• How to reduce your record in California: Prop 47

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    It is possible to have your felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor even if you have already served your sentence and parole for your crime. You can do so through California’s Proposition 47.

    Prop 47 is a petition-based procedure that requires an application. The “Clean Slate” program at the San Francisco County Public Defender’s office has an available petition application, with step-by-step guide, available at http://sfpublicdefender.org/services/clean-slate/.

    The "Clean Slate" can also help you seal arrest records in California if you were ultimately not convicted of a crime. 

    Note: This process can lead to a sentence reduction for felonies, not an expungement. Expungement only works for misdemeanors or felonies that could have been tried as misdemeanors.

    Can I have my record reduced under Prop 47?

    Here are some simple rules to figure out if your felony conviction qualifies under Prop 47:

    • The crime must have been committed before November 5, 2014.

    This shows that your crime was sentenced before Prop 47 went into effect.

    • Your criminal history must NOT include a serious violent charge and you cannot be registered as a sex offender.

    Acts that are not eligible for Prop 47 include murder, other serious violent acts punishable by life imprisonment, sexual offenses, or certain gun crimes. 

    • The crime must be eligible under Prop 47’s conditions for reclassification.

    Qualifying felonies include:

    • Property crimes and theft where the value does not exceed $950, including:
      • Shoplifting
      • Grand theft
      • Receiving stolen property
      • Forgery
      • Fraud
      • Writing fraudulent checks
    • Conviction of drug possession for most illegal substances, including concentrated cannabis, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.

    If you believe you do have a felony that qualifies, you must file your petition before November 4, 2022. This ensures your process will go smoothly, and doesn’t require you to procure “good cause” for a late filing.

    Criminal convictions can impede your job hunt, but it is important to be aware that there are systems in place designed to help you. Don’t give up, and seek a trusted legal professional for help in your process.

    The use of and access of material available within this website or any of the links contained within this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should consult with an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal issue.

    Last Updated 9/24/2018

  • How to expunge your record: Sacramento, CA

    Read More

    The use of and access of material available within this website or any of the links contained within this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should consult with an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal issue.

    Last Updated 9/2/2016

     

    What Can I Do About My Criminal Record?

    Criminal records can be a big barrier to overcome in seeking employment. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to clean up your record and get a clean slate.

    This guide is designed to help you learn all about the process of dismissing prior convictions on your record, also known as expungement or dismissal. This might not work in all cases or for all crimes, but it could give you an opportunity to start fresh.

     

    Do I Qualify for Expungement or Dismissal?

    As previously mentioned, not all records can be expunged or dismissed, although they are treated the same in the state of California. Expungement or dismissal of convictions are generally granted to misdemeanors -- or felonies that could have been tried as misdemeanors -- that resulted in a stay at county jail, probation, a fine or a combination of these things.

    Additionally, there are convictions that absolutely cannot be expunged or dismissed. Primarily, these crimes involve sexual assault of a minor, the concealment of sexual assault of a minor, or child pornography. But certain felony offenses for refusing vehicle inspection, evading an officer or resisting arrest can also be excluded from expungement or dismissal under certain circumstances.

    You should seek legal advice to determine your eligibility for expungement or dismissal, as there are many lawyers in the area who specialize in “restorative justice.” If you do, here are some helpful questions to ask yourself in order to prepare:

    1. What is your case number — sometimes called “docket number”?
    2. What was your date of conviction — which is the date of your plea, verdict, or finding of guilt?
    3. What is the code name and section number you were convicted of violating?
    4. Was there a verdict or did you enter a plea?  If you entered a plea, was it “guilty” or “no contest” (also called “nolo contendere”)?
    5. Were you ordered to serve any time on probation (either formal or informal probation, since they are treated the same in your record)? If so, for how long?
    6. Were you ordered to pay any fines, restitution, or reimbursement?
    7. If you were sentenced to state prison, which one?
    8. If you were sentenced to state prison, on what date were you released?
    9. If you were released on parole, on what date?

    Knowledge is power. The more you understand the circumstances of your conviction, the better you will be able to explain to advocates exactly how to help you.

    You may still qualify for Prop 47 record reclassification. Click here to learn more.

    If the previous steps are not applicable to your record, other resources are available. Scroll to the bottom.

     

    How to Obtain and Expunge Your Record

    Step 1: Obtain Your Record

    There are certain steps you can take to expunge your record, but first you need to actually obtain your criminal record or “RAP sheet.” This will give you a good idea of whether you qualify for expungement. You can obtain your record in two ways:

    If you know the case number If you do not know the case number

    1) Submit a written request along with a check with the words "Not To Exceed $35.00.”

    2) Make check or money order payable to:"Sacramento Superior Court"

    3) Mail to:

    Sacramento Superior Court

    720 9th Street, Room 101

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    Attention: Criminal Correspondence Unit.

    *You will be notified (by mail or phone) should the cost exceed $35.00. Make sure your phone number is on the check.

    Also available by phone at 916-874-8881. The court will not provide research, nor confirm or deny dates of birth, social security numbers over the phone.

     

    1) Use public access site or submit a written request for a Criminal Background Research.

    2) Provide specific name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number for request.

    Site:https://services.saccourt.ca.gov/PublicCaseAccess/

    Cost per page: $.50 Certification: $25.00 Exemplification: $50.00 Extended record search:$15.00 Court order document authentication (per signature): $15.00 Original file comparison comparison copy(per page): $1.00

    If the appropriate fees are not attached or your requested information is incomplete, the request will be returned to you.

    **Note: If your case date is before 1989, you can use the public microfiche located in the Criminal Records Unit at the Gordon D. Schaber Sacramento County Courthouse or contact the California Department of Justice.

    Site: https://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints/security

     

    Step 2: Check Your Record

    Now that you have your record, you can see whether there are aspects that qualify for expungement or dismissal. One of the easiest ways to do so is using The Volunteer Legal Service Program, that may be able to help Sacramento County residents reduce or dismiss their criminal records.

    Step 3: Be Patient

    Unfortunately, expungement or dismissal is not an efficient process. If you are eligible, be prepared to wait 3-4 months for expungement or dismissal to occur and show up on your record.

    In the meantime, there are other resources you can access to aide you in the meantime. Here are a few to consider:

     

    Job Resources

    National Hire Network: http://hirenetwork.org/content/california

    Northern California Construction training: http://www.ncct.ws/, Phone: 916-387-1564

    GoodWill: https://www.goodwillsacto.org/, Phone: 916-395-9000

    Legal Resources

    Sacramento County Public Defender’s Officehttp://www.publicdefender.saccounty.net/Pages/ClearingaCriminalRecord.aspx

    Voluntary Legal Service Program: http://www.vlsp.org/criminal.asp

  • How to expunge your record: Contra Costa, CA

    Read More

    The use of and access of material available within this website or any of the links contained within this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should consult with an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal issue.

    Last Updated 9/2/2016

     

     What Can I Do About My Criminal Record?

    Criminal records can be a big barrier to overcome in seeking employment. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to clean up your record and get a clean slate.

    This guide is designed to help you learn all about the process of dismissing prior convictions on your record, also known as expungement or dismissal. This might not work in all cases or for all crimes, but it could give you an opportunity to start fresh.

    Do I Qualify for Expungement or Dismissal?

    As previously mentioned, not all records can be expunged or dismissed, although they are treated the same in the state of California. Expungement or dismissal of convictions are generally granted to misdemeanors -- or felonies that could have been tried as misdemeanors -- that resulted in a stay at county jail, probation, a fine or a combination of these things.

     Additionally, there are convictions that absolutely cannot be expunged or dismissed. Primarily, these crimes involve sexual assault of a minor, the concealment of sexual assault of a minor, or child pornography. But certain felony offenses for refusing vehicle inspection, evading an officer or resisting arrest can also be excluded from expungement or dismissal under certain circumstances.

     You should seek legal advice to determine your eligibility for expungement or dismissal, as there are many lawyers in the area who specialize in “restorative justice.” If you do, here are some helpful questions to ask yourself in order to prepare:

    1. What is your case number — sometimes called “docket number”?
    2. What was your date of conviction — which is the date of your plea, verdict, or finding of guilt?
    3. What is the code name and section number you were convicted of violating?
    4. Was there a verdict or did you enter a plea?  If you entered a plea, was it “guilty” or “no contest” (also called “nolo contendere”)?
    5. Were you ordered to serve any time on probation (either formal or informal probation, since they are treated the same in your record)? If so, for how long?
    6. Were you ordered to pay any fines, restitution, or reimbursement?
    7. If you were sentenced to state prison, which one?
    8. If you were sentenced to state prison, on what date were you released?
    9. If you were released on parole, on what date?

    Knowledge is power. The more you understand the circumstances of your conviction, the better you will be able to explain to advocates exactly how to help you.

    If this applies to you continue

    You may still qualify for Prop 47 record reclassification. Click here to learn more.

    If the previous steps are not applicable to your record, other resources are available. Scroll to the bottom.

     

    How to Obtain and Expunge Your Record

    Step 1: Obtain Your Record

    There are certain steps you can take to expunge your record, but first you need to actually obtain your criminal record or “RAP sheet.” This will give you a good idea of whether you qualify for expungement. You can obtain your record in two ways:

    In Person

    By Mail

    Go to the Criminal Clerk’s Office Martinez

    725 Court St.

    Martinez, CA 94553

    Phone: (925) 628-1000

    Hours: M-F 8:00-4:30 (except court holidays)

    Fees:  $25 plus .50 cents per page

    Address to:

    Criminal Clerk’s Office Martinez

    725 Court St.

    Martinez, CA 94553

    Mail the following three items:

    1.The Records Request Form, which can be found at http://ca-contracostacounty2.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/3408

    2. Mail to 725 Court St. P.O. Box 911 Criminal Clerk’s Office Martinez, CA 94553

    3. A self addressed stamped envelope for return mailing of the records. Be sure to write your phone number on the check.

     

     

    Step 2: Check Your Record

    Now that you have your record, you can see whether there are aspects that qualify for expungement or dismissal. One of the easiest ways to do so is using ‘Clear My Record,’ a free service provided by non-profit organization Code for America that may be able to help Alameda County residents reduce or dismiss their criminal records. The tool will ask for information about your record as well as your current residential and employment information in an effort to better understand your eligibility for expungement or dismissal.

    This service is available at www.clearmyrecord.codeforamerica.org

    From there, your application will be reviewed by a public defender to determine whether an expungement or dismissal may be possible.

    You can also accomplish this by calling the  Contra Costa County Public Defender’s office at (510) 335-8000  to discuss your records and their “Clean Slate” program, available at http://www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/Directory.aspx?did=121

    Either way, a Public Defender may contact you for information about next steps.

    Step 3: Be Patient

    Unfortunately, expungement or dismissal is not an efficient process. If you are eligible, be prepared to wait 3-4 months for expungement or dismissal to occur and show up on your record.

    In the meantime, there are other resources you can access to aide you in the meantime. Here are a few to consider:

    Felony Offenses and Prop 47

    You may have heard about Proposition 47, which may be able to help amend your record. It is possible to have your felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor even if you have already served your sentence and parole for your crime. Here is some more information about what Prop 47 is, and how it works.

    Prop 47 is a petition-based procedure that requires an application. Again, the “Clean Slate” program at the Contra Costa Public Defenders Office has an available petition application, at http://www.contracosta.ca.gov/formcenter/public-defender-7/clean-slate--prop-47-contact-form-144

    Here are some simple rules to figure out if your felony conviction qualifies under Prop 47:

    • The crime must have been committed before November 5, 2014.

    This is an important qualifier, as it shows that your crime was sentenced before Prop 47 went into effect. If the crime was sentenced after November 5, 2014, it would already be reclassified under Prop 47 so it wouldn’t apply.

    • Your criminal history must NOT include a serious violent charge and you cannot be registered as a sex offender.

    Acts that are not eligible for Prop 47 include murder, other serious violent acts punishable by life imprisonment, sexual offenses or certain gun crimes.

    • The crime must be eligible under Prop 47’s conditions for reclassification.

     Qualifying felonies include property crimes and theft where the value does not exceed $950, including: shoplifting, grand theft, receiving stolen property, forgery, fraud, or writing fraudulent checks. Additionally, conviction of drug possession for most illegal substances -- including concentrated cannabis, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin -- also qualify for reclassification. Please contact an attorney for more specific information regarding your eligibility.

    • The petition must have been filed before November 5, 2017.

    If you believe you do have a felony that qualifies, you must file your petition before this date. This ensures your process will go smoothly, and doesn’t require you to procure “good cause” for a late filing.

    Knowledge is power. The more you understand the circumstances of your conviction, the better you will be able to explain to advocates exactly how to help you.


    Job Resources

    East Bay Works: http://www.eastbayworks.com/job-seekers/ (510) 670-5700

    Goodwill Career Services: http://sfgoodwill.org/career-services/ (415) 575-2101

    America Works: http://www.americaworks.com/ (510) 891-9100

    Careeronestop: http://www.careeronestop.org/ExOffender/index.aspx (877) 872-5627

    Rubicon Programshttp://rubiconprograms.org/


    Legal Resources

    Bay Area Legal Aid:  https://www.baylegal.org/ (510) 663-4755

    Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights: https://lawyerscommittee.org/ (202) 662-8600

    Contra Costa County Bar Association http://www.cccba.org/attorney/contact/index.php (925) 686- 6900

  • How to expunge your record: Alameda, CA

    Read More

    The use of and access of material available within this website or any of the links contained within this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should consult with an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal issue.

    Last Updated 9/2/2016

     

    What Can I Do About My Criminal Record?

    Criminal records can be a big barrier to overcome in seeking employment. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to clean up your record and get a clean slate.

    This guide is designed to help you learn all about the process of dismissing prior convictions on your record, also known as expungement. This might not work in all cases or for all crimes, but it could give you an opportunity to start fresh.

    Do I Qualify for Expungement?

    Not all records can be expunged. Dismissal of convictions are generally granted to misdemeanors -- or felonies that could have been tried as misdemeanors -- that resulted in a stay at county jail, probation, a fine or a combination of these things.

    Additionally, there are convictions that absolutely cannot be expunged. Primarily, these crimes involve sexual assault of a minor, the concealment of sexual assault of a minor, or child pornography. But certain felony offenses for refusing vehicle inspection, evading an officer or resisting arrest can also be excluded from expungement under certain circumstances. You can seek legal advice to determine your eligibility for expungement, as there are many lawyers in the area who specialize in “restorative justice.” If you do, here are some helpful questions to ask yourself in order to prepare:

    1. What is your case number — sometimes called “docket number”?
    2. What was your date of conviction — which is the date of your plea, verdict, or finding of guilt?
    3. What is the code name and section number you were convicted of violating?
    4. Was there a verdict or did you enter a plea?  If you entered a plea, was it “guilty” or “no contest” (also called “nolo contendere”)?
    5. Were you ordered to serve any time on probation (either formal or informal probation, since they are treated the same in your record)? If so, for how long?
    6. Were you ordered to pay any fines, restitution, or reimbursement?
    7. If you were sentenced to state prison, which one?
    8. If you were sentenced to state prison, on what date were you released?
    9. If you were released on parole, on what date?

    You may still qualify for Prop 47 record reclassification. Click here to learn more.

    If the previous steps are not applicable to your record, other resources are available. Scroll to the bottom.

     

    How to Obtain and Expunge Your Record

    Step 1: Obtain Your Record

    There are certain steps you can take to expunge your record, but first you need to actually obtain your criminal record. This will give you a good idea of whether you qualify for expungement.

    County of Alameda Clerk-Records Main Office

    Location:1106 Madison Street Oakland,CA 94607

    Phone: 1-88-280-7708

    TDD: 1-510-444-1396

    Local: 1-510-272-6362

    Hours: M-F: 8:30am-4:30pm

     

    *Records in Alameda cannot be accessed over the phone, but an application portal is available for online services.

    http://www.alameda.courts.ca.gov/Pages.aspx/Phone-Fax-Numbers

     

    Step 2: Check Your Record

    Now that you have your record, you can see whether there are aspects that qualify for expungement or dismissal. One of the easiest ways to do so is using ‘Clear My Record,’ a free service provided by non-profit organization Code for America that may be able to help Alameda County residents reduce or dismiss their criminal records. The tool will ask for information about your record as well as your current residential and employment information in an effort to better understand your eligibility for expungement or dismissal.

    This service is available at www.clearmyrecord.codeforamerica.org

    From there, your application will be reviewed by a public defender to determine whether an expungement or dismissal may be possible.

    You can also accomplish this by calling the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office at (510) 272-6200 and scheduling a walk-in clinic to deliver your records through their “Clean Slate” program, available at http://www.co.alameda.ca.us/defender/services/cleanslate.htm

    Either way, a Public Defender may contact you for information about next steps.


    Step 3: Be Patient

    Unfortunately, expungement or dismissal is not an efficient process. If you are eligible, be prepared to wait 3-4 months for expungement or dismissal to occur and show up on your record.

    Knowledge is power. The more you understand the circumstances of your conviction, the better you will be able to explain to advocates exactly how to help you.


    Job Resources

    Goodwill Career Services: http://sfgoodwill.org/career-services(415) 575-2101

    America Works: http://www.americaworks.com/ (510) 891-9100

    Careeronestop: http://www.careeronestop.org/ExOffender/index.aspx (877) 872-5627

    East Bay Works: http://www.eastbayworks.com/job-seekers/ (510) 670-5700

    Salvation Army of Alameda Countyhttp://www.alamedasalarmy.org/alameda_county/home 

    (510) 383-9300

    Rubicon Programshttp://rubiconprograms.org/


    Legal Resources

    Bay Area Legal Aid:  https://www.baylegal.org/ (510) 663-4755

    Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights: https://lawyerscommittee.org/ (202) 662-8600

  • How to expunge your record: San Francisco, CA

    Read More

    The use of and access of material available within this website or any of the links contained within this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should consult with an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal issue.

    Last Updated 9/2/2016

    What Can I Do About My Criminal Record?

    Criminal records can be a big barrier to overcome in seeking employment. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to clean up your record and get a clean slate.

    This guide is designed to help you learn all about the process of dismissing prior convictions on your record, also known as expungement or dismissal. This might not work in all cases or for all crimes, but it could give you an opportunity to start fresh.

    Do I Qualify for Expungement or Dismissal?

    As previously mentioned, not all records can be expunged or dismissed, although they are treated the same in the state of California. Expungement or dismissal of convictions are generally granted to misdemeanors -- or felonies that could have been tried as misdemeanors -- that resulted in a stay at county jail, probation, a fine or a combination of these things.

    Additionally, there are convictions that absolutely cannot be expunged or dismissed. Primarily, these crimes involve sexual assault of a minor, the concealment of sexual assault of a minor, or child pornography. But certain felony offenses for refusing vehicle inspection, evading an officer or resisting arrest can also be excluded from expungement or dismissal under certain circumstances.

    You should seek legal advice to determine your eligibility for expungement or dismissal, as there are many lawyers in the area who specialize in “restorative justice.” If you do, here are some helpful questions to ask yourself in order to prepare:

    1. What is your case number — sometimes called “docket number”?
    2. What was your date of conviction — which is the date of your plea, verdict, or finding of guilt?
    3. What is the code name and section number you were convicted of violating?
    4. Was there a verdict or did you enter a plea?  If you entered a plea, was it “guilty” or “no contest” (also called “nolo contendere”)?
    5. Were you ordered to serve any time on probation (either formal or informal probation, since they are treated the same in your record)? If so, for how long?
    6. Were you ordered to pay any fines, restitution, or reimbursement?
    7. If you were sentenced to state prison, which one?
    8. If you were sentenced to state prison, on what date were you released?
    9. If you were released on parole, on what date?

    Knowledge is power. The more you understand the circumstances of your conviction, the better you will be able to explain to advocates exactly how to help you.

     

    How to Obtain and Expunge Your Record

    Step 1: Obtain Your Record

    There are certain steps you can take to expunge your record, but first you need to actually obtain your criminal record or “RAP sheet.” This will give you a good idea of whether you qualify for expungement. You can obtain your record in two ways:

     

    In person

    By Mail

    Go to the

    Hall of Justice

    850 Bryant St.

    San Francisco, CA

    4th floor

    Phone: (415) 628-4000

    Hours: M-F 8:00-4:30

    Fees:  $25 plus .50 cents per page

    Address to:

    SAN FRANCISCO SUPERIOR COURT

    850 BRYANT STREET ‐ RM 101

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103

    Attn: Records Clerk.

    Mail the following three items:

    1. The Records Request Form, which can be found at www.sfsuperiorcourt.org.
    2. A check made payable to “SF Superior Court” with “NOT TO EXCEED $50” written on the memo line
    3. A self addressed stamped envelope for return mailing of the records.

    **Note: If your records request exceeds $50, you will be contacted by the court to arrange for further payment. Make sure your phone number is on the check.

    Step 2: Check Your Record

    Now that you have your record, you can see whether there are aspects that qualify for expungement or dismissal. One of the easiest ways to do so is using ‘Clear My Record,’ a free service provided by non-profit organization Code for America that may be able to help San Francisco residents reduce or dismiss their criminal records. The tool will ask for information about your record as well as your current residential and employment information in an effort to better understand your eligibility for expungement or dismissal.

    This service is available at www.clearmyrecord.codeforamerica.org

    From there, your application will be reviewed by a public defender to determine whether an expungement or dismissal may be possible.

    You can also accomplish this by calling the Public Defender’s office at (415) 553-1671 and scheduling a walk-in clinic to deliver your records through their “Clean Slate” program, available at http://sfpublicdefender.org/services/clean-slate/.

    Either way, a Public Defender may contact you for information about next steps.

     

    Step 3: Be Patient

    Unfortunately, expungement or dismissal is not an efficient process. If you are eligible, be prepared to wait 3-4 months for expungement or dismissal to occur and show up on your record.

    There are other resources you can access to aid you in the meantime. Here are a few to consider:

     

    Felony Offenses and Prop 47

    You may have heard about Proposition 47, which may be able to help amend your record. It is possible to have your felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor even if you have already served your sentence and parole for your crime. Here is some more information about what Prop 47 is, and how it works.

    Prop 47 is a petition-based procedure that requires an application. Again, the “Clean Slate” program at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office has an available petition application, with step-by-step guide, available at http://sfpublicdefender.org/services/clean-slate/

    Here are some simple rules to figure out if your felony conviction qualifies under Prop 47:

    • The crime must have been committed before November 5, 2014.

    This is an important qualifier, as it shows that your crime was sentenced before Prop 47 went into effect. If the crime was sentenced after November 5, 2014, it would already be reclassified under Prop 47 so it wouldn’t apply.

    • Your criminal history must NOT include a serious violent charge and you cannot be registered as a sex offender.

    Acts that are not eligible for Prop 47 include murder, other serious violent acts punishable by life imprisonment, sexual offenses or certain gun crimes. 

    • The crime must be eligible under Prop 47’s conditions for reclassification.

    Qualifying felonies include property crimes and theft where the value does not exceed $950, including: shoplifting, grand theft, receiving stolen property, forgery, fraud, or writing fraudulent checks. Additionally, conviction of drug possession for most illegal substances -- including concentrated cannabis, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin -- also qualify for reclassification. Please contact an attorney for more specific information regarding your eligibility.

    • The petition must have been filed before November 5, 2017.

    If you believe you do have a felony that qualifies, you must file your petition before this date. This ensures your process will go smoothly, and doesn’t require you to procure “good cause” for a late filing.

    Job Resources

    Goodwill Career Services: http://sfgoodwill.org/career-services/ (415) 575-2101

    America Works: http://www.americaworks.com/ (510) 891-9100

    Careeronestop: http://www.careeronestop.org/ExOffender/index.aspx (877) 872-5627

    Department of Rehabilitation of California: http://www.dor.ca.gov/ (415) 904-7100

    East Bay Works: http://eastbayworks.com (510) 670-5700

    Salvation Army Bayview: http://www.tsagoldenstate.org/goldenstate/bayview_hp, (415) 826-9020

    Legal Resources

    Bay Area Legal Aid:  https://www.baylegal.org/ (510) 663-4755

    Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights: https://lawyerscommittee.org/ (202) 662-8600

  • How to expunge your record: Cook County, IL

    Read More

     

    This guide is designed to help you learn all about the process of dismissing prior convictions on your record, also known as expungement. Cook County also allows for sealed records pertaining to certain crimes.

    An expungement means that the record is dismissed, and a sealed record means that the record is kept on file, but not available as a public record.

    These methods might not work in all cases or for all crimes, but it could give you an opportunity to start fresh. 

    If you're looking for other resources or aid, please visit these organizations:

    Do I Qualify for Expungement?

    Not all records can be expunged. Cook County offers expungement only for periods of supervision and probation in regards to certain offenses. However, these rules are very strict and do require waiting periods. 

    If you have any conviction on your record at all -- including but not limited to jail time, certain classifications of probation, and fines  -- you do not qualify for expungement. Instead, you may be able to seal your record.

    Qualifying for Expungement

    Qualifying for Immediate Expungement

    You can qualify for immediate expungement of your entire record if:

    1. You have never been convicted of a crime.
    2. Your conviction(s) were vacated or reversed.
    3. You were granted an executive pardon from the governor. 

    Qualifying for Supervision Expungement

    You can qualify for expungement of supervision if:

    1. You have never been convicted of a crime.
    2. Your record does not include supervision for sexual offense against a child, DUI, or reckless driving.

    Note: Certain supervision sentences require a two-year waiting period, while others (most notably domestic battery and driving an uninsured motor vehicle) require five (5) years. It is best to identify your supervision charge and confirm which waiting period is necessary. 

    Qualifying for Probation Expungement

    You can qualify for expungement of probation if:

    1. You have never been convicted of a crime.
    2. Your record does not include supervision for sexual offense against a child, DUI, or reckless driving.
    3. The probation is drug-related, under specific sections (including marijuana, controlled substances, and steroid control probation)
    4. It has been 5 years since the termination of your probation.

    Qualifying for Sealed Records

    Do I Qualify for Sealed Records?

    Even if your record does not qualify for expungement, you may be able to seal part or all of your record, done on a case-by-case basis. You may be able to seal one case on your record even if another case does not qualify for expungement or sealing.

    Nearly all sealing requirements have a waiting period from the termination of your last sentence. This qualification is based off of your most recent sentence, not from when you were sentenced from the crime to be sealed.

    Qualifying for Immediate Sealing

    You can qualify for sealing of a case immediately if there was no finding of guilt. Additionally, cases that meet the following criteria:

    1. You were released without charging, you were acquitted or your case was dismissed.
    2. Your conviction was vacated or reversed.

    Qualifying for Supervision Sealing

    You can seal a case that resulted in supervision if:

    1. The offense is not a specific set of supervision sentences, including: sex offense against a minor,  DUI, solicitation, battery, violating no-contact orders, or animal cruelty.
    2. Your offense did not result in registration under the Sex Offender Registration Act.
    3. It has been 2 years since the termination of your last sentence, or the court has found you qualified for immediate sealing.

    Qualifying for Probation Sealing

    You can seal a case that resulted in probation if:

    1. The probation is drug-related, under specific sections -- including Cannabis Control Act and Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.
    2. It has been 3 years since the termination of your last sentence, or the court has found you qualified for immediate sealing.

    Qualifying for Misdemeanor Sealing

    You can seal a case that resulted in misdemeanor sentencing if:

    1. The offense is not a specific set of misdemeanors, including: sex offense against a minor,  DUI, solicitation, battery, violating no-contact orders, or animal cruelty.
    2. Your offense did not result in registration under the Sex Offender Registration Act.
    3. It has been 3 years since the termination of your last sentence, or the court has found you qualified for immediate sealing.

    Qualifying for Felony Sealing

    You can seal a case that resulted in felony sentencing if:

    1. The offense is listed in a specific set of felonies, including: prostitution, possession of marijuana, possession of certain controlled substances (including steroids and meth), theft, forgery, and possession of burglary tools.
    2. It has been 3 years since the termination of your last sentence, or the court has found you qualified for immediate sealing.

    How to Expunge Your Record

    Step 1: Obtain Your Record

    There are certain steps you can take to expunge your record, but first you need to actually obtain your criminal record. This will give you a good idea of whether you qualify for expungement.

    In Illinois, there are three different types of criminal records:

    • Court Disposition: The final judgment or outcome in a court case. There are no court dispositions for arrests or charges that did not lead to a court case.
    • Chicago RAP Sheet: List of all arrests, charges, and court case outcomes that happened in Chicago.
    • Illinois State Police RAP Sheet: List of all convictions that happened in Illinois.

    You can obtain the records in the following ways:

    Court Disposition

    Chicago Rap Sheet

    IL State RAP Sheet

    Go to Cook County Clerk’s Office:


    Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, Chicago 60602


    Tel: (312) 603-5031

    Request your records (for a fee) or use public computers.

    Go to Chicago Police Department:


    Chicago Police Headquarters 3510 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL


    Tel: (312) 745-5508


    *Fee of up to $20 applicable

    Order your record through a registered Livescan vendor:


    https://www.idfpr.com/LicenseLookUp/fingerprintlist.asp


    *The police does not charge a fee, but the vendor might

     

    Step 2: Gather and Complete Your Forms

    The Cook County Clerk’s Office offers an online list of forms needed to petition for expungement.

    Download and print them at: http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/forms/approved/expungement/expungement.asp

    You will need five (5) copies of each form to send to relevant parties. Additionally, you will need the names and addresses of all legal entities involved in your case including the law enforcement agency that arrested you, the attorney that represents the county, and the prosecutor in your case.

    Cook County has six districts with different rules. Some require a full RAP sheet attached and others require to pay for certified copies of dispositions. Consult the named district for details.

    Step 3: Send in Your Forms and Pay Your Fees

    You are eligible to file your forms by mail or in person. Although you may file your forms in any of the six districts, the State of Illinois suggests you file your forms in the district your case originated

    A non-refundable filing fee of $120, payable to the Clerk of the Circuit court, must be paid in cash, money order, certified check, cashier’s check or personal check. You must write your Driver’s License or Matricular Consular number on the check as well as your telephone number and case number. If the filing is mailed, you are required to pay a $15 mailing fee plus the cost of postage.

    You may file for a fee waiver, but doing so will mean you have to file your forms at your local district court in person.

    Step 4: Waiting Period

    The court has 60 days to review your petition to make a decision. 

    If you file in Districts One, Four and Six, you must attend your scheduled court date, notified at the time of filing. District One sends a notification 30 days prior to your court date.

    If the court orders your record expunged, the involving agencies have an additional 60 days to vacate or modify that order. 

    If your record is expunged, you may order a certified copy of the order for a $4 fee.

    How to Seal Your Record

    Step 1: Obtain Your Record

    There are certain steps you can take to expunge your record, but first you need to actually obtain your criminal record. This will give you a good idea of whether you qualify for sealing, and it may be required depending on the district you must go to in order to petition for sealing.

    There are certain steps you can take to expunge your record, but first you need to actually obtain your criminal record. This will give you a good idea of whether you qualify for expungement.

    In Illinois, there are three different types of criminal records:

    • Court Disposition: The final judgment or outcome in a court case. There are no court dispositions for arrests or charges that did not lead to a court case.
    • Chicago RAP Sheet: List of all arrests, charges, and court case outcomes that happened in Chicago.
    • Illinois State Police RAP Sheet: List of all convictions that happened in Illinois.

    You can obtain the records in the following ways:

    Court Disposition

    Chicago Rap Sheet

    IL State RAP Sheet

    Go to Cook County Clerk’s Office:


    Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, Chicago 60602


    Tel: (312) 603-5031

    Request your records (for a fee) or use public computers.

    Go to Chicago Police Department:


    Chicago Police Headquarters 3510 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL


    Tel: (312) 745-5508


    *Fee of up to $20 applicable

    Order your record through a registered Livescan vendor:


    https://www.idfpr.com/LicenseLookUp/fingerprintlist.asp


    *The police does not charge a fee, but the vendor might.

     

    Step 2: Gather and Complete Your Forms

    The Cook County Clerk’s Office offers an online list of forms needed to petition for expungement.

    Download and print them at: http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/forms/approved/expungement/expungement.asp

    You will need five copies of each form to send to relevant parties.Additionally, you will need the names and addresses of all legal entities involved in your case including the law enforcement agency that arrested you, the attorney that represents the county, and the prosecutor in your case.

    Cook County has six districts with different rules. Some require a full RAP sheet attached and others require to pay for certified copies of dispositions. Consult the named district for details.

    If you are sealing cases in multiple districts, you must complete all of these steps for every district

    Note: Are you sealing a Drug Offense? In addition to providing relevant forms, convictions for drug-related offenses require proof of a passed drug test in order to be considered for sealing. The drug test must within 30 days of the filing of your petition, and it is recommended that you get the drug test from your physician or from a state agency willing to give a test.

    Step 3: Send in Your Forms and Pay Your Fees

    You are eligible to file your forms by mail or in person. Although you may file your forms in any of the six districts, the State of Illinois suggests you file your forms in the district your case originated.

     A non-refundable filing fee of $120, payable to the Clerk of the Circuit court, must be paid in cash, money order, certified check, cashier’s check or personal check. You must write your Driver’s License or Matricular Consular number on the check as well as your telephone number and case number. If the filing is mailed, you are required to pay a $15 mailing fee plus the cost of postage.

    If you are seeking to seal several cases across multiple districts, then you must pay the fee for each district filing. For example, sealing a crime in District 1 (Chicago) and District 2 (Skokie and surrounding areas) will incur a fee of $240. However, global filing allows you to file both petitions at just one location.

    You may file for a fee waiver, but doing so will mean you have to file your forms at your local district court in person.

    Step 4: Waiting Period 

    The court has 60 days to review your petition to make a decision.

    If you file in Districts One, Four and Six, you must attend your scheduled court date, notified at the time of filing. District One sends a notification 30 days prior to your court date.

    If the court orders your record expunged, the involving agencies have an additional 60 days to vacate or modify that order.

    If your record is expunged, you may order a certified copy of the order for a $4 fee.

     

    The use of and access of material available within this website or any of the links contained within this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should consult with an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal issue.

    Last Updated 9/24/2018