How to Get a Copy of Your Criminal Record in Illinois

By Julie Segraves

There are a variety of reasons for you to get a copy of your criminal record. You could need it as a condition of employment or you may need it to get a license or certification. You could need it to get certain permits, or you may just want to verify its accuracy; mistakes can, and have, been made. If you have been refused a job due to your criminal background history, and you know the record to be false, you can get your criminal record corrected and contact the background check company and have it update its records.

Getting the Records

Call your local police department or Illinois State Police headquarters and tell them you would like to access and review your criminal records history. Your jurisdiction can charge for the service, though it is usually a nominal fee. They must comply with your request, but it must be made during regular business hours.

Go to the police department you chose and present your identification. You will be fingerprinted, and at that time the official will collect the fee. Within 30 days the department must send the information to the Illinois State Police for processing. Within 60 days after the state police receive the access and review form, the police will return your criminal history to the requesting jurisdiction, who will notify you it has arrived. Note that it contains the record of only Illinois conviction and non-conviction information. If you have no criminal history, the state police will send a letter stating you have no criminal history in Illinois. If you have a record, it will show arrests and corresponding court dispositions, dismissals and the total number of felony and misdemeanor convictions. You must view it at the police station--you cannot take it with you. It can't be used for employment purposes, though it shows you what a properly conducted background check should show.

Make an appointment to review the record at the police station. Carefully ensure all information is correct, including dispositions of court cases. If there is any questionable information on the sheet, complete a record challenge form and return it to the state police. Officials will investigate your challenge and correct any records that have been recorded erroneously. They will send you notification of any changes that were made. You cannot keep your criminal background history--it is for review only.

About the Author

Julie Segraves is a freelance writer and photographer. She has written for several community newspapers in Chicago and authors her own blog. Segraves graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor's in sociology and a minor in criminal justice. She currently works in the IT field as a mainframe operations analyst and disaster recovery specialist.

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