A new Illinois law will eliminate the requirement that a person have no convictions on his record in order to expunge a case. Under the old law, a conviction for even the smallest infraction (for example, a fine on a ticket for underage drinking) would mean that a person could not expunge anything else from his criminal record, even if those charges were dropped.
Although that person could have sealed the dismissed case, there are certain circumstances where an expungement is necessary for furthering someone's goals. Now, the law will determine the eligibility to expunge based solely on the case itself, rather than also on the person.
The new law will also waive the filing fees for many expungement petitions in Cook County during 2017. Petitioners in Cook County will not have to pay filing fees when the case(s) sought to be expunged resulted in acquittal or dismissal. This provision is set to expire at the end of 2017.