How Long Does an Expungement Take in Illinois?

If you’re like many people, you’ve decided that you need a fresh start through criminal record expungement – but how long does an expungement take in Illinois, and what will you be required to provide? This guide explains.

How Long Does an Expungement Take in Illinois?

In Illinois, expungement takes at least a few months. That’s because the state of Illinois and its agencies – such as the Illinois State Police and the state’s attorney – get a chance to object to your petition. These agencies get 60 days to do so, which can make the process take longer.

Of course, in many cases, the agencies simply forward expungement packets on with recommendations to expunge. However, sometimes the agencies object.

If someone objects to your expungement petition, you may be entitled to a hearing. The good news is that your attorney can represent you at that hearing; the bad news is that you have to wait for a time slot to open up for the hearing. That can make the process take longer.

Eventually, your petition for expungement ends up on a judge’s desk. The judge then reviews the whole packet, which includes recommendations or objections from interested parties, before making a decision.

Generally, you should expect your expungement case to take 4 to 6 months. If it happens sooner, that’s great – but just so you’re prepared, that’s a realistic time frame. (For the record, criminal record sealing takes about the same amount of time.)

Related: 3 ways to file for expungement or sealing in Illinois

What Documents Do You Need to Provide for Your Expungement Petition?

Your lawyer will ask you for documentation that helps support your case. For example, if you’ve earned a high school equivalency certificate, a college degree (or even college credits), completed community service or done something else that can help persuade the judge to rule in your favor, your lawyer will want copies of the documents proving it.

You may also need to provide character letters from people who know you in your community. And finally, you may have to provide proof of completion of probation, counseling or a treatment program, as well as proof of a negative drug test if it has bearing on your case.

Related: Can you expunge weed convictions in Illinois?

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Expunging or Sealing Your Criminal Record?

If you need to speak with an attorney about clearing your criminal record, we may be able to help you. Call us at 847-920-4540 now or fill out the form below for a free consultation.

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