Juvenile Expungement

What does expungement mean?

  • If you have your records expunged, in many cases, the records will be “off-limits” to employers and the rest of the general public and treated like they never existed.
    • For example, when you fill out a job application, you do not have to tell a potential employer about the case you have had expunged.
      • If you pursue certain types of careers (such as becoming an attorney) you will still have to disclose the existence of expunged records.

Will my case be automatically expunged without the need for me to file a petition?        

(1) On or before January 1 of each year, the Illinois State Police will automatically expunge all law enforcement records occurring before my 18th birthday if:

  • It has been 1 year or more since the date of the arrest or law enforcement interaction;
  • No petition for delinquency or criminal charges was filed with the court; and
  • It has been 6 months without an additional arrest or filing of a petition for delinquency or criminal charges


If the second and third requirements cannot be verified, records that satisfy the first requirement above will be expunged if the offense in question is not a class 2 felony or higher or a sex offense.

725 ILCS 405/5-915(.1)


(2) The court shall automatically order the expungement of the juvenile court and law enforcement records if:

    • The court dismissed the juvenile petition;
    • I was found not guilty;
    • I successfully completed a term of supervision; or
    • I was adjudicated of a Class B or C misdemeanor or a petty or business offense


725 ILCS 405/5-915(.2)


(3) The court shall automatically order the expungement of the juvenile court and law enforcement records if:

    • Two years have passed since my juvenile adjudication case was closed;
    • No delinquency or criminal case is pending against me;
    • I have had no other adjudication or criminal conviction since the case I am trying to expunge; AND
    • My adjudication was not for a disqualified offense


725 ILCS 405/5-915(.3)


How do I qualify for an expungement?

Your juvenile record may be considered for expungement if you fall into one of two categories:

CATEGORY NO. 1: If you can answer “Yes” to any of the following questions:

  1. Were you arrested and not charged?
    • This means that your case resulted in a station adjustment or an informal agreement through probation and your case was never brought to court
  2. Were you charged and your case was dismissed?
  3. Were you charged but found not guilty?
  4. Were you placed under supervision and if so, did you follow all of the rules of your supervision so that you were successfully terminated?
  5. Were you found guilty for an offense that if committed by an adult would be a Class B misdemeanor, a Class C misdemeanor, or a petty or business offense?

You can use the Category 1 petition.

CATEGORY NO. 2:  If you were charged in court with a misdemeanor and this was your first offense, you may file a petition to expunge within 30 days of the judge sentencing you.

You will use Category No. 2 petition if this applies to you.

NOTE: The court will not hold a hearing on your petition until a month before your 18th birthday and your sentence has ended.


What are the steps to begin the juvenile expungement process?

  1. Get an arrest history report from any agency that arrested you, such as the police department, sheriff’s department or State Police.
    • You will have to pay a fee.
    • You will have to bring two or more IDs (picture IDs are best).
    • If you’re under 18, you must go with your parent or legal guardian. The parent or legal guardian must provide proof that he or she is your parent or guardian. The parent or guardian must also bring a valid ID (picture IDs are best).
  2. Fill out court forms called “Petition” and “Notice” to ask that your records be expunged and file the petition with the Circuit Court in the County in which you were arrested.
    • Get the petition by going to or calling the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office in the county where you were arrested.
    • You can also get the forms free of charge by contacting the State Appellate Defender at:
      • Springfield Office:  P.O. Box 5240, Springfield, IL 62705-5240
      • 1(866)431-4907 (toll-free)
      • Email: Expungement.Springfield@osad.state.il.us
    • Juvenile Justice Council Expungement Materials
  3. Decide which of the two petition forms to use.
    • If you are unsure which form you need to use, call the State Appellate Defender’s toll-free number at (866) 431-4907.
    • You need to file a separate petition for each arrest listed on your arrest history report.
  4. Fill out the following portions of the “Notice”:
    • Your name, case number, the address of the arresting agency, the address of the State’s Attorney and your own address.
  5. Bring your completed Petition and Notice to the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office in the county where you were arrested. You will have to pay a fee to the Clerk of the Circuit Court when you file your petition. If you cannot afford the fee, then you must complete and file the fee waiver form with your petition.
    • Be certain to ask the clerk when your case will get set for a hearing. Some jurisdictions will set your case for a hearing right away. Others will wait to see if any objection to your Petition is filed.
  6. The Clerk’s office will send notice of your petition to the Illinois State Police, the Prosecutor assigned to your case and the agency that arrested you. They have up to 90 days to object to your petition. After you file your petition, you need to notify the Clerk any time you move or change your mailing address by filling out a change of address form. You can get a change of address form from the Clerk’s office.
  7. After 90 days contact the Clerk’s office to determine the status of your petition.
    • Unless the State’s Attorney or prosecutor, the Illinois State Police or the arresting agency objects to your petition within 90 days, the court may grant your petition and expunge your record.
  8. If there is an objection to your petition, the Clerk will schedule a hearing. If the Clerk schedules a hearing for your expungement case, you are required to attend. If there is no objection, the court may or may not hold a hearing on your case.
    • In either case, you need to wear business clothes to the hearing. Men should wear slacks, a tie and a jacket. Women should wear dress pants, a skirt or a dress.
  9. If the court grants your expungement request, you must pay the Clerk a fee for the Court, local police, and Illinois State Police to expunge your records. If you cannot pay the fees, you must ask the Court to waive them.
  10. The Clerk will forward a certified copy of the expungement order, along with the fees that you paid, to the Illinois State Police and to the arresting agency (such as the local police department). You should contact the Illinois State Police and the arresting agency to be sure that they have received the order and fees.
  11. In several weeks, the Illinois State Police will send you and the Clerk a letter confirming your expungement.