How Long Does it Take for a Record to be Expunged in Illinois?

by John D. Ioakimidis, Esq,

People with criminal records are often unable to get jobs, access certain housing, and even get admission to schools. Attorney John D. Ioakimidis strongly believes that individuals should not be defined by their worst decisions. Fortunately, Illinois has a process though which a person can try to have his or her criminal record expunged or sealed. If you have questions about the procedures or viability of expunging your Illinois criminal record, you should speak to a seasoned Chicago expungement attorney who understands this area of law. You can trust that we have the experience needed to effectively navigate this process.

In Illinois, “expunging” and “sealing” a criminal record are two different things. If you have never been convicted of a crime or violated a municipal ordinance, you may be able to have your record expunged. If you have been convicted of a crime, however, you may be able to have your record sealed. Expunged records are physically destroyed or returned to you. The effect of expungement is to have your name removed from all public criminal records. Sealed records, on the other hand, are not physically destroyed, but they are kept confidential. In other words, the general public will not have access to the records, but law enforcement officials will still be able to see and access them.

The waiting requirements for sealing and expunging records are different. If both options are available, you may seal your record first and expunge it later. In this post, we will discuss the various time frames for expungement in Illinois.

If you are eligible for expungement, there are certain procedures you must follow. The time frame you must wait to file for expungement is contingent on the type of criminal record in question. A person must wait anywhere between two and five years before filing to expunge an offense. There is no waiting period for arrests that did not end with a guilty verdict.

If you finish a sentence of supervision, you must wait two years (with certain exceptions) after the end of your last sentence to file a petition to expunge those supervisions. If you are convicted of certain non-felony crimes that are eligible for expungement, your record can be sealed three years after the end of your last sentence. You are required to wait five years to file a petition to expunge supervisions for certain crimes in Illinois. We can help you determine to which category your crime belongs. For example, if you complete probation for a first-time drug offense, you are required to wait five years from the end of your last sentence before filing for an expungement.

After the petition is filed, the state’s attorney, the state police, and all other notified parties have 60 days to object. If the judge grants the petition, an order is entered, and all state agencies are given 60 days to expunge or seal the record. The total process typically takes about six months.

If you want more information about the expungement process, you need to reach out to an experienced Chicago expungement lawyer who can help. For years, Attorney John D. Ioakimidis has helped clients understand their legal rights and options and can do the same for you. He has been called “superb” by AVVO and has been recognized as a “Top 100 Attorney” by the American Society of Legal Advocates, which is top 1.5 percent nationally. For a more in-depth conversation, call us at 312-229-5500.

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State’s Objection to Expungement or Record Sealing in Illinois

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