News Local/State

Hundreds Apply To Expunge Their Record

Champaign County Circuit Clerk Katie Blakeman

Champaign County Circuit Clerk Katie Blakeman Champaign County Circuit Clerk

About 200 people took advantage of free services offered by the Champaign County Circuit Clerk to seal or expunge their court records.

Circuit Clerk Katie Blakeman and Stone Creek Church in Urbana hosted the event on Saturday. People took advantage of free legal advice and waived fees to file petitions to expunge or seal their records.

Blakeman says an expunged record is destroyed and no one can see it, while a sealed record means the police can see it, but the rest of the public can’t. "It would no longer show up on background checks, it would not show up if an employer or landlord is running a background check or anyone who is looking for that information," Blakeman said.

Blakeman adds that many jobs that require a license need a clean criminal background check, so expunged or sealed records can help people get a job and move on with their lives.

For the Circuit Clerk's office, it is nice to be part of a positive experience. Blakeman added that many times, people come to her office while having a bad day.

"They’re coming in to pay even a minor traffic ticket, they’re not having a good day," Blakeman said. "But, this day is so full of joy."

People can contact the Circuit Clerk’s office (phone 217-384-3725) to see if they are eligible for sealed or expunged records and learn more about the process.