I need to get a decades-old Chicago arrest record (for work, not my own – I was 9 years old when the arrest in question took place). So far, I am being told by the Chicago Police Department that the only way to get an arrest record that isn’t one’s own is to be an attorney representing the arrested person, and to have a subpoena.
The attorney part isn’t a problem – I work for a law firm – but the subpoena and the timing are; I need to have the records in hand in the next few days, preferably in time for my firm to make some analysis of its contents and then act on this analysis. Without going into identifying details, the potential client says the arrest record isn’t his (supposedly it’s a case of mistaken identity), but because of this mess, he’s stuck outside the U.S. and obviously can’t go in person to try to prove a negative.
So does anyone have the inside scoop on how I can get the arrest record? I’m getting slightly different answers (and different contact names/phone numbers) from everyone I talk to in the police department. I would never try to get confidential information without the authorization of the person whose record it is (or isn’t, as the case may be), but I’ve never heard of such a stringent procedure for allowing even a person’s attorney to access an arrest history. But then I don’t normally deal with this sort of thing. Any tips on dealing with this unique bureaucratic hell would be greatly appreciated.
Eva Luna, (Mostly Employment-Based) Immigration Paralegal