What is the Expungement Process Like in Chicago?

Most people who have considered criminal record expungement (or sealing, for those who aren’t eligible for expungement) have wondered what the process includes — and how long it takes.

If you’re one of them, we may be able to help you.

What is the Expungement Process Like?

In the state of Illinois, expungement is regulated under the Illinois Criminal Identification Act. Recent changes to the Illinois Criminal Identification Act may have made it easier for you to clean up your record and get the fresh start you deserve.

The process isn’t necessarily easy, particularly if you’re navigating the court system by yourself.

However, working with a Chicago expungement lawyer may make it a lot easier.

How Can a Chicago Expungement Lawyer Make the Expungement Process Easier?

Your lawyer can conduct a criminal background check to obtain your complete criminal history. You don’t have to hire an attorney for a criminal background check, though; you can find your criminal record in Chicago on your own if you’d like.

From there, your attorney will determine whether you’re eligible for expungement or sealing under the Illinois Criminal Identification act. (You can also answer a few questions on our “Am I Eligible for Expungement?” page to get an overview of whether you qualify.)

Your lawyer will petition the court, and you’ll have to be patient. This process isn’t exactly fast. In fact, it can take several weeks or several months to complete.

The state’s attorney will have a chance to agree with or object to your petition. If he or she objects for some reason, you could be entitled to a hearing. If you’re entitled to a hearing, your expungement lawyer will be able to represent you.

If the court approves your petition for expungement or sealing, you’re ready to move on with your life with a clean slate.

Ready to Talk to a Chicago Expungement Lawyer About the Expungement Process?

If you’re ready to talk about the expungement process with a knowledgeable, experienced lawyer, call us at 847-920-4540 for a free case review. We’ll begin putting together the appropriate paperwork so you can begin to move forward.