There are many reasons you may need to get a copy of your criminal record, from a meeting with a Chicago criminal defense lawyer to discuss new charges to the expungement of old charges. While every county has a different procedure, it’s relatively painless and straightforward in Cook County.

How to Get Your Police Record in Cook County

It’s generally simple to get your police record in Cook County.

1. Call the police department that processed your arrest. Because some police departments have additional procedures, it’s best to call and double-check when you’ll be able to come in and get a copy of your record. You’ll also need to find out what type of fee the department will charge you for a copy.

2. Bring your identification and the fee. Remember, fees are subject to change; that’s why it’s a good idea to call before you show up. The police department may not take personal checks or credit cards, so be prepared with the type of payment they require.

The police will send your Access and Review form, which you’ll be required to fill out, to the Illinois State Police. Within 60 days, the Illinois State Police will send your record to the police department, who will then notify you that your record has arrived.

3. Pick up your criminal record. If you are reviewing your “State Rap Sheet,” which comes from the Illinois State Police, you’ll need to set up an appointment to see it; if you don’t set up that appointment within a month, you’ll have to start the whole process over again.

Local and State Rap Sheets: The Difference

You can pick up your criminal record from the Chicago Police and take it home with you. However, if you need your statewide record, it must stay at the police department — you cannot make copies and you cannot take it with you.

If you’re not sure about how this affects your case, talk to your Cook County criminal defense lawyer; he’ll be able to give you the guidance you need.

, Chicago criminal defense attorney.

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