain controlled substances (including steroids and meth), theft, forgery, and possession of burglary tools.
  2. It has been 3 years since the termination of your last sentence, or the court has found you qualified for immediate sealing.

 

How to Expunge Your Record

 

Step 1: Obtain Your Record

There are certain steps you can take to expunge your record, but first you need to actually obtain your criminal record. This will give you a good idea of whether you qualify for expungement.

 

In Illinois, there are three different types of criminal records:

  • Court Disposition: The final judgment or outcome in a court case. There are no court dispositions for arrests or charges that did not lead to a court case.
  • Chicago RAP Sheet: List of all arrests, charges, and court case outcomes that happened in Chicago.
  • Illinois State Police RAP Sheet: List of all convictions that happened in Illinois.

 

You can obtain the records in the following ways:



Court Disposition

Chicago Rap Sheet

IL State RAP Sheet

Go to Cook County Clerk’s Office:


Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, Chicago 60602


Tel: (312) 603-5031

Request your records (for a fee) or use public computers.

Go to Chicago Police Department:


Chicago Police Headquarters 3510 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL


Tel: (312) 745-5508


*Fee of up to $20 applicable

Order your record through a registered Livescan vendor:


https://www.idfpr.com/LicenseLookUp/fingerprintlist.asp


*The police does not charge a fee, but the vendor might

 

Step 2: Gather and Complete Your Forms

The Cook County Clerk’s Office offers an online list of forms needed to petition for expungement.

 

Download and print them at: http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/forms/approved/expungement/expungement.asp

 

You will need five copies of each form to send to relevant parties. Additionally, you will need the names and addresses of all legal entities involved in your case including the law enforcement agency that arrested you, the attorney that represents the county, and the prosecutor in your case.

 

Cook County has six districts with different rules. Some require a full RAP sheet attached and others require to pay for certified copies of dispositions. Consult the named district for details.

 

Step 3: Send in Your Forms and Pay Your Fees

You are eligible to file your forms by mail or in person. Although you may file your forms in any of the six districts, the State of Illinois suggests you file your forms in the district your case originated.

 

A non-refundable filing fee of $120, payable to the Clerk of the Circuit court, must be paid in cash, money order, certified check, cashier’s check or personal check. You must write your Driver’s License or Matricular Consular number on the check as well as your telephone number and case number. If the filing is mailed, you are required to pay a $15 mailing fee plus the cost of postage.

 

You may file for a fee waiver, but doing so will mean you have to file your forms at your local district court in person.

 

Step 4: Wait

The court has 60 days to review your petition to make a decision.

 

If you file in Districts One, Four and Six, you must attend your scheduled court date, notified at the time of filing. District One sends a notification 30 days prior to your court date.

 

If the court orders your record expunged, the involving agencies have an additional 60 days to vacate or modify that order.

 

If your record is expunged, you may order a certified copy of the order for a $4 fee.

 

How to Seal Your Record

 

Step 1: Obtain Your Record

There are certain steps you can take to expunge your record, but first you need to actually obtain your criminal record. This will give you a good idea of whether you qualify for sealing, and it may be required depending on the district you must go to in order to petition for sealing.

There are certain steps you can take to expunge your record, but first you need to actually obtain your criminal record. This will give you a good idea of whether you qualify for expungement.

 

In Illinois, there are three different types of criminal records:

  • Court Disposition: The final judgment or outcome in a court case. There are no court dispositions for arrests or charges that did not lead to a court case.
  • Chicago RAP Sheet: List of all arrests, charges, and court case outcomes that happened in Chicago.
  • Illinois State Police RAP Sheet: List of all convictions that happened in Illinois.

 

You can obtain the records in the following ways:



Court Disposition

Chicago Rap Sheet

IL State RAP Sheet

Go to Cook County Clerk’s Office:


Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, Chicago 60602


Tel: (312) 603-5031

Request your records (for a fee) or use public computers.

Go to Chicago Police Department:


Chicago Police Headquarters 3510 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL


Tel: (312) 745-5508


*Fee of up to $20 applicable

Order your record through a registered Livescan vendor:


https://www.idfpr.com/LicenseLookUp/fingerprintlist.asp


*The police does not charge a fee, but the vendor might.

 

Step 2: Gather and Complete Your Forms

The Cook County Clerk’s Office offers an online list of forms needed to petition for expungement.

 

Download and print them at: http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/forms/approved/expungement/expungement.asp

 

You will need five copies of each form to send to relevant parties.Additionally, you will need the names and addresses of all legal entities involved in your case including the law enforcement agency that arrested you, the attorney that represents the county, and the prosecutor in your case.

 

Cook County has six districts with different rules. Some require a full RAP sheet attached and others require to pay for certified copies of dispositions. Consult the named district for details.

 

If you are sealing cases in multiple districts, you must complete all of these steps for every district

 

*Special Note: Sealing a Drug Offense*

 

In addition to providing relevant forms, convictions for drug-related offenses require proof of a passed drug test in order to be considered for sealing. The drug test must within 30 days of the filing of your petition, and it is recommended that you get the drug test from your physician or from a state agency willing to give a test.

 

Step 3: Send in Your Forms and Pay Your Fees

You are eligible to file your forms by mail or in person. Although you may file your forms in any of the six districts, the State of Illinois suggests you file your forms in the district your case originated.

 

A non-refundable filing fee of $120, payable to the Clerk of the Circuit court, must be paid in cash, money order, certified check, cashier’s check or personal check. You must write your Driver’s License or Matricular Consular number on the check as well as your telephone number and case number. If the filing is mailed, you are required to pay a $15 mailing fee plus the cost of postage.

 

If you are seeking to seal several cases across multiple districts, then you must pay the fee for each district filing. For example, sealing a crime in District 1 (Chicago) and District 2 (Skokie and surrounding areas) will incur a fee of $240. However, global filing allows you to file both petitions at just one location.

 

You may file for a fee waiver, but doing so will mean you have to file your forms at your local district court in person.

 

Step 4: Wait

 

The court has 60 days to review your petition to make a decision.

 

If you file in Districts One, Four and Six, you must attend your scheduled court date, notified at the time of filing. District One sends a notification 30 days prior to your court date.

 

If the court orders your record expunged, the involving agencies have an additional 60 days to vacate or modify that order.

 

If your record is expunged, you may order a certified copy of the order for a $4 fee.



In the meantime, there are other resources you can access to aide you.

consider:

 

CFL Workers Assistance Committee:http://www.cflwac.org/workers/ex-offenders

Illinois Institute For Community Law and Affairs:http://illinoisinstitute.net/resources-for-prisoners/

Chicago Legal Center:http://www.clclaw.org/about/programs/

Illinois Department of Employment Security Re-entry Program:http://www.ides.illinois.gov/Pages/Re-Entry_Employment_Service_Program.aspx

Safer Foundation:http://www.saferfoundation.org/services-programs/employment-services

Illinois Legal Aid Online: https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/get-legal-help

0 Comments

Article is closed for comments.