After you have been charged with a criminal offense, the arrest will appear on your criminal history indefinitely until you have your record(s) expunged. Even if your case has been dismissed or if you are proven not guilty at trial, the arrest will remain on your record. In other words, your records will not be automatically expunged at the termination of your criminal case.
The Expungement of a Criminal case is civil in nature and requires a Petition to be filed with the court and in some cases a hearing. Determining if one is eligible for expungement can be a difficult process without the help of a skilled attorney. Even if one is eligible for Expungement, the Expungement of a criminal record(s) is not a right, and it is within the discretion of the Judge to enter the order of Expungement.
Once a record is expunged in IL, it is physically destroyed.
If you are not eligible to have your records expunged, you may still be eligible to have your records sealed. Sealing is an option for those with a conviction on their record. Unlike an expungement, the record is not destroyed, and the Illinois State Police and the Clerk’s Office will seal the record and remove the petitioner’s name from their electronic index. Government agencies can still access the file but only a judicial order can allow public view of the record.