The Process of Clearing Your Criminal Record

Clearing your criminal record is not as simple as one may think.  There are several steps that must be taken to properly file an Expungement or Sealing.

1. Rap Sheet:  If you are trying to expunge or seal a case that arose from a Chicago Police arrest, you must obtain a copy of your criminal arrest record.  You can order your rap sheet from Chicago Police headquarters located at 3510 S. Michigan.  A petition to expunge or seal a Chicago case will not be accepted by the Clerk of the Circuit Court if it is unaccompanied by the rap sheet.  If any other police department made the arrest, a rap sheet is not required to file the petition.

2. Documents:  Next, the appropriate documents need to be completed and signed.  Those documents include (1) The Notice of Filing, (2) The Petition to Expunge or Seal, and (3) The Orders Granting and Denying the Expungement or Sealing.

3. Filing Fee:  To actually file the expungement or sealing, you must pay a fee.  The Clerk of Circuit Court of Cook County currently charges $120 to file an expungement or sealing.  That fee includes all of the arrests/cases you have in your background that are eligible for an Expungement or Sealing.   The Clerk of the Circuit Court of DuPage County charges $216 per arrest/case.

4. Review Period:  Once the petition is filed, the police department that arrested you, the Illinois State Police, and the State’s Attorney’s Office of the county in which you filed all have the opportunity to review your petition and object if they so desire.  If an objection is made by one of those agencies, then a hearing is scheduled before a Judge.  If there is no objection, then the Judge will have an opportunity to review your case and either grant or deny your petition.

These steps hold true for most Petitions to Expunge or Seal however there are exceptions.  More paperwork may be necessary depending on the charge you are attempting to clear.  In addition, the court may require a drug test in limited cases.

To get a complete overview of your specific situation, contact XpungeChicago – A Division of the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury.  Xpunge Your Past, Xpand Your Future.