Can You Look Up Expunged Records?

Who can see expunged records in the state of Illinois? Is it possible to look them up? This guide explains.

Can You Look Up Expunged Records?

In the state of Illinois, an expunged record is completely clear. Anything that a person may have done in the past has been erased. That’s how expungement works; when a court orders and expungement, the order directs all agencies that have copies of the record to destroy them or return them to the person to whom they belong.

You cannot look up expunged records because they don’t exist. In fact, no one will ever know about the record unless the person who had it tells them.

However, sealed records are another story.

Related: Do expunged records show up on fingerprint background checks?

Can People Look Up Sealed Records?

When a person has their criminal records sealed in the state of Illinois, they aren’t erased. They still exist in databases, which means it’s possible to look them up. However, for the most part, sealed records only show up on fingerprint based background checks. They don’t show up when the general public is looking for them. That means landlords, employers, and most other people will never know that a record exists unless the person who has that record tells them.

The people who can see sealed records include anyone who conducts a fingerprint based background check, such as law enforcement, the military, some government agencies, some healthcare employers, and a few others. Also, people working in the criminal justice system may be able to see sealed records; that means judges and others will be able to see a person’s criminal history when necessary.

Related: Can you get a FOID with an expunged record?

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Criminal Record Expungement?

If you’re thinking about clearing your criminal record, we may be able to help you. Call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below now for a free case review.

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