You must take several steps to have your criminal record sealed or expunged.
The first step is to get your criminal history report. If the police arrested you, you definitely have a criminal record. You’ll need information on all your cases, including the agency that arrested you, your case numbers, the dates of any arrests, and how each case ended.
Next, you have to determine whether you’re eligible for expungement or sealing. Only certain offenses are eligible for sealing under Illinois law, so you need to make sure that your case qualifies.
Something important to note: You cannot expunge your record if you were convicted of a crime. However, even if you’re not eligible for expungement, you could still be eligible for criminal record sealing, which prevents most people from seeing it.
If you’re eligible for expungement or sealing, you must file the proper petitions with the right courts and pay filing fees. These fees vary by county.
You don’t have to do this on your own, though. XpungeChicago can file for you, as well as give proper notice to the clerks of court, prosecutors and agencies involved in your case.
The state’s attorney will get a chance to object to your petition to expunge or seal. The state’s attorney can also inform the court that his or her office will not object. If no agency objects to your petition, your case can move forward immediately.
If the state’s attorney’s office objects, it will usually state the grounds of its objection. This could happen if you have a long criminal record or if your criminal record includes certain types of crimes, such as sexual abuse or murder.
In such a case, you may be entitled to a hearing. The Law Offices of Matt Fakhoury can represent you at your hearing. We can present supporting evidence that shows the court that you deserve criminal record sealing or expungement.
When a judge agrees to seal or expunge your criminal record, he or she issues an order to the Illinois State Police and the agency that arrested you, as well as to other agencies that hold your records. If your record is expunged, the agencies will destroy your records or return them to you. If your record is sealed, the agencies will block most people from accessing them.