Cannabis Expungement Information

Pursuant to Illinois House Bill 1438, as of January 1, 2020, possessing cannabis is legal in Illinois, up to certain amounts. Part of the same law that legalized cannabis also created ways to clear criminal records related to cannabis. This is called expungement.

There are different ways to have your record expunged, depending on what type of record you have. 

Arrests for "minor cannabis offenses"

You qualify for automatic expungement of police records if you have an arrest as an adult for a “minor cannabis offense,” which is:

  • For possession or dealing,
  • 30 grams or less,
  • Before June 25, 2019.

It must be at least one year since the arrest. There must not have been any charges filed in court. Or, the charges must have been dismissed or vacated, or you were acquitted.

Also, you must not have:

  • Given cannabis to someone under 18 who was at least three years younger than you, or
  • Been arrested for a violent crime in the same case as the cannabis charges.

If all of this is true, the police will automatically remove your law enforcement record based on when you were arrested:

  • Arrested 1/1/2013 or later: Record expunged by 1/1/2021.
  • Arrested between 1/1/2000 and 12/31/2012: Record expunged by 1/1/2023.
  • Arrested before 1/1/2000: Record expunged by 1/1/2025.

Note: This automatic expungement process for arrests does not expunge court records. Court records related to filed charges will also be expunged . 

Convictions for "minor cannabis offenses"

 

If you were convicted of a "minor cannabis offense" (see above), your record may still be expunged automatically. But it is a longer process.

 

The record will go to the Prisoner Review Board (PRB). The PRB can then recommend that the Governor grant a “pardon authorizing expungement.” If the Governor does this, the Will County State’s Attorney (or Attorney General) will file a Petition requesting the records be expunged.

 

As of January 1, 2021 the Circuit Clerk’s office is working to expunge over 1,600 records covered by the Order signed by Judge Kennedy relating back to 1/1/2013.  To check the status of your expungement please contact our office at (815) 727-8592.  To request a copy of your Certificate of Disposition affirming your records were expunged, please fill out the interactive document linked to the right.

 

Possessing or dealing convictions

 

If your conviction was for possession of 500 grams or less, or dealing of less than 30 grams, you can still have your record expunged. The date of the conviction matters, too. Use the table below to see if you qualify:

 

Eligibility to file Motion to Vacate and Expunge

Convicted of this charge

Date of conviction

Amount of cannabis

Possession of cannabis

8/13/1973 to 6/25/2019

500 grams or less

Attempt possession of cannabis

8/15/1997 to 6/25/2019

2000 grams or less

Attempt possession of cannabis

8/13/1973 to 8/14/1997

Any amount

Manufacture/ delivery of cannabis with intent to manufacture/ deliver

9/24/1983 to 6/25/2019

30 grams or less

Attempt manufacture/ delivery of cannabis

9/24/1983 to 6/25/2019

500 grams or less

         

In order to expunge your record in this category, you must file a Motion to Vacate and Expunge in court. There are two ways for this to happen:

  • The State's Attorney may do this for you, or
  • You can do it yourself. These forms are be available on our website. 

 

Want more information?

 

New Leaf Illinois is a network of 20 non-profit organizations throughout the state who provide legal representation and other resources to help individuals seeking to expunge cannabis convictions from their records.

 

If you have a cannabis conviction in the State of Illinois and want to find out more about your path to expungement, click here to go to the New Leaf website and fill out a form, or call the New Leaf hotline at (855)963-9532. You will answer some simple questions needed to review your case. A legal professional will determine your options and let you know how the New Leaf network can help. New Leaf services can include free legal information, self-help instruction, document review and preparation, legal consultation, and if available, referrals to a network of legal aid and pro bono attorneys for in-court representation.

Information if you want to file on your own:

To learn more about cannabis expungement, the law and your rights, visit Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO). Here you can learn more about the different paths to expungement, including forms, worksheets, informational videos and other resources to pursue expungement on your own.