This Saturday, nearly 300 Champaign County residents will gather at a church in Urbana to try to get their criminal records expunged or sealed.
The 279 people registered to attend the county’s 4th Annual Expungement and Record Sealing Summit want their past arrest and court records officially destroyed --- usually in cases where there was no conviction. Or they may be seeking to have certain convictions sealed from public view, although they can still be accessed by law enforcement and employers for jobs that involve working with children. Some convictions, like sexual violence and DUI cases, are not eligible to be sealed. Others are eligible after a waiting period, and the completion of terms of probation.
Champaign County Circuit Clerk Katie Blakeman says there's a significant number of people who may be eligible to have their criminal records expunged or sealed.
“The statistics of the number of Americans who have been arrested before their 21st birthday is a minimum of one in four,” said Blakeman. “It’s really your neighbors, your friends. It’s not this unidentifiable other.”
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