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Sealing Law Update

Immediate Sealing of Records Following a Finding of Not Guilty

Effective January 1, 2018, the Criminal Identification Act, 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(g) provides that a defendant can petition for an immediate Sealing upon an acquittal. After and acquittal, the defendant can file a verified Petition for Sealing in open court. There is no fee to file. The State's Attorney can be served in open court. It is not necessary that other agencies be given notice. The court shall hear the petition on the same day and during the same hearing in which the acquittal is entered. The Court then shall enter an order granting or denying the petition.

Filing for an immediate sealing does not preclude the right to file a subsequent petition for expungement. If the Order to Seal is granted, the Clerk is responsible for serving the Order on the Illinois State Police, State's Attorney, arresting agency, and the Chief Legal Officer of the arresting agency.

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