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Illinois Arrest Records: How to Find Arrest Records in Illinois

Illinois Arrest Records: How to Find Arrest Records in Illinois
October 4, 2022

Access to Illinois Arrest records is generated by the State Law Enforcement Agencies following the arrest of an individual in the state. 

 

The arrest records generated form part of such individual's criminal records, although the presence of an arrest record does not suggest that the arrestee is guilty. 

 

Instead, the record can be used to start the trial of the arrestee and can sometimes lead to a criminal conviction.


If a person meets the state's eligibility standards, they can have access to arrest records. 

 

The state of Illinois also allows citizens to restrict access to their arrest records or have them completely deleted from public records. 

 

An Illinois arrest record holds details of the offender, the arrest, and the alleged offense.  

Illinois state flag with handcuffs on it


Arrest Records in Illinois: Are They Public?


The Illinois Freedom of Information Act defines public records as records created or maintained by any public agency. These public records, available to the public upon written request, include arrest records. 


Law enforcement agencies, however, have the authority to limit access to arrest records. 

 

Sometimes an arrest record can be prevented from public viewing if the information in the record will hinder an ongoing investigation or jeopardize other individuals' safety.


Who Can Access My Illinois Arrest Records?


In line with the statutory law of Illinois, you can request copies of your arrest records in Illinois. 

 

The law also allows third-party individuals and agencies to have access to the same records once the concerned law enforcement agency grants such a request. 


Except in situations whereby a record is blocked by a law enforcement agency or the court of law, all Illinois arrest records in the state are open to public viewing. 

 

a man's handcuffed hands behind his back

 

Here are some of the situations where the state of Illinois prevents the public viewing of arrest records:


* The content of the arrest record puts the subject or other individuals at risk
* The public disclosure of the record can affect the outcome of an ongoing investigation
* The record holder is a juvenile – only the record owner, parents or guardians, and authorized legal bodies can view these records.
* If such an arrest record does not fall under Illinois disclosure laws


Illinois Arrest Records Search


The state makes provisions to accommodate the request of its citizens to access public records through its various agencies. 

 

For example, one of the fastest ways of gaining access to your arrest record in Illinois is by checking the Illinois Criminal History State Response Process (CHIRP) through the state police website. 


To gain access to the search process, you need to register your fingerprint with an accredited live scan vendor in the state. 

 

Registration on the fingerprint-based website is a one-time thing, and after the registration, you can search for your arrest record anywhere in the whole of the US, either within Illinois or not. 

 

You will receive an encrypted copy of the arrest record via mail after completing the application process. 

 

You need to have Entrust Security Provider Software to access the encrypted mail sent by the state police.


It is also possible to obtain the record physically by visiting either the state police headquarters or the closest police department to you. 

 

For this service option, you must display a valid photo ID and pay a fee to gain access to the records. 

 

The police department makes the record available within 60 days, and you are notified when the record becomes available.

a man pressing a 3D illustration of a search bar


Can You Expunge Arrest Records in Illinois?


Arrest records resulting in a criminal conviction in Illinois become a permanent part of the subject's criminal record. 

 

However, arrest records that do not lead to a criminal conviction can only be made available temporarily. 


In most situations, such records become sealed from public access or entirely deleted. For example, this is common when the arrestee has a dismissed case without prejudice. 

 

There are different ways to expunge arrest records in Illinois, and the fastest way of achieving this is by filing an expungement request with the court. 


There are set out criteria in Section 5.2 of the Illinois Statutes an individual must meet before requesting expungement. Some of the eligible cases for expungement include:


* An arrest without a charge
* A dismissed case without a conviction
* If the arrestee is a first-time offender 
* If the arrestee receives a full pardon from the state governor
* If an arrestee is eligible for expungement, they can file their request form to have their records completely sealed or expunged. If an eligible subject has more than one arrest record, they can apply to have all of them expunged using the Additional Notice of Filing for Expungement or Sealing. 


Three options are available for submitting an expungement request: in person, via mail, or electronically. 

a man being fingerprinted

 

First, the petitioner must go to any courthouse in the county where the arrest was made to request an Illinois arrest record search. 


The court clerk would receive the request form, stamp, sign and return the duplicate copy to the petitioner. 

 

The petitioner must include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if the submission is by mail. This permits the clerk to mail back the petitioner's stamped copies of the request. 

 

The electronic option is only available for expungement of arrest records that have not been filed in any court. 


Conclusion 


Arrest records are classified as public record in Illinois, and based on state law, it is accessible to the citizens of the state. You can find arrest records in the state through Illinois Criminal History State Response Process (CHIRP). 

 

Another means of accessing the records is by visiting the local police department in the state.

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