How long do I have to wait to expunge my records?
The waiting period for filing for an expungement depends on the type of criminal record. There is no waiting period for arrests that did not result in a finding of guilt.
Filing for expungement after supervision is finished
If you successfully complete a sentence of supervision, except as discussed below, you must wait 2 years after the end of your last sentence to file a petition to expunge those supervisions.
Waiting period for non-felony and Class 4 convictions
If you are convicted of certain non-felony crimes, certain Class 4 felonies, and first offender probation dispositions, then your record may be sealed 3 years after the end of your last sentence.
You must wait 5 years to file a petition to expunge supervisions for the following offenses:
- Domestic battery
- Criminal sexual abuse
- Operation of an uninsured motor vehicle
- Suspended registration for non-insurance
- Display of false insurance card
- Scrap processor of vehicles failure to keep a record
Waiting period after serving probation
If you satisfactorily completed 710 or 1410 First Time Offender Probation for a drug offense, TASC probation, or other qualified probation, you must wait 5 years from the end of your last sentence before filing for an expungement. You must also attach the results of a clean drug test to your petition.
If you were sentenced to TASC probation, you must have previously filed a motion to vacate the sentence within 30 days of the date judgment was entered in the case.
How long do I have to wait to seal my records?
You are eligible to seal cases with the following outcomes at any time:
- Released without charging (RWOC)
- Finding of no probable cause
- A conviction that has been vacated or reversed
However, courts in some jurisdictions do not allow you to seal arrests and dismissed cases if you are currently serving a sentence or have a new case with a pending court date.
If you were sentenced to supervision, and you successfully completed that supervision, you are eligible to seal it 2 years after the end of the last sentence you served in any case.
Convictions and qualified probations
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony or if you successfully completed a special, qualified probation (like 710-1410 or TASC), you can seal 3 years after the end of your last sentence.
Shorter waiting periods for education
If you earned a high school diploma, associate's degree, career certificate, vocational-technical certification, bachelor's degree, or GED, you can petition for sealing before the applicable waiting periods expire.
You must have obtained the certificate/diploma during the period of your sentence, aftercare release, or mandatory supervised release. Also, you cannot obtain two of the same types of certificates/diplomas. If your petition is denied, the applicable waiting period will apply to any further petition for sealing.
Effective January 1, 2018, you can immediately seal records of charges where you were acquitted or the case was dismissed. You can file a petition for immediate sealing during the same hearing where the court acquitted or dismissed your case. The court must inform you of this right and the judge will have to decide in the same hearing whether or not to grant your petition.
You must pay a fee if you don't file for a fee waiver. You will not be charged a fee if you file to expunge or seal your record in Cook County.
Updated: June 2017