Any arrest creates a criminal record sometimes referred to as a RAP sheet. RAP stands for Record of Arrests and Prosecutions. This record includes any contact a person has had with the criminal justice system. Anytime you are arrested, whether the charges were dropped or you are found not guilty, you will have a RAP sheet.
Location of RAP Sheets
Cook County RAP sheets are maintained by Chicago Police Department Records Service Division. Each state also has a Criminal Record Repository where RAP sheets are maintained. Additionally, an FBI RAP sheet contains the criminal history from the federal government as well as each state. The FBI RAP sheet is maintained by the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS).
Why Do I Need a Copy of My RAP Sheet?
It is important to obtain a copy of your RAP sheet if you have had any interaction with the criminal justice system. There are many reasons for this, including:
- Provide to Your Attorney: Whether you need counsel on a current criminal charge or help expunging an old arrest, providing a precise record of your criminal history can help your attorney provide the most accurate advice.
- Check for Mistakes: RAP sheets can contain errors that need to be taken care of before any damage is done.
- Use for Employment Applications: if you have a criminal record, you must disclose that information to any potential employers. With access to a current copy of your RAP sheet, you will be able to provide an accurate record to potential employers.
- Be Prepared for Questions: When you go in for a job interview, you will be better prepared for any questions they have about your criminal history.
How Do I Get My Cook County Police Record?
The process for getting your Cook County RAP Sheet is different depending on whether you live in Chicago or outside Chicago.
If you live in Chicago, you must personally visit the City of Chicago building at 3510 S. Michigan Ave. You are expected to bring the following items:
- State Driver’s License or State Identification Card
- $16 Check/Cash/Money Order made out to Department of Revenue (Credit cards are not accepted)
- Pencil or Pen
Steps for obtaining criminal record:
- Arrive at the City of Chicago building Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
- Bring the above listed items.
- Fill out the REQUEST FOR ACCESS AND REVIEW form and take this form to the cashier window #3 or #4 to pay your fee. Keep the pink copy of your form.
- Wait in waiting area until called for fingerprinting.
- Get fingerprinted.
Picking up criminal record:
You can pick up your Criminal History Sheet 5 business days after the form is submitted and fingerprints taken. Pick up the sheet Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
- You must pick up the record yourself. Do not send a friend or family member.
- You must bring your pink copy of the REQUEST FOR ACCESS AND REVIEW.
- If you do not pick up your Criminal History Sheet within one month, you will have to repeat the process.
If you live outside of Chicago and are unable to visit the City of Chicago building in person, you must go to your local police station for fingerprinting. You will then mail in the appropriate documentation.
- money order
- copy of identification
Find out more detailed information here.
State RAP Sheet
The Chicago Police Department automatically sends your fingerprints to the Illinois State Police to get your State RAP Sheet. This is available to view. Copies cannot be made. You will have one month to contact Criminal Access and Review at 312-745-1176 to schedule an appointment to view the State RAP Sheet.
Criminal Record Repository Illinois
Access to your Illinois RAP Sheet can also be obtained through the Illinois State Police Bureau of Identification. Information can be found here and here about how to get access to view the State RAP sheet through the Illinois State Police. Remember, you may not get a copy of your Illinois State RAP sheet, but you can view your criminal history and copy down any information.
FBI RAP Sheet
You can obtain your Identity History Summary from the FBI. Visit the FBI website to obtain information on how to receive your FBI RAP Sheet.
Local Police Station
Fees can change at any time. If you have any questions about obtaining your RAP sheet, you can always call your local police station to get up-to-date information about the process and fees required to get a copy of your criminal record.
Cook County Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have any questions about your current criminal charges or whether you qualify for expungement, it is important to contact a knowledgeable attorney to get quality advice. Michael P. Chomiak – criminal defense attorney, can review your charges and criminal history to provide honest, accurate advice. Contact him today.