1. Gather information
You will need the following information:
- The name, address, and telephone number of the law enforcement agency that arrested you
- The date you were arrested
- The charge you were arrested for
- The disposition of your case (what happened) or a RAP sheet. For example: dismissed, adjudicated delinquent, adjudicated not delinquent, etc. This won't exist if you were arrested but not charged.
- If you were adjudicated delinquent, you will need to know the final charge meaning whether it was a felony or misdemeanor. If it was a misdemeanor, you need to know whether it was a class A, B, or C misdemeanor
- When your last juvenile proceeding ended (termination of probation, date of dismissal, or date adjudicated not delinquent)
There are 2 ways to get your juvenile records for arrests that occurred in Cook County.
Juvenile arrest records are available at the Juvenile Courthouse located at 1100 South Hamilton in Chicago. To get the information, you must first go to the Juvenile Expungement Help Desk on the first floor by the Clerk’s Office to sign a Release of Information. Once a Release has been signed, the Juvenile Probation Department can access and print juvenile arrest records in Chicago and the Cook County suburbs.
Chicago arrest information is generally available the same day it is ordered. To get suburban arrest information, you must be fingerprinted and the results will be available in approximately seven days. Juvenile Expungement Help Desk staff will contact you when the results are available. This service is free.
Chicago Police Department
If you were arrested by the Chicago Police Department, you can also order a juvenile RAP sheet from the police department instead of at the Juvenile
Courthouse. You can get your juvenile RAP sheet immediately and for free.
You can go to the CPD Headquarters to get your Chicago RAP sheet Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 12:00pm:
Chicago Police Headquarters
Access and Review
3510 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60653
Outside Cook County
There are two options for getting your juvenile records outside of Cook County.
Local police department
Contact the police department that arrested you to get your records. Although juvenile records are confidential, the arresting police department must release information to the juvenile regarding their arrests. For juvenile expungement, you must know the date of arrest, the charge, and the outcome of the arrest.
Illinois State Police
Get your complete criminal history information from the Illinois State Police (ISP) through the Access and Review Process. If you make a request to access and review your criminal history, the ISP will provide a complete list of all your arrests and court cases in Illinois. This list will include both juvenile and adult
arrests. Find conviction information on the ISP website.
If you choose this option, call ISP before you start to get information about how to complete the process: (815) 740-5160
3. Fill out your juvenile expungement forms
To expunge your juvenile record, you need to file court papers with the clerk's office, even if you were only arrested and never went to court. You need to file the court papers in the county where your arrests, charges, or convictions happened.
The program will help you fill out the following forms:
- Request to Expunge Juvenile Records: Asks the judge to expunge your records.
- Additional Juvenile Records: If you have more than 6 arrests or cases.
- Notice of Filing for Juvenile Expungement: Tells the arresting agency that you are asking the court to expunge your juvenile records.
- Additional Notice of Filing for Juvenile Expungement: If you want to expunge more than 20 juvenile records.
- Additional Arresting Agencies: If you have more than 2 arresting agencies or if you were arrested in more than 2 different cities, towns, or villages.
- Order to Expunge Juvenile Records: Used by the judge to say your Request to Expunge Juvenile Records is approved or denied. You may have to use more than one if you want to expunge more than 20 juvenile records.
Make at least two copies of your completed court forms.
4. File your forms with the court
Now that you have filled out your forms, you need to file them with the clerk. The method you are required to use depends on the county where you are filing.
- E-filing: Some counties require you to file your forms and documents electronically. See E-Filing Basics for more information.
- Paper filing: If you can paper file or have an E-filing Exemption Certificate, take your completed forms to the circuit court clerk's office in the courthouse. See courthouse locations.
When you file your forms with the clerk they become part of the case. The clerk will stamp your forms. This stamp is important because it's proof that you filed the form with the court.
- E-filing: The documents you want to file with the court have to be uploaded into the system. You will need to create an account. See E-filing Basics for details.
- Paper filing: If you are paper filing bring the forms to the clerk at the courthouse in the county where you are filing. Bring all your copies and the originals with you when you file. Ask the clerk to stamp all your forms. They will keep the original. Keep at least one copy for your records. See courthouse locations.
5. Wait 45 days or go to your hearing date
The clerk’s office will send notice of your petition to the Illinois State Police, the State’s Attorney’s Office, and the law enforcement agency that arrested you. They have up to 45 days to object to your petition, but usually they do not object unless the paperwork was filled out incorrectly, or you are not eligible to expunge your record.
If an agency objects to your petition within 45 days, the Clerk will schedule a hearing which you are required to attend. If you do not go to your hearing, your case will be dismissed.
Wait 45 days
If there is no hearing date scheduled, contact the Clerk's office about your case after 45 days have passed to determine the status of your case.
6. Going to your hearing date if one is scheduled
Follow these suggestions when going to court:
- Get to the courthouse at least 30 minutes before your hearing time;
- Go to the courtroom listed on your court forms. If your forms do not have a courtroom number, look for a list of cases at the courthouse or ask the circuit clerk;
- Check-in quietly with the courtroom staff;
- Wait for your name and case number to be called; and
- When your case is called, walk up to the judge and introduce yourself;
- Explain briefly what you want out of the case;
- After listening to you and to the other side, the judge will let you know what happens next.
You will have a chance to respond to any objections to your request for expungement. If there are objections, you may ask for a continuance and seek legal advice. Contact the Office of the State Appellate Defender.
The judge makes the final decision. To decide, the judge will:
- Review any objections filed by the agencies you listed on your Notice of Filing for Juvenile Expungement form;
- Determine if you are eligible under the law; and
- Review other factors they are allowed to consider:
- The reasons why the state, the arresting agencies, or chief legal officers want to keep your records from being erased;
- Your age, juvenile and criminal records;
- The period of time between your arrest or court case and the filing of the request to expunge your records; and
- The specific negative results you may suffer if the request is denied. Be prepared to tell the judge about these
Ask the Circuit Clerk and/or State’s Attorney for a copy of the expungement order whether it is granted or denied. Do not leave without your paperwork. Keep your copy in a safe place. Once your arrests or cases are expunged, the court no longer has a court record for you. It may be very difficult or impossible to get another copy of the order.
7. Next steps depending on approval or denial
If the judge approves your request, a copy of the order will be sent by the Circuit Clerk to the Illinois State Police (ISP) and the police departments and prosecutors that you listed on the Notice of Filing for Juvenile Expungement. These agencies have 60 days from the time they receive a copy of the order to expunge your records.
The ISP will send you a letter stating that they have expunged your juvenile records. Until you receive this letter from the ISP, your records have not yet been expunged.
If you have not heard back in 55 days, call them and ask if it has been done. Also call your local law enforcement agency, because they may not send you a letter.
Updated: February 2018