GREENE COUNTY - Land of Lincoln Legal Aid will host a “Know Your Rights” event to cover expungement and sealing in Greene County.

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From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, May 24, 2024, community members can attend the event at the Greene County Health Department in Roodhouse, Illinois. Emma Knight, a staff attorney with Land of Lincoln Legal Aid, and a few other staff members will speak about how you can petition the Court to remove public access to the history of a criminal record.

“Our intention is just to get the word out that we’re here and can help,” Knight said. “What we’re going to do is a training on what that looks like, who’s eligible, what happens if it is expunged or sealed, how it can benefit people, etc. We will then come back out in June and walk through the paperwork to be filed with the Court with those who are eligible.”

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Knight explained that Land of Lincoln Legal Aid offers free representation on civil legal matters. They have offices across Southern Illinois. The organization works primarily with people who are at or near the poverty line, and they can help with services including but not limited to evictions, family law and orders of protection.

Expungement and sealing can help people find “better jobs and better housing opportunities,” Knight said. The organization hopes the Know Your Rights event will inform people about their rights and whether or not they are eligible for expungement and sealing. If you are eligible, Land of Lincoln Legal Aid can then help you petition the Court.

“We file for expungement and sealing for people in the areas that we cover, so essentially, we’re trying to go out to counties where maybe people aren’t as aware that we’re here and that we’re a free option for them to do many kinds of civil legal work,” Knight explained. “We want to get out and explain what people’s rights are and just let them know that Land of Lincoln is available for services.”

People are encouraged to attend the Know Your Rights event on May 24 to learn more about expungement and sealing and find out if you are eligible. For more information about Land of Lincoln Legal Aid, visit their official website at LincolnLegal.org.

“This specific Know Your Rights event is geared towards expungement and sealing, but we’ll cover a little bit about Land of Lincoln generally and make sure people know how to reach us,” Knight added. “We cannot guarantee representation, but we do encourage people to reach out to us if they have a legal matter so we can see what, if anything, we can do to help them.”

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