An arrest from even 10 years ago will still show up if a potential employer conducts a background check.
However, the law prohibits employers from considering any expunged or sealed records, and from asking whether you ever sealed or expunged any records. To expunge or seal your criminal record, you must file a Petition in the county where you were arrested or where you had your court case.
You will have to pay to file your Petition, or get that fee waived. When you file, ask the Clerk if a court date is required. Some counties don't require one; others do. Make sure you know how your county does it.
Four places must get a copy of your Petition:
- the State's Attorney where you file,
- the agency that arrested you,
- that agency's chief legal officer, and
- the Illinois State Police.
If you just want to seal your records, the Clerk mails copies to those people for you. If you want to expunge, the law doesn't say who does the mailing, so check with your Clerk to see if they do it for you. If they don't do the mailing, you must. Those four places have 30 days to object to a Petition to Expunge, and 90 days to object to a Petition to Seal.
If you file a Petition to Expunge, and a court date is required, you must also mail a notice of that hearing to the four people listed above. The Appellate Defender's website has a notice you can use. If a hearing is required on a Petition to Seal, the Clerk sends the required notice.
At a hearing, or after the time for objecting has passed, a judge will review your request. Even if nobody objected, your Petition can be denied. If, however, your Petition is granted, the Clerk seals their records, and sends copies of the Judge's Order to the arresting agency and to the Illinois State Police. The State Police then notify you they need $60 to complete the expungement or sealing. The arresting agency may also charge a fee. About 45 days after the State Police get your fee, you will get a notice that your records have been expunged or sealed.
I hope this helps, good luck!
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