People v. Coleman, 122415 ILCA2, 2-15-0505
|Opinion Judge:||SCHOSTOK PRESIDING JUSTICE|
|Party Name:||THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. KEISHA COLEMAN, Defendant-Appellant.|
|Judge Panel:||PRESIDING JUSTICE SCHOSTOK delivered the judgment of the court. Justices McLaren and Zenoff concurred in the judgment.|
|Case Date:||December 24, 2015|
|Court:||Court of Appeals of Illinois|
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 97-CF-2689 Honorable Daniel P. Guerin, Judge, Presiding.
¶ 1 Held: The trial court did not err in denying the appellant's petition to vacate prior court order denying her petition to seal criminal record.
¶ 2 BACKGROUND
¶ 3 The appellant, Keisha Coleman, committed retail theft in 1997. Initially charged with felony retail theft (720 ILCS 5/16A-3 (West 1996)), the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor and she pled guilty. She was sentenced to 24 months of probation and 40 hours of community service, and paid fines of $575. She satisfactorily completed her sentence and her probation was terminated on April 19, 2000.
¶ 4 In 2002, the appellant attempted to expunge this conviction. Her petition was stricken because she was not eligible for expungement until April 2005.
¶ 5 In 2006, the appellant was again arrested for retail theft. She received supervision. She was arrested yet again for retail theft in 2011. This time, she participated in the Mental Illness Court Alternative Program (MICAP). When she completed that program, her 2011 conviction was vacated.
¶ 6 On April 18, 2014, the appellant filed a pro se petition to seal the criminal record of the 1998 conviction. The State and the Village of Oak Brook both filed objections to the petition, citing the appellant's multiple arrests for retail theft. On August 11, 2014, the trial court (Judge Kathryn Creswell presiding) heard oral arguments on the petition. The appellant stated that she had paid her debt to society and had rehabilitated herself, earning a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in teaching in the 16 years since the conviction at issue. She was a mother of three children, the oldest of whom was poised to enter Eastern Illinois University, and sealing the record would allow her to advance in her career and provide for her children. The State and the Village argued that the appellant's more recent arrests for the same offense indicated that she still was not rehabilitated. The trial court denied the petition on the basis that, considering the appellant's history of arrests for retail theft...
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