The Expeal Post Logo.

Court System    ·    Criminal Justice    ·    Expeal    ·    Jobs    ·    Police    ·    Politics    ·    Prison    ·    Re-entry    ·    Supreme Court    ·    War On Drugs

Illinois Expungement and Sealing Law

Tagged under: Law Resources Illinois Expeal
By Omid Ghaffari-Tabrizi on January 27, 2016.

Illinois' State Flag.

While Illinois has one of the broadest set of expungement and sealing laws, it also has one of the hardest to understand. On top of that, recent changes mean three different versions need to be combined. They include the version of the statute from Public Act 78, Public Act 378, and Public Act 385. In order to help educate as many people as we can, the entire text of 20 ILCS 2630/5.2 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, are printed below. The text and commentary are both from January 27, 2016. Please make sure everything is still accurate.

A few key points to remember:

  • Illinois is one of the few states that allows you to expunge or seal records when they involve convictions or you have convictions on your record.
  • Illinois is one of the few states that allows you to expunge or seal records related to felonies.
  • Convictions that are very difficult (and often impossible) to expunge or seal include sex offfenses against minors, sex offenses in general (except for prostitution), dog fighting, battery on unborn children, domestic battery, knowingly violating no contact orders, Class A misdemeanors under the Humane Care for Animals Act, and actually committing or attempting to commit crimes that would require registration on the sex offender registry.
  • DUI, whether due to alcohol or drugs, and reckless driving convivctions have very limited circumstances in which they can be sealed or expunged in Illinois, but it is possible if it occured at the right time and age in your life.
  • Some cases can be expunged immediately, some in 2 years, and others in 5 years.
  • Most cases can be sealed in 2 years while others require you to wait 4 years.

While we do our absolute best to make sure that our qualification form is completely accurate, no one other than an attorney licensed in Illinois will know for sure whether you qualify. They will review these same rules as well as case-law related to this statute to come to their decision.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2 of the Illinois Combined Statutes - Expungement and sealing.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(a), Illinois Combined Statutes - General Provisions.

This is the subsection that explains the provisions of this law that are applicable whether you are expunging your case or sealing it. It is divided into 3 subsections with multiple sub-subsections. We break down each subsection individually to make sure we don't miss anything.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(a)(1), Illinois Combined Statutes

Definitions. In this Act, words and phrases have the meanings set forth in this subsection, except when a particular context clearly requires a different meaning.
(A) The following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in the Unified Code of Corrections, 730 ILCS 5/5-1-2 through 5/5-1-22:
(i) Business Offense (730 ILCS 5/5-1-2),
(ii) Charge (730 ILCS 5/5-1-3),
(iii) Court (730 ILCS 5/5-1-6),
(iv) Defendant (730 ILCS 5/5-1-7),
(v) Felony (730 ILCS 5/5-1-9),
(vi) Imprisonment (730 ILCS 5/5-1-10),
(vii) Judgment (730 ILCS 5/5-1-12),
(viii) Misdemeanor (730 ILCS 5/5-1-14),
(ix) Offense (730 ILCS 5/5-1-15),
(x) Parole (730 ILCS 5/5-1-16),
(xi) Petty Offense (730 ILCS 5/5-1-17),
(xii) Probation (730 ILCS 5/5-1-18),
(xiii) Sentence (730 ILCS 5/5-1-19),
(xiv) Supervision (730 ILCS 5/5-1-21), and
(xv) Victim (730 ILCS 5/5-1-22).
(B) As used in this Section, "charge not initiated by arrest" means a charge (as defined by 730 ILCS 5/5-1-3) brought against a defendant where the defendant is not arrested prior to or as a direct result of the charge.
(C) "Conviction" means a judgment of conviction or sentence entered upon a plea of guilty or upon a verdict or finding of guilty of an offense, rendered by a legally constituted jury or by a court of competent jurisdiction authorized to try the case without a jury. An order of supervision successfully completed by the petitioner is not a conviction. An order of qualified probation (as defined in subsection (a)(1)(J)) successfully completed by the petitioner is not a conviction. An order of supervision or an order of qualified probation that is terminated unsatisfactorily is a conviction, unless the unsatisfactory termination is reversed, vacated, or modified and the judgment of conviction, if any, is reversed or vacated.
(D) "Criminal offense" means a petty offense, business offense, misdemeanor, felony, or municipal ordinance violation (as defined in subsection (a)(1)(H)). As used in this Section, a minor traffic offense (as defined in subsection (a)(1)(G)) shall not be considered a criminal offense.
(E) "Expunge" means to physically destroy the records or return them to the petitioner and to obliterate the petitioner's name from any official index or public record, or both. Nothing in this Act shall require the physical destruction of the circuit court file, but such records relating to arrests or charges, or both, ordered expunged shall be impounded as required by subsections (d)(9)(A)(ii) and (d)(9)(B)(ii).
(F) As used in this Section, "last sentence" means the sentence, order of supervision, or order of qualified probation (as defined by subsection (a)(1)(J)), for a criminal offense (as defined by subsection (a)(1)(D)) that terminates last in time in any jurisdiction, regardless of whether the petitioner has included the criminal offense for which the sentence or order of supervision or qualified probation was imposed in his or her petition. If multiple sentences, orders of supervision, or orders of qualified probation terminate on the same day and are last in time, they shall be collectively considered the "last sentence" regardless of whether they were ordered to run concurrently.
(G) "Minor traffic offense" means a petty offense, business offense, or Class C misdemeanor under the Illinois Vehicle Code or a similar provision of a municipal or local ordinance.
(H) "Municipal ordinance violation" means an offense defined by a municipal or local ordinance that is criminal in nature and with which the petitioner was charged or for which the petitioner was arrested and released without charging.
(I) "Petitioner" means an adult or a minor prosecuted as an adult who has applied for relief under this Section.
(J) "Qualified probation" means an order of probation under Section 10 of the Cannabis Control Act, Section 410 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Section 70 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, Section 5-6-3.3 or 5-6-3.4 of the Unified Code of Corrections, Section 12-4.3(b)(1) and (2) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (as those provisions existed before their deletion by Public Act 89-313), Section 10-102 of the Illinois Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependency Act, Section 40-10 of the Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act, or Section 10 of the Steroid Control Act. For the purpose of this Section, "successful completion" of an order of qualified probation under Section 10-102 of the Illinois Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependency Act and Section 40-10 of the Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act means that the probation was terminated satisfactorily and the judgment of conviction was vacated.
(K) "Seal" means to physically and electronically maintain the records, unless the records would otherwise be destroyed due to age, but to make the records unavailable without a court order, subject to the exceptions in Sections 12 and 13 of this Act. The petitioner's name shall also be obliterated from the official index required to be kept by the circuit court clerk under Section 16 of the Clerks of Courts Act, but any index issued by the circuit court clerk before the entry of the order to seal shall not be affected.
(L) "Sexual offense committed against a minor" includes but is not limited to the offenses of indecent solicitation of a child or criminal sexual abuse when the victim of such offense is under 18 years of age.
(M) "Terminate" as it relates to a sentence or order of supervision or qualified probation includes either satisfactory or unsatisfactory termination of the sentence, unless otherwise specified in this Section.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 1

This is the section of the Illinois Expungement and Sealing law where everything is defined. Unless defined in this section, the definitions used are those under the Unified Code of Correction (730 ILCS 5/5-1-3). The most important points from this section are to know what is considered a "charge not initiated by arrest", a "conviction", and the termination date.
A "charge not initiated by arrest" is a charge brought against you that did not involve an arrest, whether before or after the charges were filed against you.
A "conviction" is a charge where you plead guilty, you are found guilty by judge or jury, you are given probation or suspension and fail without reversing the failure. However, an order of supervision or an order of qualified probation are NOT convictions.
The "termination date", which is defined as the end of a sentence, including any supervision or probation requirements, whether or not it was completed successfully. Other important points are to know what a "qualified probation includes – any probation ordered under Section 10 of the Cannabis Control Act (720 ILCS 550/10), Section 410 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (720 ILCS 570/410), Section 70 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act (720 ILCS 646/70), Section 5-6-3.3 or 5-6-3.4 of the Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.3 and 5-6-3.4), Section 12-4.3(b)(1) and (2) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (as those provisions existed before their deletion by Public Act 89-313), Section 10-102 of the Illinois Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependency Act, Section 40-10 of the Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act (20 ILCS 301/40-10), or Section 10 of the Steroid Control Act. "Successful completion" for the purposes of sealing or expunging your record means your probation is terminated satisfactorily and your conviction is vacated.
This section also defines the difference between expunging and sealing your records. Expunging means your record is physically destroyed by everyone other than the court, who put your record under lock-and-key. Sealing means your records are hidden from public view, so no one will see it anymore unless an exception applies. Exceptions are described in sections 12 and 13 of the Criminal Identification Act (20 ILCS 2630/12 and 13).

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(a)(2), Illinois Combined Statutes

Minor Traffic Offenses. Orders of supervision or convictions for minor traffic offenses shall not affect a petitioner's eligibility to expunge or seal records pursuant to this Section.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 2

This section says things like being convicted of speeding or a parking violation, as well as other minor traffic offenses, will not impact your ability to qualify to expunge or seal your record.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(a)(3), Illinois Combined Statutes

Exclusions. Except as otherwise provided in subsections (b)(5), (b)(6), (b)(8), (e), (e-5), and (e-6) of this Section, the court shall not order:
(A) the sealing or expungement of the records of arrests or charges not initiated by arrest that result in an order of supervision for or conviction of: (i) any sexual offense committed against a minor; (ii) Section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code or a similar provision of a local ordinance; or (iii) Section 11-503 of the Illinois Vehicle Code or a similar provision of a local ordinance, unless the arrest or charge is for a misdemeanor violation of subsection (a) of Section 11-503 or a similar provision of a local ordinance, that occurred prior to the offender reaching the age of 25 years and the offender has no other conviction for violating Section 11-501 or 11-503 of the Illinois Vehicle Code or a similar provision of a local ordinance.
(B) the sealing or expungement of records of minor traffic offenses (as defined in subsection (a)(1)(G)), unless the petitioner was arrested and released without charging.
(C) the sealing of the records of arrests or charges not initiated by arrest which result in an order of supervision or a conviction for the following offenses:
(i) offenses included in Article 11 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012 or a similar provision of a local ordinance, except Section 11-14 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012, or a similar provision of a local ordinance;
(ii) Section 11-1.50, 12-3.4, 12-15, 12-30, 26-5, or 48-1 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012, or a similar provision of a local ordinance;
(iii) Sections 12-3.1 or 12-3.2 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012, or Section 125 of the Stalking No Contact Order Act, or Section 219 of the Civil No Contact Order Act, or a similar provision of a local ordinance;
(iv) offenses which are Class A misdemeanors under the Humane Care for Animals Act; or
(v) any offense or attempted offense that would subject a person to registration under the Sex Offender Registration Act.
(D) the sealing of the records of an arrest which results in the petitioner being charged with a felony offense or records of a charge not initiated by arrest for a felony offense unless:
(i) the charge is amended to a misdemeanor and is otherwise eligible to be sealed pursuant to subsection (c);
(ii) the charge is brought along with another charge as a part of one case and the charge results in acquittal, dismissal, or conviction when the conviction was reversed or vacated, and another charge brought in the same case results in a disposition for a misdemeanor offense that is eligible to be sealed pursuant to subsection (c) or a disposition listed in paragraph (i), (iii), or (iv) of this subsection;
(iii) the charge results in first offender probation as set forth in subsection (c)(2)(E);
(iv) the charge is for a felony offense listed in subsection (c)(2)(F) or the charge is amended to a felony offense listed in subsection (c)(2)(F);
(v) the charge results in acquittal, dismissal, or the petitioner's release without conviction; or
(vi) the charge results in a conviction, but the conviction was reversed or vacated.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 3

This is the section that describes which laws will disqualify you from being able to expunge or seal your record.
Unless one of the exceptions from sections (b)(5) (victim requested), (b)(6) (found factually innocent), (b)(8) (given a certificate of innocence), (e) (pardoned), (e-5) (certificate of eligibility for sealing granted by the Prisoner Review Board), and (e-6) (certificate of eligibility for expungement granted by the Prisoner Review Board) apply, none of the following can be sealed or expunged:
  • (A) says you are not allowed to expunge or seal records of arrests or charges filed without an arrest that resulted in an order of supervision or conviction for (i) any sexual offense against a minor; (ii) driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds or any combination thereof; (625 ILCS 5/11-501); or (iii) reckless driving; aggravated reckless driving (625 ILCS 5/11-503). There is one exception in that a misdemeanor charge or arrest for reckless driving will qualify so long as it is specifically for 625 ILCS 5/11/503(a), happened before you were 25, and you have no other convictions for a violation of 11-501 or 11-503.
  • (B) says you are not allowed to expunge or seal records of minor traffic offenses unless you were actually arrested and released with charge. Then you can at least expunge or seal the actual records related to the arrest.
  • (C) continues on the theme of A, saying you are not allowed to expunge or seal records of arrests or charges filed without an arrest that result in an order of supervision or a conviction if they are related to the following:
    1. Any sex offense listed in Article 11 of the Criminal Code (720 ILCS 5/11), except for prostitution (720 ILCS 5/11-14).
    2. Criminal Sexual Abuse (720 ILCS 5/11-1.50); Violation of an order of protection (720 ILCS 5/12-3.4); 720 ILCS 5/12-15 before it became 11-1.50; 720 ILCS 5/12-30 before it became 12-3.4; 720 ILCS 5/26-5 before it became 48-1; and Dog fighting (720 ILCS 5/48-1).
    3. Battery of an unborn child; aggravated battery of an unborn child (720 ILCS 5/12-3.1); Domestic battery (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2); Knowing violation of a stalking no contact order (740 ILCS 21/125); and Knowing violation of a civil no contact order (740 ILCS 22/219).
    4. Any Class A misdemeanor under the Humane Care for Animals Act (510 ILCS 70/1).
    5. Any offense or attempt to commit an offense that would require you to register as a "sex offender" under the Sex Offender Registration Act (730 ILCS 150/1).
      1. (D) says you are not allowed to expunge or seal any records related to an arrest that led to felony charges or felony charges that are filed without an arrest unless:
        1. The charge is amended to a misdemeanor that is allowed to be sealed under subsection (c).
        2. You are charged with the felony you want to seal as well as one or more misdemeanors. In this situation, the felony will have to result in either an acquittal (you are found not guilty), dismissal, or a conviction that is vacated or reversed, and the misdemeanor(s) will have to result in a disposition that is allowed to be sealed.
        3. You receive first offender probation, as explained in (c)(2)(E).
        4. The charge is for a felony listed in or changed to be a felony listed in (c)(2)(F).
        5. You are found not guilty, the charges are dismissed, or you are released without conviction.
        6. You are convicted, but the conviction is reversed or vacated.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b), Illinois Combined Statutes - Expungement.

This is the subsection that explains the provisions of this law that are applicable when you are expunging your case. It is divided into 8 subsections with multiple sub-subsections. We break down each subsection individually to make sure we don't miss anything.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(1), Illinois Combined Statutes

A petitioner may petition the circuit court to expunge the records of his or her arrests and charges not initiated by arrest when:
(A) He or she has never been convicted of a criminal offense; and
(B) Each arrest or charge not initiated by arrest sought to be expunged resulted in: (i) acquittal, dismissal, or the petitioner's release without charging, unless excluded by subsection (a)(3)(B); (ii) a conviction which was vacated or reversed, unless excluded by subsection (a)(3)(B); (iii) an order of supervision and such supervision was successfully completed by the petitioner, unless excluded by subsection (a)(3)(A) or (a)(3)(B); or (iv) an order of qualified probation (as defined in subsection (a)(1)(J)) and such probation was successfully completed by the petitioner.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 1

This section outlines when you can ask the court to expunge your record. It requires that you have never been convicted of a crime in your life and one of the following applies to every charge you want to expunge:
  • You were acquitted, the charge was dismissed, or you were released without charge (unless excluded by (a)(3)(B)).
  • You were convicted, but the conviction was vacated or reversed (unless excluded by (a)(3)(B)).
  • You were given an order of supervision and you completed it successfully (unless excluded by (a)(3)(A) or (a)(3)(B)).
  • You were given an order of qualified probation as defined in (a)(1)(J) and you completed the probation successfully.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(2), Illinois Combined Statutes

Time frame for filing a petition to expunge.
(A) When the arrest or charge not initiated by arrest sought to be expunged resulted in an acquittal, dismissal, the petitioner's release without charging, or the reversal or vacation of a conviction, there is no waiting period to petition for the expungement of such records.
(B) When the arrest or charge not initiated by arrest sought to be expunged resulted in an order of supervision, successfully completed by the petitioner, the following time frames will apply:
(i) Those arrests or charges that resulted in orders of supervision under Section 3-707, 3-708, 3-710, or 5-401.3 of the Illinois Vehicle Code or a similar provision of a local ordinance, or under Section 11-1.50, 12-3.2, or 12-15 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012, or a similar provision of a local ordinance, shall not be eligible for expungement until 5 years have passed following the satisfactory termination of the supervision.
(i-5) Those arrests or charges that resulted in orders of supervision for a misdemeanor violation of subsection (a) of Section 11-503 of the Illinois Vehicle Code or a similar provision of a local ordinance, that occurred prior to the offender reaching the age of 25 years and the offender has no other conviction for violating Section 11-501 or 11-503 of the Illinois Vehicle Code or a similar provision of a local ordinance shall not be eligible for expungement until the petitioner has reached the age of 25 years.
(ii) Those arrests or charges that resulted in orders of supervision for any other offenses shall not be eligible for expungement until 2 years have passed following the satisfactory termination of the supervision.
(C) When the arrest or charge not initiated by arrest sought to be expunged resulted in an order of qualified probation, successfully completed by the petitioner, such records shall not be eligible for expungement until 5 years have passed following the satisfactory termination of the probation.

Commentary on Subsection 2

This section describes the time frame related to a petition to expunge. There are 3 different instances that are covered:
  1. If you were acquitted of the charges, the charges were dismissed, you were released without charges, or your conviction was reversed or vacated, you do not have to wait. You can file right away.
  2. If you received an order of supervision or probation, the following time frames apply:
    • If you received an order of suspension for Operation of uninsured motor vehicle (625 ILCS 5/3-707), Operation of motor vehicle when registration suspended for noninsurance (625 ILCS 5/3-708), Display of false insurance card (625 ILCS 5/3-710), Failure to keep records as a scrap processor (625 ILCS 5/5-401.3), Criminal sexual abuse (720 ILCS 5/11-1.50), Domestic battery (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2), or a charge for 720 ILCS 5/12-15 before it was renumbed to 11/1.50, you have to wait until 5 years have passed since the satisfactory termination of your supervision.
    • If you received and order of supervision for a misdemeanor violation of Reckless driving (625 ILCS 5/11-503(a)) or Driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds or any combination thereof (625 ILCS 5/11-501), the offense occurred before you turned 25, you can file as soon as you turn 25 so long as you have no convictions for XXX or XXX.
    • If you received supervision for any other offense, you have to wait until 2 years have passed since the satisfactory termination of your supervision.
  3. If you received qualified probation and you successfully completed it, you have to wait until 5 years have passed since the satisfactory termination of your probation.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(3), Illinois Combined Statutes

Those records maintained by the Department for persons arrested prior to their 17th birthday shall be expunged as provided in Section 5-915 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.

Commentary on Subsection 3

This section directs those who want to expunge juvenile records to review the Section 5-915 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (705 ILCS 405/5-915).

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(4), Illinois Combined Statutes

Whenever a person has been arrested for or convicted of any offense, in the name of a person whose identity he or she has stolen or otherwise come into possession of, the aggrieved person from whom the identity was stolen or otherwise obtained without authorization, upon learning of the person having been arrested using his or her identity, may, upon verified petition to the chief judge of the circuit wherein the arrest was made, have a court order entered nunc pro tunc by the Chief Judge to correct the arrest record, conviction record, if any, and all official records of the arresting authority, the Department, other criminal justice agencies, the prosecutor, and the trial court concerning such arrest, if any, by removing his or her name from all such records in connection with the arrest and conviction, if any, and by inserting in the records the name of the offender, if known or ascertainable, in lieu of the aggrieved's name. The records of the circuit court clerk shall be sealed until further order of the court upon good cause shown and the name of the aggrieved person obliterated on the official index required to be kept by the circuit court clerk under Section 16 of the Clerks of Courts Act, but the order shall not affect any index issued by the circuit court clerk before the entry of the order. Nothing in this Section shall limit the Department of State Police or other criminal justice agencies or prosecutors from listing under an offender's name the false names he or she has used.

Commentary on Subsection 4

This section allows anyone who has had their identity stolen to have an order entered by the Chief Judge of the county where the charges were filed to have their association with those charges to be expunged, having the correct name or John Doe put in the place of their name. This does not impact a/k/a listings under the correct identity of an offender.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(5), Illinois Combined Statutes

Whenever a person has been convicted of criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, criminal sexual abuse, or aggravated criminal sexual abuse, the victim of that offense may request that the State's Attorney of the county in which the conviction occurred file a verified petition with the presiding trial judge at the petitioner's trial to have a court order entered to seal the records of the circuit court clerk in connection with the proceedings of the trial court concerning that offense. However, the records of the arresting authority and the Department of State Police concerning the offense shall not be sealed. The court, upon good cause shown, shall make the records of the circuit court clerk in connection with the proceedings of the trial court concerning the offense available for public inspection.

Commentary on Subsection 5

This section allows a victim of criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, criminal sexual abuse, or aggravated criminal sexual abuse to have the case sealed. However, the records of the arresting authority and the Department of State Police will not be impacted by that ruling. Furthermore, only good cause needs to be shown to have those records opened up for review.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(6), Illinois Combined Statutes

If a conviction has been set aside on direct review or on collateral attack and the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner was factually innocent of the charge, the court that finds the petitioner factually innocent of the charge shall enter an expungement order for the conviction for which the petitioner has been determined to be innocent as provided in subsection (b) of Section 5-5-4 of the Unified Code of Corrections.

Commentary on Subsection 6

This section addresses improper convictions. If a conviction is set aside on direct review or on collateral attack and the court determines that you were factually innocent of the charges by clear and convincing evidence, you can have your record expunged.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(7), Illinois Combined Statutes

Nothing in this Section shall prevent the Department of State Police from maintaining all records of any person who is admitted to probation upon terms and conditions and who fulfills those terms and conditions pursuant to Section 10 of the Cannabis Control Act, Section 410 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Section 70 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, Section 5-6-3.3 or 5-6-3.4 of the Unified Code of Corrections, Section 12-4.3 or subdivision (b)(1) of Section 12-3.05 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012, Section 10-102 of the Illinois Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependency Act, Section 40-10 of the Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act, or Section 10 of the Steroid Control Act.

Commentary on Subsection 7

This section states that the Department of State Police can keep records on a person who is admitted to certain types of probation that they successfully complete. The types of probation that qualify for this section include Section 10 of the Cannabis Control Act (720 ILCS 550/10), Section 410 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (720 ILCS 570/410), Section 70 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act (720 ILCS 646/70), Section 5-6-3.3 or 5-6-3.4 of the Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/5-6-3 and 5-6-4), Section 12-4.3 (before it was repealed) or subdivision (b)(1) of Section 12-3.05 (720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(b)(1)) of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012, Section 10-102 of the Illinois Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependency Act (before it was repealed), Section 40-10 of the Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act (20 ILCS 301/40-10), and Section 10 of the Steroid Control Act.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(8), Illinois Combined Statutes

If the petitioner has been granted a certificate of innocence under Section 2-702 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the court that grants the certificate of innocence shall also enter an order expunging the conviction for which the petitioner has been determined to be innocent as provided in subsection (h) of Section 2-702 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Commentary on Subsection 8

This section states that if a person is given a certificate of innocence under 735 ILCS 5/2-702, an order expunging the record should be entered automatically and at the same time.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(c), Illinois Combined Statutes - Sealing.

This is the subsection that explains the provisions of this law that are applicable when you are sealing your case. It is divided into 5 subsections with multiple sub-subsections. We break down each subsection individually to make sure we don't miss anything.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(c)(1), Illinois Combined Statutes

Applicability. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act to the contrary, and cumulative with any rights to expungement of criminal records, this subsection authorizes the sealing of criminal records of adults and of minors prosecuted as adults.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 1

This section statest that this section is applicable to adult records and does not impact a person's right to expunge their records.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(c)(2), Illinois Combined Statutes

Eligible Records. The following records may be sealed:
(A) All arrests resulting in release without charging;
(B) Arrests or charges not initiated by arrest resulting in acquittal, dismissal, or conviction when the conviction was reversed or vacated, except as excluded by subsection (a)(3)(B);
(C) Arrests or charges not initiated by arrest resulting in orders of supervision, including orders of supervision for municipal ordinance violations, successfully completed by the petitioner, unless excluded by subsection (a)(3);
(D) Arrests or charges not initiated by arrest resulting in convictions, including convictions on municipal ordinance violations, unless excluded by subsection (a)(3);
(E) Arrests or charges not initiated by arrest resulting in orders of first offender probation under Section 10 of the Cannabis Control Act, Section 410 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Section 70 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, or Section 5-6-3.3 of the Unified Code of Corrections; and
(F) Arrests or charges not initiated by arrest resulting in felony convictions for the following offenses:
(i) Class 4 felony convictions for:
  • Prostitution under Section 11-14 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012.
  • Possession of cannabis under Section 4 of the Cannabis Control Act.
  • Possession of a controlled substance under Section 402 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act.
  • Offenses under the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act.
  • Offenses under the Steroid Control Act.
  • Theft under Section 16-1 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012.
  • Retail theft under Section 16A-3 or paragraph (a) of 16-25 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012.
  • Deceptive practices under Section 17-1 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012.
  • Forgery under Section 17-3 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012.
  • Possession of burglary tools under Section 19-2 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012.
(ii) Class 3 felony convictions for:
  • Theft under Section 16-1 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012.
  • Retail theft under Section 16A-3 or paragraph (a) of 16-25 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012.
  • Deceptive practices under Section 17-1 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012.
  • Forgery under Section 17-3 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012.
  • Possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance under Section 401 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 2

This is the section that outlines which charges can be sealed. They include (A) any arrest where you were released without charges filed against you; (B) any charge that ended in an acquittal, dismissal, or conviction that was reversed or vacated, unless excluded by (a)(3)(B); (C) any charge that ended in an order of supervision, including for a municipal violation, that were successfully completed, unless excluded by (a)(3); (D) any charge that resulted in a conviction, including for a municipal violation, unless excluded by (a)(3); any charges that resulted in an first offender probation under Section 10 of the Cannabis Control Act (720 ILCS 550/10), Section 410 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (720 ILCS 570/410), Section 70 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act (720 ILCS 646/70), or Section 5-6-3.3 of the Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/5-6-3 and 5-6-4); and, (F) felony convictions that are specifically listed in this section.
The Class 4 felony convictions that you can seal include:
  • Prostitution under 720 ILCS 5/11-14
  • Subsequent conviction for possession of more than 10 grams but not more than 30 grams of cannabis udner 720 ILCS 550/4
  • Possession of a controlled substance or counterfeit substance other than methamphetamine or a substance listed in subsection (a) or (d) under 720 ILCS 570/402
  • Offenses under the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act (720 ILCS 648)
  • Offenses under the Steroid Control Act
  • Theft under 720 ILCS 5/16-1 (examples include: Theft of no more than $500 from a school, from a place of worship, or owned by the government so long as it was not taken from a person; Theft of no more than $500 so long as it was not taken from a person and if the person has a prior conviction as listed)
  • Retail theft under 720 ILCS 5/16A-3 before it was repealed
  • Retail theft under 720 ILCS 5/16-25 (examples include: A second offense for using or possessing a theft detection sheilding device or device remover with the intent of using it for retail theft; Retail theft by using the emergency exit, so long as the full retail value was not more than $300; Retail theft pursuant to subdivisions (a)(1) through (a)(8), so long as the full retail value is not more than $300 ($150 for motor oil), if the person has a previous conviction for any type of theft, robbery, armed robbery, burglary, residential burglary, possession of burglarly tools, home invasion, unlawful use of a credit card, or forgery)
  • Deceptive practices under 720 ILCS 5/17-1 (examples include: Forcing someone to sign a contract that makes them give up property worth more than $150; Signing a bad check for someone that makes them give up property worth more than $150; A second or subsequent conviction under this section)
  • Forgery under 720 ILCS 5/17-3 (examples include: Forgery of one Universal Price Code Label)
  • Possession of burglary tools under 720 ILCS 5/19-2
The Class 3 felony convictions that you can seal include:
  • Theft under 720 ILCS 5/16-1 (examples include: Theft of property of no more than $500 if taken from a person; Theft of property of no more than $10,000 so long as it was not taken from a person; Theft by deception, in which the offender falsely poses as a landlord or agent or employee of the landalord and obtains a rent payment or a security deposit from a tenant of no more than $500)
  • Retail theft under 720 ILCS 5/16A-3 before it was repealed
  • Retail theft 720 ILCS 5/16-25 (examples include: Retail theft by using the emergency exit, so long as the full retail value was not more than $300, if the person had a previous conviction of any type of theft, robbery, armed robbery, burglary, residential burglary, possession of burglary tools, home invasion, unlawful use of a credit card, or forgery; Retail theft under (a)(1) to (8) if the full retail value is more than $300 ($150 for motor oil))
  • Deceptive practices 720 ILCS 5/17-1
  • Forgery 720 ILCS 5/17-3
  • Possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance under 720 ILCS 570/401

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(c)(3), Illinois Combined Statutes

When Records Are Eligible to Be Sealed. Records identified as eligible under subsection (c)(2) may be sealed as follows:
(A) Records identified as eligible under subsection (c)(2)(A) and (c)(2)(B) may be sealed at any time.
(B) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (3), records identified as eligible under subsection (c)(2)(C) may be sealed 2 years after the termination of petitioner's last sentence (as defined in subsection (a)(1)(F)).
(C) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (3), records identified as eligible under subsections (c)(2)(D), (c)(2)(E), and (c)(2)(F) may be sealed 4 years after the termination of the petitioner's last sentence (as defined in subsection (a)(1)(F)).
(D) Records identified in subsection (a)(3)(A)(iii) may be sealed after the petitioner has reached the age of 25 years.
(E) Records identified as eligible under subsections (c)(2)(C), (c)(2)(D), (c)(2)(E), or (c)(2)(F) may be sealed upon termination of the petitioner's last sentence if the petitioner earned a high school diploma, associate's degree, career certificate, vocational technical certification, or bachelor's degree, or passed the high school level Test of General Educational Development, during the period of his or her sentence, aftercare release, or mandatory supervised release. This subparagraph shall apply only to a petitioner who has not completed the same educational goal prior to the period of his or her sentence, aftercare release, or mandatory supervised release. If a petition for sealing eligible records filed under this subparagraph is denied by the court, the time periods under subparagraph (B) or (C) shall apply to any subsequent petition for sealing filed by the petitioner.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 3

This is the section that provides the time frame for sealing cases. The breakdown is as follows:
  • Records under (c)(2)(A) (released without charges) and (c)(2)(B) (charges that resulted in an acquittal, dismissal, or a conviction that was reversed or vacated) can be sealed right away.
  • Records under (c)(2)(C) (charges that resulted in orders of supervision that were successfully completed) can be sealed after 2 years.
  • Records under (c)(2)(D) (convictions for charges not listed in (a)(3)), (c)(2)(E) (charges resulting in order of first offender probation), and (c)(2)(F) (convictions for the listed felonies) can be sealed after 4 years.
  • Records under (a)(3)(A)(iii) (convictions for a misdemeanor reckless driving that happened before you were 25) can be sealed as soon as you turn 25.
  • Records identified as eligible under (c)(2)(C), (c)(2)(D), (c)(2)(E), and (c)(2)(F) can be sealed as soon as you finish you last sentence if you earn your GED during your sentence, aftercare release, or mandatory supervised release, so long as you have never received a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent before.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(c)(4), Illinois Combined Statutes

Subsequent felony convictions. A person may not have subsequent felony conviction records sealed as provided in this subsection (c) if he or she is convicted of any felony offense after the date of the sealing of prior felony convictions as provided in this subsection (c). The court may, upon conviction for a subsequent felony offense, order the unsealing of prior felony conviction records previously ordered sealed by the court.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 4

This section sets out penalties in the event you are convicted of a felony after sealing a felony. Not only are you not allowed to seal another felony conviction, a court also has the option of unsealing the prior conviction.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(c)(5), Illinois Combined Statutes

Notice of eligibility for sealing. Upon entry of a disposition for an eligible record under this subsection (c), the petitioner shall be informed by the court of the right to have the records sealed and the procedures for the sealing of the records.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 5

This section states that a court that enters a disposition that qualifies to be sealed must inform you of your right to have it sealed as well as what the procedures for sealing a record are.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d), Illinois Combined Statutes - Procedure.

Procedure. The following procedures apply to expungement under subsections (b), (e), and (e-6) and sealing under subsections (c) and (e-5):

Commentary on Subsection d

The procedures to expunge and seal a case are the same. The requirements are outlined in this section.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(1), Illinois Combined Statutes

Filing the petition. Upon becoming eligible to petition for the expungement or sealing of records under this Section, the petitioner shall file a petition requesting the expungement or sealing of records with the clerk of the court where the arrests occurred or the charges were brought, or both. If arrests occurred or charges were brought in multiple jurisdictions, a petition must be filed in each such jurisdiction. The petitioner shall pay the applicable fee, if not waived.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 1

This section outlines that every jurisdiction that was involved in the chain of the case need to have a petition filed in its court. So if you were arrested in one county but charged in another, you'd have to file a petition in both counties. Unless your fee is waived, you have to pay a fee for each petition.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(2), Illinois Combined Statutes

Contents of petition. The petition shall be verified and shall contain the petitioner's name, date of birth, current address and, for each arrest or charge not initiated by arrest sought to be sealed or expunged, the case number, the date of arrest (if any), the identity of the arresting authority, and such other information as the court may require. During the pendency of the proceeding, the petitioner shall promptly notify the circuit court clerk of any change of his or her address. If the petitioner has received a certificate of eligibility for sealing from the Prisoner Review Board under paragraph (10) of subsection (a) of Section 3-3-2 of the Unified Code of Corrections, the certificate shall be attached to the petition.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 2

This section outlines what a petition to expunge or seal a record requires. First, and most important, is that the petition be notarized. It also needs to include your name, birth date, current address, case number, date of arrest (if any), and arresting agency (if any). If your address changes, you have to notify the clerk right away. If you are filing with a certificate of eligibility, it needs to be attached to the petition.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(3), Illinois Combined Statutes

Drug test. The petitioner must attach to the petition proof that the petitioner has passed a test taken within 30 days before the filing of the petition showing the absence within his or her body of all illegal substances as defined by the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, and the Cannabis Control Act if he or she is petitioning to:
(A) seal felony records under clause (c)(2)(E);
(B) seal felony records for a violation of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, or the Cannabis Control Act under clause (c)(2)(F);
(C) seal felony records under subsection (e-5); or
(D) expunge felony records of a qualified probation under clause (b)(1)(B)(iv).

Commentary on Sub-subsection 3

This section states that people filing to expunge or seal certain felonies have to attach a drug test that shows they are clean no more than 30 days before the petition was filed. The cases that this applies to include a felony under (c)(2)(E); a felony under (c)(2)(F), including violation of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, a violation of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, or a violation of the Cannabis Control Act; a felony under (e-5); or, a felony under (b)(1)(B)(iv).

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(4), Illinois Combined Statutes

Service of petition. The circuit court clerk shall promptly serve a copy of the petition and documentation to support the petition under subsection (e-5) or (e-6) on the State's Attorney or prosecutor charged with the duty of prosecuting the offense, the Department of State Police, the arresting agency and the chief legal officer of the unit of local government effecting the arrest.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 4

The clerk is required to serve a copy of your petition on the prosecutor, the Department of State Police, the arresting agency, and the chief legal officer of the local government that made the arrest.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(5), Illinois Combined Statutes

Objections.
(A) Any party entitled to notice of the petition may file an objection to the petition. All objections shall be in writing, shall be filed with the circuit court clerk, and shall state with specificity the basis of the objection. Whenever a person who has been convicted of an offense is granted a pardon by the Governor which specifically authorizes expungement, an objection to the petition may not be filed.
(B) Objections to a petition to expunge or seal must be filed within 60 days of the date of service of the petition.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 5

This section details who is allowed to object to a filing and what they have to do to file that objection. Anyone who receives a notice can object and they must do it within 60 days of the filing date of your petition.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(6), Illinois Combined Statutes

Entry of order.
(A) The Chief Judge of the circuit wherein the charge was brought, any judge of that circuit designated by the Chief Judge, or in counties of less than 3,000,000 inhabitants, the presiding trial judge at the petitioner's trial, if any, shall rule on the petition to expunge or seal as set forth in this subsection (d)(6).
(B) Unless the State's Attorney or prosecutor, the Department of State Police, the arresting agency, or the chief legal officer files an objection to the petition to expunge or seal within 60 days from the date of service of the petition, the court shall enter an order granting or denying the petition.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 6

This section states that unless an objection is filed, the order to expunge or seal will be granted or denied by an authorized judge in the county where the petition was filed based on the paperwork alone.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(7), Illinois Combined Statutes

Hearings. If an objection is filed, the court shall set a date for a hearing and notify the petitioner and all parties entitled to notice of the petition of the hearing date at least 30 days prior to the hearing. Prior to the hearing, the State's Attorney shall consult with the Department as to the appropriateness of the relief sought in the petition to expunge or seal. At the hearing, the court shall hear evidence on whether the petition should or should not be granted, and shall grant or deny the petition to expunge or seal the records based on the evidence presented at the hearing. The court may consider the following:
(A) the strength of the evidence supporting the defendant's conviction;
(B) the reasons for retention of the conviction records by the State;
(C) the petitioner's age, criminal record history, and employment history;
(D) the period of time between the petitioner's arrest on the charge resulting in the conviction and the filing of the petition under this Section; and
(E) the specific adverse consequences the petitioner may be subject to if the petition is denied.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 7

This section outlines what will happen if an objection is filed. First, a judge will set a hearing at least 30 days before the hearing is held. The court will hear whatever evidence is provided at the hearing and then make the decision. The factors listed in this section are what the court will consider when deciding whether or not to grant the petition.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(8), Illinois Combined Statutes

Service of order. After entering an order to expunge or seal records, the court must provide copies of the order to the Department, in a form and manner prescribed by the Department, to the petitioner, to the State's Attorney or prosecutor charged with the duty of prosecuting the offense, to the arresting agency, to the chief legal officer of the unit of local government effecting the arrest, and to such other criminal justice agencies as may be ordered by the court.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 8

This section outlines what will happen once an order is entered. The court must send copies of the order to the Department, to you, to the prosecutor, tto the arresting agency, and to the chief legal officer of the unit of local government that effected the arrest, as well as any other criminal justice agency the court thinks should have a copy.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(9), Illinois Combined Statutes

Implementation of order.
(A) Upon entry of an order to expunge records pursuant to (b)(2)(A) or (b)(2)(B)(ii), or both:
(i) the records shall be expunged (as defined in subsection (a)(1)(E)) by the arresting agency, the Department, and any other agency as ordered by the court, within 60 days of the date of service of the order, unless a motion to vacate, modify, or reconsider the order is filed pursuant to paragraph (12) of subsection (d) of this Section;
(ii) the records of the circuit court clerk shall be impounded until further order of the court upon good cause shown and the name of the petitioner obliterated on the official index required to be kept by the circuit court clerk under Section 16 of the Clerks of Courts Act, but the order shall not affect any index issued by the circuit court clerk before the entry of the order; and
(iii) in response to an inquiry for expunged records, the court, the Department, or the agency receiving such inquiry, shall reply as it does in response to inquiries when no records ever existed.
(B) Upon entry of an order to expunge records pursuant to (b)(2)(B)(i) or (b)(2)(C), or both:
(i) the records shall be expunged (as defined in subsection (a)(1)(E)) by the arresting agency and any other agency as ordered by the court, within 60 days of the date of service of the order, unless a motion to vacate, modify, or reconsider the order is filed pursuant to paragraph (12) of subsection (d) of this Section;
(ii) the records of the circuit court clerk shall be impounded until further order of the court upon good cause shown and the name of the petitioner obliterated on the official index required to be kept by the circuit court clerk under Section 16 of the Clerks of Courts Act, but the order shall not affect any index issued by the circuit court clerk before the entry of the order;
(iii) the records shall be impounded by the Department within 60 days of the date of service of the order as ordered by the court, unless a motion to vacate, modify, or reconsider the order is filed pursuant to paragraph (12) of subsection (d) of this Section;
(iv) records impounded by the Department may be disseminated by the Department only as required by law or to the arresting authority, the State's Attorney, and the court upon a later arrest for the same or a similar offense or for the purpose of sentencing for any subsequent felony, and to the Department of Corrections upon conviction for any offense; and
(v) in response to an inquiry for such records from anyone not authorized by law to access such records, the court, the Department, or the agency receiving such inquiry shall reply as it does in response to inquiries when no records ever existed.
(B-5) Upon entry of an order to expunge records under subsection (e-6) (i) the records shall be expunged (as defined in subsection (a)(1)(E)) by the arresting agency and any other agency as ordered by the court, within 60 days of the date of service of the order, unless a motion to vacate, modify, or reconsider the order is filed under paragraph (12) of subsection (d) of this Section;
(ii) the records of the circuit court clerk shall be impounded until further order of the court upon good cause shown and the name of the petitioner obliterated on the official index required to be kept by the circuit court clerk under Section 16 of the Clerks of Courts Act, but the order shall not affect any index issued by the circuit court clerk before the entry of the order;
(iii) the records shall be impounded by the Department within 60 days of the date of service of the order as ordered by the court, unless a motion to vacate, modify, or reconsider the order is filed under paragraph (12) of subsection (d) of this Section;
(iv) records impounded by the Department may be disseminated by the Department only as required by law or to the arresting authority, the State's Attorney, and the court upon a later arrest for the same or a similar offense or for the purpose of sentencing for any subsequent felony, and to the Department of Corrections upon conviction for any offense; and
(v) in response to an inquiry for these records from anyone not authorized by law to access the records, the court, the Department, or the agency receiving the inquiry shall reply as it does in response to inquiries when no records ever existed.
(C) Upon entry of an order to seal records under subsection (c), the arresting agency, any other agency as ordered by the court, the Department, and the court shall seal the records (as defined in subsection (a)(1)(K)). In response to an inquiry for such records from anyone not authorized by law to access such records, the court, the Department, or the agency receiving such inquiry shall reply as it does in response to inquiries when no records ever existed.
(D) The Department shall send written notice to the petitioner of its compliance with each order to expunge or seal records within 60 days of the date of service of that order or, if a motion to vacate, modify, or reconsider is filed, within 60 days of service of the order resolving the motion, if that order requires the Department to expunge or seal records. In the event of an appeal from the circuit court order, the Department shall send written notice to the petitioner of its compliance with an Appellate Court or Supreme Court judgment to expunge or seal records within 60 days of the issuance of the court's mandate. The notice is not required while any motion to vacate, modify, or reconsider, or any appeal or petition for discretionary appellate review, is pending.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 9

This section outlines what will happen when an order to expunge or seal is entered. This includes outlining what the agencies who received a copy of the order will say if anyone asks about the associated records.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(10), Illinois Combined Statutes

Fees. The Department may charge the petitioner a fee equivalent to the cost of processing any order to expunge or seal records. Notwithstanding any provision of the Clerks of Courts Act to the contrary, the circuit court clerk may charge a fee equivalent to the cost associated with the sealing or expungement of records by the circuit court clerk. From the total filing fee collected for the petition to seal or expunge, the circuit court clerk shall deposit $10 into the Circuit Court Clerk Operation and Administrative Fund, to be used to offset the costs incurred by the circuit court clerk in performing the additional duties required to serve the petition to seal or expunge on all parties. The circuit court clerk shall collect and forward the Department of State Police portion of the fee to the Department and it shall be deposited in the State Police Services Fund.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 10

This is the section that dictates what will happen with portions of the fee that is charged for a petition to expunge or seal.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(11), Illinois Combined Statutes

Final Order. No court order issued under the expungement or sealing provisions of this Section shall become final for purposes of appeal until 30 days after service of the order on the petitioner and all parties entitled to notice of the petition.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 11

This section states that 30 days have to pass before a person can file an appeal against any decision to expunge or seal a charge.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(12), Illinois Combined Statutes

Motion to Vacate, Modify, or Reconsider. Under Section 2-1203 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the petitioner or any party entitled to notice may file a motion to vacate, modify, or reconsider the order granting or denying the petition to expunge or seal within 60 days of service of the order. If filed more than 60 days after service of the order, a petition to vacate, modify, or reconsider shall comply with subsection (c) of Section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Upon filing of a motion to vacate, modify, or reconsider, notice of the motion shall be served upon the petitioner and all parties entitled to notice of the petition.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 12

This section states that if anyone wants to vacate, modify, or reconsider the order, a motion must be filed under 2-1203 if done within 60 days or under 2-1401 if done after 60 days.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(13), Illinois Combined Statutes

Effect of Order. An order granting a petition under the expungement or sealing provisions of this Section shall not be considered void because it fails to comply with the provisions of this Section or because of any error asserted in a motion to vacate, modify, or reconsider. The circuit court retains jurisdiction to determine whether the order is voidable and to vacate, modify, or reconsider its terms based on a motion filed under paragraph (12) of this subsection (d).

Commentary on Sub-subsection 13

This section protects an order that does not comply with this section, stating that it does not end up becoming void just because of an error in the order.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(14), Illinois Combined Statutes

Compliance with Order Granting Petition to Seal Records. Unless a court has entered a stay of an order granting a petition to seal, all parties entitled to notice of the petition must fully comply with the terms of the order within 60 days of service of the order even if a party is seeking relief from the order through a motion filed under paragraph (12) of this subsection (d) or is appealing the order.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 14

This section orders anyone who receives a copy of the order to expunge or seal an order to do it within 60 days of receiving the order.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(15), Illinois Combined Statutes

Compliance with Order Granting Petition to Expunge Records. While a party is seeking relief from the order granting the petition to expunge through a motion filed under paragraph (12) of this subsection (d) or is appealing the order, and unless a court has entered a stay of that order, the parties entitled to notice of the petition must seal, but need not expunge, the records until there is a final order on the motion for relief or, in the case of an appeal, the issuance of that court's mandate.

Commentary on Sub-subsection 15

This section states that if someone files a motion to vacate, modify, or reconsider an order to expunge under section (d)(12), the records must be sealed until the motion is ruled upon.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(16), Illinois Combined Statutes

The changes to this subsection (d) made by Public Act 98-163 apply to all petitions pending on August 5, 2013 (the effective date of Public Act 98-163) and to all orders ruling on a petition to expunge or seal on or after August 5, 2013 (the effective date of Public Act 98-163).

Commentary on Sub-subsection 16

This section states that any changes made by Public Act 98-163 apply from August 5, 2013.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(e), Illinois Combined Statutes

Whenever a person who has been convicted of an offense is granted a pardon by the Governor which specifically authorizes expungement, he or she may, upon verified petition to the Chief Judge of the circuit where the person had been convicted, any judge of the circuit designated by the Chief Judge, or in counties of less than 3,000,000 inhabitants, the presiding trial judge at the defendant's trial, have a court order entered expunging the record of arrest from the official records of the arresting authority and order that the records of the circuit court clerk and the Department be sealed until further order of the court upon good cause shown or as otherwise provided herein, and the name of the defendant obliterated from the official index requested to be kept by the circuit court clerk under Section 16 of the Clerks of Courts Act in connection with the arrest and conviction for the offense for which he or she had been pardoned but the order shall not affect any index issued by the circuit court clerk before the entry of the order. All records sealed by the Department may be disseminated by the Department only to the arresting authority, the State's Attorney, and the court upon a later arrest for the same or similar offense or for the purpose of sentencing for any subsequent felony. Upon conviction for any subsequent offense, the Department of Corrections shall have access to all sealed records of the Department pertaining to that individual. Upon entry of the order of expungement, the circuit court clerk shall promptly mail a copy of the order to the person who was pardoned.

Commentary on Subsection e

This section allows you to expunge your case in the event you receive a pardon that specifically states you can expunge your record.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(e-5), Illinois Combined Statutes

Whenever a person who has been convicted of an offense is granted a certificate of eligibility for sealing by the Prisoner Review Board which specifically authorizes sealing, he or she may, upon verified petition to the Chief Judge of the circuit where the person had been convicted, any judge of the circuit designated by the Chief Judge, or in counties of less than 3,000,000 inhabitants, the presiding trial judge at the petitioner's trial, have a court order entered sealing the record of arrest from the official records of the arresting authority and order that the records of the circuit court clerk and the Department be sealed until further order of the court upon good cause shown or as otherwise provided herein, and the name of the petitioner obliterated from the official index requested to be kept by the circuit court clerk under Section 16 of the Clerks of Courts Act in connection with the arrest and conviction for the offense for which he or she had been granted the certificate but the order shall not affect any index issued by the circuit court clerk before the entry of the order. All records sealed by the Department may be disseminated by the Department only as required by this Act or to the arresting authority, a law enforcement agency, the State's Attorney, and the court upon a later arrest for the same or similar offense or for the purpose of sentencing for any subsequent felony. Upon conviction for any subsequent offense, the Department of Corrections shall have access to all sealed records of the Department pertaining to that individual. Upon entry of the order of sealing, the circuit court clerk shall promptly mail a copy of the order to the person who was granted the certificate of eligibility for sealing.

Commentary on Subsection e-5

This section states that you can seal your record if you recieve a certificate of eligibility from the Prisoner Review Board stating that you can seal you record.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(e-6), Illinois Combined Statutes

Whenever a person who has been convicted of an offense is granted a certificate of eligibility for expungement by the Prisoner Review Board which specifically authorizes expungement, he or she may, upon verified petition to the Chief Judge of the circuit where the person had been convicted, any judge of the circuit designated by the Chief Judge, or in counties of less than 3,000,000 inhabitants, the presiding trial judge at the petitioner's trial, have a court order entered expunging the record of arrest from the official records of the arresting authority and order that the records of the circuit court clerk and the Department be sealed until further order of the court upon good cause shown or as otherwise provided herein, and the name of the petitioner obliterated from the official index requested to be kept by the circuit court clerk under Section 16 of the Clerks of Courts Act in connection with the arrest and conviction for the offense for which he or she had been granted the certificate but the order shall not affect any index issued by the circuit court clerk before the entry of the order. All records sealed by the Department may be disseminated by the Department only as required by this Act or to the arresting authority, a law enforcement agency, the State's Attorney, and the court upon a later arrest for the same or similar offense or for the purpose of sentencing for any subsequent felony. Upon conviction for any subsequent offense, the Department of Corrections shall have access to all expunged records of the Department pertaining to that individual. Upon entry of the order of expungement, the circuit court clerk shall promptly mail a copy of the order to the person who was granted the certificate of eligibility for expungement.

Commentary on Subsection e-6

This section states that you can expunge your record if you recieve a certificate of eligibility from the Prisoner Review Board stating that you can expunge you record.

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(f), Illinois Combined Statutes

Subject to available funding, the Illinois Department of Corrections shall conduct a study of the impact of sealing, especially on employment and recidivism rates, utilizing a random sample of those who apply for the sealing of their criminal records under Public Act 93-211. At the request of the Illinois Department of Corrections, records of the Illinois Department of Employment Security shall be utilized as appropriate to assist in the study. The study shall not disclose any data in a manner that would allow the identification of any particular individual or employing unit. The study shall be made available to the General Assembly no later than September 1, 2010.

Commentary on Subsection f

This section requires the Illinois Department of Corrections to perform a study on the impact of sealing records, especially on employment number and recidivism rates.

Notes

(Source: P.A. 98-133, eff. 1-1-14; 98-142, eff. 1-1-14; 98-163, eff. 8-5-13; 98-164, eff. 1-1-14; 98-399, eff. 8-16-13; 98-635, eff. 1-1-15; 98-637, eff. 1-1-15; 98-756, eff. 7-16-14; 98-1009, eff. 1-1-15; 99-378, eff. 1-1-16.; 99-385, eff. 1-1-16.)
These are the various Public Acts that have been implemented into this statute.

Get Started

Once you are ready, these are the agencies you need to contact: You will also have to contact your county clerk of court. Step-by-step instructions including who to contact, what to send, and where to send it, are available at the end of our qualification form.

Signup for exclusive offers and information.