When a record gets "expunged," it is as if the crime never occurred. Each law enforcement agency expunges, or destroys, their records. Not all cases qualify to be expunged. Please be advised that multiple convictions, supervisions or arrests may affect your eligibility to have your record expunged or sealed. An Expungement is different than a "Sealed" record. When a record gets "Sealed, " the file remains intact. It is labeled as "sealed" and can only be released to other law enforcement agencies. Employers and the general public will not have access to these records.
Your criminal record can cause many problems in obtaining employment, professional licensing or funding for college. Effective January 1, 2004, people with qualifying arrests, misdemeanor supervision and misdemeanor convictions may petition the court of their sentencing county for an expungement or a sealing of their records. Only criminal records prosecuted and maintained by the State of Illinois are affected. Federal and out-of-state convictions do not fall under the new law.
This information is current as of January 1, 2017. Please be advised that the laws may change without notice. Check the website of the Office of the State Appellate Defender for updates. Or contact them at:
Office of the State Appellate Defender
Expungement and Sealing Unit
400 W. Monroe, Suite 202
Springfield, IL 62704
Toll-Free Number: 866-787-1776 or email the Office of the State Appellate Defender.
Adult Expungements & Juvenile Expungements
The Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice provides information packets as well as standardized state forms for you to use to help with the expungement process. Please visit the Illinois Supreme Court on Access to Justice page for the most up to date information.
Once you have all of your paperwork together you will either bring those forms into us or e-file your paperwork. There are fees required to file for an expungement or request to seal your records. You must bring cash, check or money order at the time you file your forms. If your expungement is approved, you will need to bring the certification fee in the form of cash or money order at that time. A fee of $60.00 will also need to be paid to the Illinois State Police in the form of check or money order made payable to them.
If you have any questions, please contact our Expungements Department.
2020 Cannabis Law - Automatic Expungements
The new recreational cannabis law in Illinois allows for some cases to be automatically expunged by our office. We are working with the States Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office to be in compliance with the new law. If you have questions please refer to their webpage. There you will find information as well as contact information to submit your question.
Disclaimer: Circuit Court Clerk staff are prohibited from providing legal advice.