Helping Illinois People Expunge Felony Marijuana Convictions

Helping Illinois People Expunge Felony Marijuana Convictions

From Charles Zuganelis

I'm raising money for a cause I care about, but I need your help to reach my goal! Please become a supporter to follow my progress and share with your friends.

Support this campaign

Subscribe to follow campaign updates!

Recent Updates

Update #1

about 2 years ago

The coronavirus is affecting everyone, but especially the poor. We are only helping the poor expunge their marijuana felony convictions. I suppose that after this pandemic is over, there will be a lot more people who fall into that category. Pleased use some of your stimulus money from the government to help those less fortunate than you get a shot at a better life.

More Info

Overview: On July 1, 2019, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed into law a bill legalizing marijuana. Within the law are provisions for expunging the records for those convicted in Illinois of misdemeanor and certain felony offenses. The misdemeanor convictions will be expunged automatically, while the felony convictions must be done on a case by case basis. Because of that, those with felony convictions need a lawyer to get them through the process.

Expungement defined: The legal process by which one can clear his/her record of certain arrests and convictions. Once a judge orders an expungement, all police and court records of it are destroyed. It’s as if it never happened. 

Eligibility: Those who were convicted of possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana were convicted of a misdemeanor, and their conviction will be expunged automatically by the State of Illinois.

Those who were convicted of possessing 30 to 500 grams of marijuana are eligible to get their convictions expunged. But, this isn’t automatic. A Motion To Vacate The Conviction must be filed. The State (prosecution) has 60 days to object. After 60 days, a hearing will be had, and the judge will decide whether to vacate the conviction or not. When successful, there is a second step. That is to file an Expungement Petition. 

Although, anyone can represent themselves, it is easier and faster if a lawyer files the necessary paperwork and conducts the hearings for those seeking to expunge their record.

Problem: The press has publicized the automatic expungement, and not the part that is not automatic. The  results are that the great majority of those eligible believe their felony convictions will be expunged automatically, which is not true. Very few Motions To Vacate The Conviction have been filed. 

Numbers of those eligible: 371,000 people convicted of felony marijuana offenses in Illinois are eligible to have their record expunged. The great majority of those people reside in and around the City of Chicago, and surrounding counties.  This area will be the focus of our efforts.

Objective: To publicize in the Chicago area the fact that felony expungement are not automatic, and that the Legal Advocates Team (LAT) will represent free of charge those people in need of this service who are indigent (poor), and cannot afford a lawyer. This will be done through several major radio and TV stations, as well as in print. The LAT believes it can handle 24,000 cases in two (2) years for those who are indigent. We will determine indigency by having each person fill out an affidavit as to income and assets, much the same way the Circuit Court of Cook County determines it. 

Cost per case: Each case will cost $1,660.00. Of that, $160.00, is filing fees for the court. The $1,500.00, is for the 15 hours of office and courtroom work to vacate the conviction and expunge the record. That’s at $100.00/hour, about one third of what lawyers charge for this type of representation. $500.00, of the fee will be designated for office expense, overhead and payroll for staff. $1,000.00, will be designated for lawyer’s and consultation fees. Total cost of this program, and what we’re seeking to raise, is $39,840,000.00. 

Benefits to clients and society: The benefits are that the client: 1) clears felony from credit report; 2) becomes eligible for better jobs; 3) becomes eligible for more educational opportunities which were denid him/her; and, 4) clears their name. This will help the clients become more productive members of society. 

Rewards: The Illinois Supreme Court prohibits fee sharing with non-lawyers. So, no monetary reward or gain on investment can be given. Any money you give has to be a donation towards helping people become productive members of society. Your reward will be your personal satisfaction in knowing you helped people become those productive members of society. Plus, we will keep you informed of our progress every month by email.

Campaign Wall

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or

Charles Zuganelis posted a new update:
about 2 years ago

Update #1

The coronavirus is affecting everyone, but especially the poor. We are only helping the poor expunge their marijuana felony convictions. I suppose that after this pandemic is over, there will be a lot more people who fall into that category. Pleased use some of your stimulus money from the government to help those less fortunate than you get a shot at a better life.

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or

All Updates

Paid for and authorized by