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Illinois Arrest Records

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Registered Licenses is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). You understand and acknowledge that these reports are NOT “consumer reports” as defined by the FCRA. Your access and use of a report is subject to our Terms of Service and you expressly acknowledge that you are prohibited from using this service and this report to determine an individual’s eligibility for credit, insurance, employment or any other purpose regulated by the FCRA.

Are Arrest Records Public in Illinois?

Illinois arrest records are classified as public except where sealed or exempted by law. Under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, records generated or under the control of any public institution can be accessed by the citizens. However, access to arrest records can be restricted by law enforcement agencies. Arrest records can be restricted if they are part of an active investigation or if unrestricted access poses security liabilities to the report’s parties.

In Illinois, individuals can view or copy arrest records or have them restricted from the public or deleted if they meet the state’s eligibility requirements. Illinois law enforcement agencies create and maintain these records regardless of the arrestee’s participation in said offense or subsequent conviction. While arrest record information is included in Illinois criminal records, arrest records are not conclusive evidence of the arrestee’s conviction. However, where sufficient grounds exist for prosecution, an arrest can lead to a criminal conviction.

What is Considered an Illinois Arrest Record?

In Illinois, an arrest record is a report prepared by an arresting officer when an individual is taken into custody for allegedly committing a punishable offense under the state’s criminal code. These offenses range from infractions to felonies. An Illinois arrest record provides details about the arrestee, their booking process, the alleged crime, and the reasons for the arrest.

What is Contained in an Illinois Arrest Record?

An arrest record acts as the arresting officer’s written account of an arrest. As such, an arrest record typically contains information about an arrest, the arresting officer, and the individual being arrested. This information includes:

  • The arrestee’s personal information, including their name, gender, and date of birth
  • The officer’s information, such as the arresting officer’s name, report, and rank
  • The date, time, and place the arrest took place
  • The name of the detention facility the arrestee would be held at
  • Information about the arrest warrant (when applicable), which would include the name and title of the warrant

Who Can Access Arrest Records in Illinois?

Arrest records are usually available to the record subject, third-party organizations, government agencies, and other interested third parties. However, law enforcement agencies can withhold specific arrest record information due to federal and state exemptions. This arrest record includes:

  • Juvenile records or information: these records can only be accessed by the subject, their legal guardian, parents, an individual with a juvenile court order, or other parties who are eligible to view these records. Other parties qualified by law to view juvenile records include the state district attorney, local and federal law enforcement agencies, etc.
  • Records or information disclosure that poses security and privacy risks to its subjects and parties
  • Records or information disclosure that can negatively affect and compromise an active investigation
  • Record or information that does not fall under state public disclosure laws

Illinois Arrest Statistics

According to the 2021 report from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA), there were a total of 155,266 arrests made in the state. This demonstrates a reduction in the number of arrests which was 164,810 in 2020, and more than 50% reduction compared to 2011, which had a total of 258,829 arrests.

The arrests by demographic are as follows:

Age group                   Number of arrestees

While the total number of arrests in the state was 155,266, there were a total of 123,836 and 1.27 arrests per arrestee. This comprised 94,538 male arrestees and 29,300 female arrestees.

Obtaining Illinois Public Arrest Records

An Illinois arrest search helps a searcher to gather information about arrests in the state. An arrest search can be achieved by querying arrest records kept by law enforcement agencies and relevant criminal justice organizations. Illinois arrest searches can be done either remotely (online) or physically at the office responsible for the arrest. To facilitate the arrest search process, a person carrying out the search must provide personal information about the arrested individual or information about the arrest. These include the arrestee’s name, arrest date, or location.

How Do I Lookup Someone’s Arrest Records in Illinois?

In Illinois, arrest records are available to the subject of the record. However, state laws allow public access to unrestricted arrest records. Per section 1210 of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois, interested individuals can approach any relevant local law enforcement agencies, licensed vendors, or correctional facilities to request an individual’s criminal history transcript. The transcript would include the arrest records of the subject.

Requestors must request the desired record during regular business hours. In response to receiving a request, the agency, vendor, or facility would request the inquirer’s fingerprint and other forms of identification. After five days of receiving the inquirer’s fingerprint and other forms of identification, the vendor forwards this information to the Illinois State Police.

The Illinois State Police Bureau of Identification is responsible for dispensing, maintaining, and collecting criminal history information. The department usually takes up to 7 days to process the inquirer’s fingerprint and other ID when submitted electronically. Submissions made via fingerprint card processing typically take longer (up to 45 days). After processing the fingerprint and other forms of identification provided by the inquirer, the Illinois State Police would send the requested transcript to the inquirer’s address. The inquirer will receive a written statement when the subject of the request has no criminal history.

It is important to note that an inquirer can provide their residential address, the vendor’s, facility’s, or agency’s address as the transcript receiver’s address. In situations where the transcript is mailed to a vendor’s, facility’s, or agency’s address, a notification is sent to the inquirer within two days of the written statement or transcript receipt. If the inquirer does not retrieve the transcript within 45 days of receiving the notification, the facility destroys the records.

How to Subpoena Arrest Records in Illinois

In Illinois, each circuit court provides a Subpoena Duces Tecum form on its official website. These forms can be downloaded and filed with the court’s clerk to subpoena arrest records from law enforcement agencies. Exemption of Illinois’s freedom of information act (FIA) allows law enforcement agencies to restrict access to particular records. A Subpoena Duces Tecum form can be filed with a circuit court clerk to retrieve these arrest records.

A Subpoena Duces Tecum is a court order requesting a person to appear in court with relevant documents or provide certain documents. To obtain this court order, an individual would need to file a subpoena duces tecum form with a circuit clerk. After the clerk has signed and stamped it, an attorney or the clerk would be responsible for issuing the subpoena to the county’s sheriff or police department.

How to Search for an Inmate in the Illinois Prison System

The Illinois Department of Correction (IDCO) Inmate Search Portal is useful for looking up inmates in the state prison system. Users must provide the inmate’s last name, IDCO number or date of birth to facilitate the search.

The Illinois Department of Correction is responsible for the state adult prison system. IDCO consists of state prisons and corrections facilities. These facilities are used in detaining individuals serving sentences or awaiting trial/sentencing.

Furthermore, the IDCO can also be reached at (217) 558-2200 to retrieve information on any individual in the department’s custody.

How Do I Find Out if Someone Was in Jail in Illinois

To find out if someone has been jailed in Illinois, interested individuals can request a search of past inmate records of IDCO. These searches can be used to recover information about inmates who have been housed in any IDCO facilities in the past. An IDCO achieve search can be made by completing an online request form or by mailing a request to:

Illinois Department of Corrections
1301 Concordia Court
P.O. Box 19277
Springfield, IL 62794-9277
(217) 558-2200 x 2008

Illinois Department of Corrections
James R. Thompson center
100 west Randolph
Chicago, IL 60601

For an accurate search, specific information on an individual would need to be provided. This information includes their full legal name and IDCO number(optional).

How to Find Recent Arrests in Illinois

Arrest reports in Illinois can be retrieved online from the arresting agency’s website or via aggregate websites. To find a specific arrest record, a searcher must enter the names and city of residence of the person of interest. Alternatively, the searcher may visit the arresting agency’s location, usually the Sheriff’s Office or the county jail, in person during business hours.

How Long Do Illinois Arrest Records Stay on File?

In Illinois, arrest records that lead to a criminal conviction are a permanent fixture of an individual’s criminal record. These types of arrests are permanent and would stay on its subject’s record their entire life. Arrest records that do not result in a criminal conviction may remain on an individual’s file temporarily. However, they can be deleted or sealed, especially if the accused is acquitted or dismissed without prejudice.

Are Arrest Reports Public in Illinois?

Illinois arrest reports are generally subject to public record laws except where protected by law. An arrest report is an official document containing details about an arrest and the circumstances that warranted the arrest. According to the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS), an arrest report typically contains information about the arrested individual, the location and time of the arrest, and the reason for the arrest. They are made and maintained by local and state criminal justice agencies.

Unlike an arrest report, however, an arrest record is a log of several arrests that have taken place over a period, i.e., the subject’s arrest history. An arrest report only contains information about a specific arrest, and it is usually more detailed than an arrest record. Arrest records are public records in Illinois, while the public availability of arrest reports varies.

How to Obtain Arrest Records for Free in Illinois?

The only way to obtain an arrest record for free in Illinois is by the processing fees of an individual’s transcript being waived by a licensed vendor, correctional facility, or law enforcement agency where inquirer’s fingerprint and other forms of identification are submitted. These facilities’ processing fees are not mandated under section 1210.30 of the Illinois Civil Administrative Code.

How to Search for an Illinois Arrest Record Online Using a Third-Party Search Service

Sometimes, searching for an individual’s arrest records through licensed vendors, law enforcement agencies, and correctional facilities can take a long time (minimum 14 days) for a request to be processed. An inquirer has the option of using other third-party search services to obtain information on an individual’s arrest record at a quicker pace and at a relatively lesser processing time.

Most third-party search services would require the inquirer to input the first name, last name, and city of the arrest record subject. To begin using a third-party search service, an inquirer would need to navigate to their browsers on any of their devices and select any available third-party site that offers these services. Note that, third-party sites may require a one-time payment or a subscription-based payment plan to access their record search services.

How to Correct an Arrest Record in Illinois

When a request to view an individual’s criminal history transcript is sent to the Illinois State Police, on approval, the individual’s transcript along with a “Record Challenge” form would be sent back to the inquirer.

A Record Challenge form is used to correct any mistakes on a record-holder’s transcript which includes their arrest records. After properly filling the Record Challenge form and addressing any part of their arrest record that contains mistakes, the record holder would need to send the Record Challenge form to the Illinois State Police. Upon receiving the challenge form, a written response would be sent by the Illinois State Police to the record holder informing them of any action taken to correct these mistakes.

However, if the Illinois State Police determines that no corrections can be made, a written statement of that fact would be issued to the record holder. It is important to note that the Illinois State Police does not charge any fees for processing a Record Challenge form. To obtain more information concerning correcting mistakes on a transcript, the Illinois State Police can be contacted at:

Illinois State Police Division of Administration Bureau of Identification
260 North Chicago Street Joliet, IL 60432
Phone: (815) 740-5160
Fax: (815) 740-4401

How to Expunge Arrest Records in Illinois

There are several ways a subject of an arrest record may go about expunging their records in Illinois. One of the most commonly used methods is filing a request to expunge or seal an arrest record with a circuit court. However, the arrestee must meet the eligibility requirements outlined in section 5.2 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes to request an expungement.

The eligibility of an arrest record expungement depends on numerous facts surrounding the arrest. Arrest records that are eligible for expungement under state laws include:

  • An arrest resulting in release without a charge
  • An arrest resulting in dismissal, an acquittal, or a conviction that was later reversed or vacated
  • When a court order of supervision is issued as a result of an arrest and has been completed
  • An arrest that results in a court order of first offender prohibition
  • An arrest that resulted in a misdemeanor or felony charge that received a pardon from the state governor, that has been approved by the Prisoner Review Board, or a cannabis conviction per 410 ILCS 705 of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.

Individuals with eligible arrest records can request for expungement by filing the Request to Expunge & Impound and/or Seal Criminal Records form. The Additional Arrest or Cases for Expungement form can be used to file for expungement of arrest records that could not fit in the first form. The Notice of Filing for Expungement and/or Sealing would also need to be filled by the petitioner; this form helps inform the law enforcement agency responsible for an arrest of an expungement request. In cases where an individual has up to six arrest records, the Additional Notice of Filing for Expungement and/or Sealing form would also have to be filed.

A petitioner filing an arrest record expungement request would be charged a circuit clerk filing fee. The petitioner would need to contact the circuit court’s clerk where their request was filed to get information about the filing fees as these fees differ by county. However, this fee may be waived. In cases where the petitioner can not afford the filing fee, and the fee is not waived, an Application for Waiver of Court Fees can be filed to have the fee reduced or waived. The Illinois circuit court directory provides the contact information and addresses of all circuit courts in the state, where an individual can file an arrest record expungement request.

An arrest record expungement request can be filed in person, by mail, or through electronic filing. To file the request In-person, the petitioner would need to visit any courthouse in the county where the arrest on record was made. The request form, along with the required number of copies, should be submitted to the court’s clerk to be stamped and signed. The clerk would keep the original, and the copies would be given back to the petitioner. For submission by mail, the petitioner would need to include a self-addressed and stamped envelope. This enables the clerk to send the stamped copies of the request back to the petitioner. For expungement of an arrest record that has no court case filed, the petitioner must submit the request through e-filing. However, exceptions exist if:

  • The petitioner is an inmate in prison or jail and does not have a lawyer.
  • The petitioner has a disability that prevents them from using e-filing
  • The petitioner qualifies for an exemption. These exemptions include the petitioner not having internet or computer at home, being unable to read or speak English, and not being able to complete the e-filing process due to lack of assistance or needed equipment.

The petitioner would need to create an account with an e-filling service provider to submit their expungement request through e-filing.

When a judge has approved an expungement request, the second page of the Order to Expunge & Impound and/or Seal Criminal Records form is filled by the judge. In this order, the judge would highlight the arrest records that were approved for expungement. Inversely, the judge uses the Order Denying Request to Expunge & Impound and/or Seal Criminal Records form to highlight the denied expungement request.

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