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Expunging the Records of a Criminal Case in Illinois

Question: If my criminal case was dismissed, does this mean I can have my record expunged or sealed? Answer: Expunged records are ones which are destroyed. That is, they are returned to the petitioner. This means your name would be removed from the public record. Keep in mind that because of the Internet, some information may still be out there in cyberspace. An alternative to expungement is having a record sealed, meaning it will be physically and electronically maintained but is unavailable without a court order. You can request to seal a file if you were acquitted, found not guilty or the case was dismissed. A lawyer can answer questions about your case.     For more information about Illinois law, visit  If you have a legal question, send it to Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit