How to Find Illinois Criminal Records for the Purpose of a Background Check
Illinois criminal records are considered public records. In other words, they are accessible to anyone interested in performing a background check. The lines below will explain how to trace a person's arrest history, warrants and court dockets all over the state.
Searching for Illinois criminal records
According to state law (Uniform Conviction Information Act, 1991), the public can gain access to criminal history records that resulted in a conviction. The state police operate CHIRP
, which is an official electronic data bank presenting a person's prior convictions. To use it, you must sign up and get a digital ID.
Obtaining Illinois arrest records
IL Department of Corrections maintains an online offender search
on which you can find information on prisoners that house state's facilities based on their name, IDOC number or date of birth. Results will include the following data: the inmate's location and status (in custody/ on parole/ released), physical profile, booking and release info and sentencing. Most of the names in the database appear with a mugshot.
Carrying out a warrant search
Active warrants are not an indication that a person is guilty of a crime. They just signify a reasonable suspicion that justifies an arrest. To become valid, they must be signed by a judge or a magistrate. They remain valid until executed and the suspect is apprehended.
The best way to conduct an Illinois warrant search is to focus on the county where the offense was committed. We recommend visiting the local sheriff office and asking whether the person you are checking is wanted by the police. Some sheriffs offer an online database the public can use. For example, you can perform a Cook County warrant search here
Narrowing your background check by referring to the county's authorities
Illinois arrest records can be searched on a county level as well. The sheriff can provide information on inmates in his jurisdiction. Some sheriff websites maintain databases that present detainees in the local jail. For instance, you should turn to this info page
to inquire about Lake County arrests.
Court dockets can be obtain by turning to the county clerk of courts, some of whom operate an online case search tool to make it easier for you to find what you are looking for. For example, Cook County court records can be searched using this case information webpage
Tracing sex offenders
Illinois sex offenders can be found by referring to the registry managed by the state police
. There are multiple search options: name, city, ZIP code, county, status (compliant, non-compliant) or offender type. The IDOC also maintains a data base of their own
where you can search offenders by name, IDOC number, address or release date.