How do you start an expungement process? It’s a question we hear often – and we can help. Here’s what you need to know.

How Do You Start an Expungement Process?

There are two ways you can start an expungement process. You can hire an expungement attorney to do all the paperwork (including filling out and filing all your forms) or you can do it yourself. For many people, the easiest way is to hire a lawyer – but it’s also the more expensive way. You can clear your own criminal record in Illinois by following these steps:

  1. Figure out what forms you need for your case. Some counties require different paperwork than others do.
  2. Download your forms and fill them out. Usually, you can fill these forms out on the computer and save them.
  3. Find out what types of supporting documentation you need. You might need to provide additional paperwork with your expungement packet, such as proof that you’ve earned a high school equivalency certificate or that you’ve completed a certain number of hours of community service.
  4. Do some research on where and how to file your forms. Some counties in Illinois allow you to file your forms online, but others require you to bring several copies to the Clerk of Court.
  5. File your forms and pay your filing fees. There’s usually a filing fee involved (unless you have a fee waiver from the judge assigned in your case).
  6. Wait for your packet to make its way through the system. The state’s attorney will have a chance to review your expungement petition before it goes to a judge. This is the longest part of the expungement process – it can take several weeks for your petition to end up on a judge’s desk.
  7. Wait for the judge’s decision.

Related: FAQ on clearing your own criminal record in Illinois

The whole expungement process can take several months.

Do You Have More Questions on How to Start an Expungement Process?

If you’re not sure whether you’re eligible for expungement, we can help you. Call our office at 847-920-4540 to talk to an attorney about your case. If you’re eligible, we can do all the work for you – or you can do your own criminal record expungement for just $299, which gets you instant access to a huge pool of resources – including the court forms you need for any jurisdiction in Illinois. You’ll also get exclusive access to video and written directions for filling out and filing forms, help from a lawyer when you need it, and tips for pushing your petition through the system. We even tell you what to do if things aren’t working out (such as what you should do if the state’s attorney objects to your expungement petition).

If you’re ready to get the fresh start you deserve, download your free expungement and sealing e-book and get started by clicking “Sign Up” below. We’ll help you get moving in the right direction!

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