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Illinois

Adult Criminal Record Clearance Overview

Adult criminal records for cases in which you were convicted are eligible for sealing in most situations. You have to file a petition in court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your petition. 

  • With certain exceptions, if you were convicted of an offense, including a felony, misdemeanor, or municipal violation, the record can be sealed three years after you complete your last sentence. 
  • If your conviction was reversed, the record can be expunged immediately. 
  • If your conviction is set aside after appeal because of your factual innocence, the record should be expunged immediately. 
  • If you were convicted and later receive a pardon, the record can be sealed immediately. You have to file a petition in court to start the process, and it is up to a judge whether to grant your petition.  
  • If you were convicted of prostitution because you were a victim ofhuman trafficking, your conviction can be vacated at any time. You have to file a petition in court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your petition. 
  • Records of convictions that directly resulted from being a victim of human trafficking can be sealed by the court immediately. 
  • If you were a victim ofidentity theft, your name can be removed from the record. You have to file a petition in court to start the process. 

Adult criminal records for cases in which you completed a diversion or deferral program are eligible for expungement in some situations. You have to file a petition in court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your petition. 

  • With certain exceptions, if you received an order of supervision, the record can be expunged and sealed two years after you complete the supervision. 
  • With certain exceptions, if you received an order of supervision in a motor vehicle case, the record can be expunged five years after you complete the supervision. 
  • If you received an order of supervision in a reckless driving case before you were 25, the record can be expunged when you turn 25. 
  • If you successfully completed qualified probation, the record can be expunged five years after you complete your probation. 
  • If you successfully completed first offender probation in a marijuana or methamphetamine case, the record can be sealed three years after you complete your sentence. 
  • If you successfully completed the terms and conditions of a drug abuse treatment program, the record can be vacated and dismissed. 
  • If you successfully completed the terms and conditions of a mental health treatment program, the record can be vacated and dismissed. 
  • If you successfully completed the terms and conditions of a drug treatment program, the record can be vacated and dismissed. 
  • If you successfully completed the terms and conditions of a veterans and service members court program, the record can be vacated and dismissed. 

Adult criminal records for cases for which you were never convicted are eligible for sealing and expungement in most situations. You have to file a petition in court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your petition. 

  • If you were arrested but never charged, the record can be expunged and sealed immediately. 
  • If you were arrested and charged, but the case was dismissed or you were acquitted, the record can be expunged and sealed immediately. 

Adult Criminal Record Clearance Policies

    Records relating to a misdemeanor or felony conviction can be sealed by the court three years after sentence completion, or immediately upon sentence completion if the person has attained a specified educational goal. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(c).
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    When a conviction is vacated or reversed, the record of the arrest or charges not initiated by arrest can be expunged by the court. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(1).
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    Records of a conviction for prostitution or a similar offense under a local ordinance can be vacated by the court at any time if the person's participation in the offense was a result of having been a human trafficking victim. 725 ILCS 5/116-2.1.
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    Arrest records relating to a conviction for which a person received a pardon specifically authorizing expungement can be expunged, and court records sealed, immediately by a court. 220 ILCS 2630/5.2(e).
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    Records of convictions that directly resulted from being a victim of human trafficking can be sealed by the court immediately. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(h).
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    Records of a conviction upon a successful fulfillment of the terms and conditions of a drug abuse treatment program, can be vacated and dismissed if the person has not previously been convicted of any felony offense and has not previously been granted a vacation of judgment. 20 ILCS 301/40-10(e).
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    Records of a conviction upon a successful fulfillment of the terms and conditions of a mental health treatment program, can be vacated and expunged. 20 ILCS 301/40-10(a),(c).
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    Records of a conviction upon a successful fulfillment of the terms and conditions of a drug treatment program, can be vacated and expunged. 730 ILCS 166/35(c).
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    Records of arrests or charges not resulting in an order of supervision for charges other than those specified in 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(2)(B)(i) or (i-5) can be expunged by the court two years after the satisfactory termination of the supervision. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(1), (b)(1.5), (b)(2)(B)(ii).
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    Records of a conviction upon a successful fulfillment of the terms and conditions of a veterans and service members court program, can be vacated and expunged. 730 ILCS 167/35(c).
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    Records of arrests or charges not resulting in an order of supervision for charges specified in 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(2)(B)(i) can be expunged by the court five years after the satisfactory termination of the supervision. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(1), (b)(1.5), (b)(2)(B)(i).
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    Records of arrests or charges not resulting in an order of supervisions for charges specified in 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(2)(B)(i-5) incurred before the age of 25 can be expunged by the court once the petitioner reaches 25. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(1), (b)(1.5), (b)(2)(B)(i-5).
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    Records of arrests or charges not resulting in an order of qualified probation can be expunged by the court five years after satisfactory termination of the probation. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(1), (b)(1.5), (b)(2)(C).
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    Records of arrests or charges not resulting in orders of supervision, including orders of supervision for municipal violations, can be sealed by the court two years after the petitioner's last sentence, unless section (c)(3)(E) applies. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(c)(2)(C), (c)(3)(B), (c)(3)(E).
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    Records of arrests or charges not resulting in orders of first-offender probation can be sealed by the court three years after the petitioner's last sentence, unless section (c)(3)(E) applies. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(c)(2)(E), (c)(3)(C), (c)(3)(E).
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    All official records can be corrected by removing the identity theft victim's name and sealing the records of the circuit court clerk. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(4).
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    Records relating to a conviction or sentence that has been set aside on direct review or collateral attack due to the person's factual innocence will be expunged by the court. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(6); 730 ILCS 5/5-5-4.
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    Records relating to a conviction for which the person served all or part of a sentence of incarceration, but was found factually innocent, can be expunged by the court. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(8); 735 ILCS 5/2-702(h).
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    Records of arrests and charges not initiated by an arrest resulting in acquittal, dismissal, or release without charging can be sealed by the court. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(c)(2)(A), (B).
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    Records of arrests and charges not initiated by an arrest that resulted in acquittal, dismissal, or release without charging can be expunged by the court. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(1).
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    Juvenile Record Clearance Overview

    Below is a general overview of when juvenile records can be expunged in Illinois. Please note that the Clean Slate Clearinghouse does not provide legal advice. 

    Read the legal policies and statutes for detailed statutory information. 

    Juvenile Record Clearance Policies Overview 

    Most juvenile records can be expunged. 

    • If charges were filed against you, but you were not adjudicated (not found guilty), your juvenile record can be expunged at any time. You have to submit a request to the court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your request. 
    • If you successfully completed the requirements of your continuance under supervision, your juvenile record can be expunged at any time. You have to submit a request to the court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your request. 
    • With certain exceptions, mostjuvenile records for low-level misdemeanors or petty offenses can be expunged at any time after the case is closed. You have to submit a request to the court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your request. 
    • You may not be eligible for expungement if you have certain convictions or adjudications on your record or if you have a pending felony, misdemeanor, or juvenile case. 

    Find a Lawyer

    If you think you might be eligible to have your record expunged, find a lawyer who may be able to help you. Some lawyers might help you for free, although you may still need to pay a fee to file the paperwork in court. 

    Court Forms and Resources

    If you cannot find a lawyer to help you, you may be able to file a petition on your own using these court forms and resources. 

    Juvenile Record Clearance Policies

      Records relating to an offense that would be a Class B or Class C misdemeanor or a petty or business offense if committed by an adult may be expunged upon petition following the termination of all juvenile court proceedings relating to the incident. 705 ILCS 405/5-915(1)(d).
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      Records relating to adjudications not eligible for automatic expungement under (.03) can be expunged upon petition, so long as two years have elapsed since the termination of all juvenile court proceedings and the person's commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice has terminated, and the person is not subject to a disqualifying event. 705 ILCS 405/5-915(2).
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      Records relating to a dismissed delinquency petition or a finding of not delinquent will be expunged within 60 business days. 705 ILCS 405/5-915(0.2)(a).
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      Records relating to what would be a Class B or Class C misdemeanor or a petty or business offense if committed by an adult will be expunged within 60 business days. 705 ILCS 405/5-915(0.2)(a).
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      Records relating to a successful termination of an order of supervision will be expunged within 60 business days. 705 ILCS 405/5-915(0.2)(a).
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      A record relating to certain juvenile delinquency adjudications will be expunged two years after the case is closed, so long as the person is not subject to a disqualifying event. 705 ILCS 405/5-915(0.3)(a).
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      A record relating to an arrest for which no petition for delinquency was filed can be expunged upon petition at any time following the decision not to file charges. 705 ILCS 405/5-915(1)(a).
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      Records relating to charges dismissed without a finding of delinquency can be expunged upon petition at any time following the dismissal of the petition(s). 705 ILCS 405/5-915(1), (a-5).
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      Records relating to charges for which a person was found not delinquent can be expunged upon petition at any time following the dismissal of the delinquency petition(s). 705 ILCS 405/5-915(1)(b).
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      Records relating to a matter where the minor was placed under supervision and successfully completed their term can be expunged immediately upon petition. 705 ILCS 405/5-915(1)(c).
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      Records relating to a Class B or Class C misdemeanor or a petty or business offense if committed by an adult may be expunged upon petition following the termination of all juvenile court proceedings relating to that incident. 705 ILCS 405/5-915(1)(d).
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      A record relating to an arrest or law enforcement interaction will be expunged automatically, so long as at least one year has elapsed since the arrest or interaction, six months have elapsed without a subsequent arrest or filing of a delinquency petition or criminal charge, and the person is not subject to a disqualifying event. 705 ILCS 405/5-915(0.1)(a).
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      Find A Lawyer

      Legal service providers located in the state.

      Contact information for legal aid organizations, bar associations, and other organizations that engage in record clearance work is provided for informational purposes only. The NRRC does not endorse or recommend any organization or individual referenced on the site. If you are a legal service provider who offers record clearance services, please contact us.