How to legally hide a criminal record

The Evanston Public Library will host a session next month on how people can clear their adult and juvenile criminal records.

The event, called the Expungement Expo, runs from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, at the library at 1703 Orrington Ave.

Participants in the session can talk with attorneys about their records, connect with community organizations, and hear presentations about the challenges that criminal record holders face.

One such challenge is the misinformation surrounding the expungement process.

Naria K. Santa Lucia, executive director of the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy in Evanston, misconceptions about criminal records abound.

“People don’t realize that any and all involvement with police or courts—even arrests, juvenile cases, and old cases—stays on their record until they take action to clear it,” she said.

Because involvement with the criminal justice system can severely limit educational, housing, and employment opportunities, many eligible individuals will reap considerable benefits by petitioning to expunge or seal their records.

Although no records will be expunged or sealed at the Expo, attorneys and attorney- supervised law students will review the criminal histories of participants who pre-registered, and help those found eligible to begin the record-clearing process.

To pre-register, learn if you need a RAP sheet, volunteer at the Expo, and more, individuals can visit www.expungementexpoevanston.org or call the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy at 847-492-1410 ext. 8 with any questions you may have.

The Northern Cook County Informational Expungement Expo is a collaborative effort of the City of Evanston, the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, the Youth Job Center, National Able Network, Project NIA, and the Office of Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin.

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