Q: What is the timeline of the expungement process?
A: Step 1: For juvenile records go to 35th & Michigan Ave Youth Department to request your RAP Sheet (this is free).
For adult records go to 47th & Kedzie to request your RAP Sheet (this costs $16).
Step 2: For juvenile expungement, go to the Juvenile Expungement Help Desk at 1100 S. Hamilton to see if you are eligible for expungement and to draft the petition.
For adult expungement, go to the Cabrini Green Help Desk at the Daley Center (10th Floor) at 50 W. Washington.
Step 3: File the petition with the Clerk of Court. They will set a court date within 45 days from the filing date.
Step 4: At the court date, if the judge grants the expungement, it is effective immediately. You will receive a court record stating that your juvenile record has been expunged. You can use this document as proof of expungement when applying for employment, housing, financial aid, etc.
Step 5: Law enforcement will expunge your record from their records 2-3 months from the date the expungement is granted.
TOTAL TIME: 4-5 months
Q: What charges can be expunged?
A: Nearly all charges can be expunged if committed as a juvenile (adult eligibility is different). Types of juvenile convictions that you cannot expunge include:
• If you were convicted for First Degree Murder; or
• If you were convicted for a Sex offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult.
At 17 years of age or when all juvenile court proceedings against you have been terminated whichever is later, you can expunge the following:
* Arrest without a petition for delinquency for an incident occurring before your 17th birthday.
* Not delinquent finding for an incident occurring before your 17th birthday.
* Successful completion of supervision for a crime committed before your 17th birthday.
* Adjudication for an offense committed before your 17th birthday that would be a Class B Misdemeanor, Class C misdemeanor, or a petty business offense if committed by an adult.
At 21 years of age or when 5 years have elapsed since all juvenile proceedings have been terminated or commitment to the department of juvenile justice has been terminated, whichever is later, you can expunge the following as long as you have not been convicted of any crime since your 17th birthday:
* A juvenile incident occurring before your 17th birthday that did not result in a proceeding in criminal court.
* Adjudication of your juvenile record that was not based upon first-degree murder or a sex offense, which would be a felony if committed by an adult.
Q: What is the financial burden of the expungement process?
A: You will need to pay a filing fee to the Clerk’s Office to file your court papers. Remember, you must file a separate petition for every arrest or conviction on your juvenile record that you want to expunge.
• The cost to file a petition is $124 per arrest. At the time of filing with the Court, $64 per arrest is due and $60 per arrest is due on the day of the hearing, which goes to the Illinois State Police (bring cash, they do not accept credit cards or personal checks).
• For adult expungements, you must request your Chicago Police Department arrest records, which cost $16
• If you cannot afford to pay the fees, you can file additional court papers asking the judge to let you file for free.
Q: What risks do undocumented people face in trying to expunge their records?
A: Expunged arrest and criminal convictions can still be used against you in an immigration case. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you should talk to a lawyer before trying to expunge your criminal record. If you are granted naturalization, you are able to file for expungement without further risk to your citizenship.
Q: What items do you need to bring to a Help Desk for assistance?
A: You will need to provide the following information (which can be found on your RAP sheet):
• Your name;
• Your birth date;
• Your address and phone number;
• The date you were arrested;
• The charge you were arrested for;
• The agency that arrested you;
• The disposition of your case (what happened); and
• The date your last juvenile proceeding ended.
To find information about your arrests and convictions, you can get a copy of your RAP sheet. If you went to court, you can find out information about your criminal case by contacting the Circuit Court Clerk for the courthouse where you went for the case. To find out how to contact the Clerk’s office, visit the Illinois Courts’ website.
Q: What pro-bono (free) legal services are available?
A: FOR JUVENILE RECORDS
Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago
FOR ADULT RECORDS
Cabrini Green Legal Aid
50 W. Washington (10th Floor)
They only accept the first 25 people per day! Arrive early!
Chicago Legal Clinic
211 W. Wacker Drive Suite 750
1914 S. Ashland Avenue
They work with adult pardons!
Q: What is the role of the parent/guardian during the process? Consent forms? Court attendance?
A: Parents/Guardians should attend all meetings with pro-bono lawyers, court dates, requesting RAP sheets, etc. for advice and support if the young person is under 18 years old.