ILLINOIS (WAND) - Individuals throughout the state of Illinois can expunge their criminal record or records involving cannabis misdemeanors.
Public Act 101-27, the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, has created a process to allow individuals who were convicted of a misdemeanor or Class 4 felony to expunge their record or records.
"We actually have a group of 500 cases where people may not be aware that their records have automatically been expunged," said Champaign County Circuit Clerk Susan McGrath.
The list of individuals whose convictions were presented to the governor for potential pardons authorizing expungement has already been provided to Champaign County and granted by the Champaign County Court. For an individual who believes they fall into this category, they can get a copy of the order granting their expungement from the Office of the Champaign County Circuit Clerk and a certified docket sheet.
Those individuals can also contact the Circuit Clerk’s Office email@example.com and provide their name, date of birth, address, cell phone number, case number and/or approximate date of conviction. They are encouraged to make this contact either in person or by email by March 1, 2021.
For some individuals, their records may not have been automatically cleared. Any individual who has a conviction may still file a petition to expunge. The offense includes possession of 500 grams or less, or dealing of less than 30 grams.
To read qualifications for expungement, visit the State Appellate Defender’s website by clicking here.
To apply for expungement and to see if you qualify for legal aid, click here.
Anyone in Illinois can find expungement forms by clicking here.
New Leaf Illinois is a network of 20 nonprofit organizations throughout the state who provide legal representation and other resources to help individuals seeking to expunge cannabis convictions from their records. Click here for details.
"Our hope is that we will help people move forward with their lives and also get back to where they can get a better job, a better housing and get their lives back in order," McGrath said.
For more information, Illinois residents can contact their circuit clerk.