While people convicted of a crime pay their debt to society, upon release their criminal record travels with them wherever they go. Since public databases and background checks are common and affordable, the repercussions of one minor mistake can become an eternal scarlet letter. One remedy to help the rehabilitated begin with a bona fide fresh start is the expungement process, which consists of officially removing criminal records from view.
What can be expunged and what is the process?
are state specific. Misdemeanor and certain felony crimes can be removed from the public view. The process of how to expunge your criminal record will usually require several steps, including understanding how to obtain your "rap sheet" or criminal record. Where to start is often intimidating and confusing - which seems to be the purpose of the annual summit, taking place this year on June 4, 2016 at the Thornton Township High School as per the Cook County Expungement Summit flyer.
The Expungement Summit Guide reveals that the Honorable Dorothy Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois created the event to help juvenile and adult citizens get a true fresh start and second chance. As many cannot afford the cost of an attorney, especially those who have been recently released after incarceration, the Expungement Summit provides them with an opportunity to "do it yourself" and reduce the visibility of the past. The Guide contains a good amount of useful information about the process of sealing and expunging criminal records. A good deal of it seems applicable to many jurisdictions and likely to be helpful, even if your issues don't concern Cook County, Illinois specifically. Before arriving at the Expungement Summit, it's probably a good idea to review the process of how to get your criminal record or "rap sheet" as explained by Illinois Legal Aid.
While there is no "right to be forgotten" law in the United States, expungement is about as close as you can get to clearing up your past history for a fresh start. And the Summit seems to be a great place those in need of legal help to get started.
- Legal Practice:
- Crime - Expungement