Illinois Expungement FAQ

Many people don't realized how even a dismissed misdemeanor arrest can return to haunt people. You may find yourself facing lifetime bans on employment, education, adoption, even access to credit - all because of a prior arrest record.

NOTE: THE RULES HAVE RECENTLY CHANGED!! An expungement must be filed correctly in order to completely clear your file from 3 entities: State Police, Arresting Agency(s), Chief Legal Officer. Without the proper information your record WILL NOT be completely expunged!

Illinois Expungement FAQ

Q: I paid you for my background check. Now what?

A: We will do a background check in the County in which you were arrested. Then, we will review your record and determine if any of your arrests and/or convictions are expungeable or sealable.

Q: What is the difference between expunging and sealing?

A: If your record is expunged two things happen:

1. The arresting agency will physically destroy your record, as if it never existed OR send you or The Walker Law Firm all copies
2. The Clerk's Office will seal your record and remove it from the electronic index as if it never existed!

If your record is sealed, your record is still viewable in certain circumstances. Again, two things happen:

Q: You have determined that my arrest and/or conviction is expungeable or sealable. Now what?

A: Our firm will contact you. You then have the option of paying additional attorneys fees & costs (mailing + court costs) for the filing. The court costs depends on the county where we file.

1. The arresting agency will physically destroy your record, as if it never existed OR send you or The Walker Law Firm all copies

2. The Illinois State Police and the Clerk's Office will seal your record and remove your name from the electronic index. Only a judge can order for the public to view the record. Your record is no longer available to your employer or other members of the public, but it can still be seen by law enforcement agencies and judges.

Q: You have determined that my arrest and/or conviction is NOT expungeable or sealable. Now what?

A: You now have an answer and my firm is willing to offer you a $75.00 credit towards any additional legal services with our firm. Although you may be disappointed, at least you now know that you have a record that cannot be cleared and $75.00 towards any new services.

Q: My case was dismissed. Do I still need to have my record expunged?

A: Yes! Even if you were arrested and the case was dismissed, you have a criminal record. This information is searchable and could come back to haunt you when job searching, affect your credit, applications for education, etc.

Q: Once my record is expunged or sealed, do I have to tell employers about it?

A: No! Also, it is against the law for employers or potential employers (except law enforcement, States Attorneys, the State Police, and the Department of Corrections) to ask you whether you ever had any records expunged or sealed.

Q: After several years, isn't my record automatically expunged?

A: There is no such thing as an "automatic" expungement. Once you get arrested, you will have an arrest record, even if you were never charged, or if the case was dismissed and even if you were found "not guilty."

Q: I had a trial and I was found not guilty, is there anything to expunge?

A: Yes. Once you are arrested, you have a record. Even if you had a jury trial and was found not guilty, you must take it upon yourself to expunge and clear your record arrest record.

Q: I was arrested by the State Police, but later transferred to the County Sheriff. Even though my record was expunged, is it possible I still have a record?

A: YES! You may have a record with the local police, County Sheriff, and another agency all from one incident! It is important you have an attorney examine your record and file detailed orders pertaining to your special situation.

Q: Now that the petition to expunge/seal is filed, is my record is clear?

A: No. There is a time period. The agencies have 30 days to object to an expungement and 90 days to object to a sealing. If the agencies object, it may be necessary to have a hearing. Even if that time period passes, the process is not complete. The petition must make it on the judge's docket, which may take months, depending on the size of the jurisdiction.