Group helping to get records expunged in Orange County



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Several groups of local attorneys and agencies like the Orange County Clerk of Courts, Sheriff's Office and State Attorney's Office are working to help expunge records for some in Orange County.

The event was held Wednesday at the St. Mark Ame Church, where one mother told Channel 9 having charges on her record has ruined her life.   

The woman got the green light to begin the expunging process and is meeting with officials.

"It's hard. It's very hard, especially when you know in your heart that you're not guilty," said Shireka Wiggan.

Wiggan has been struggling since 2010 when she said she was pulled over by an officer.

"I guess the officer had a really bad day," she said.

Even though Wiggan claims she didn't do anything wrong, she said she was arrested and hit with serious charges.

"Resisting arrest with violence and without violence and battery on a law enforcement officer," she said.

Wiggan said all except one charge was dropped, and she claims she took bad advice from a public defender by taking a plea deal.

Since then, Wiggan said the charges have kept her from getting a job, forcing her and her two children out on the streets.

"When I go places to apply for a job or you know, get a job, I never get it," she said. "I signed up for housing, and they denied me."

Wiggan said she was excited when she learned that local agencies and attorneys are working to help her and others get their records expunged.

"They're getting that second chance," said Karlyn Hylton Boler of Hylton Adamson Watson PLLC. "The fact that they were arrested and someone can pull that up is still being used against them."

To qualify, you can't have been convicted of a crime, just charged, officials said.

It's normally a long and expensive process to get records expunged, but the group is providing the services for free and helping to get it done quickly.

Wiggan told Channel 9 many people in her shoes who can't get jobs turn to crime to support their families. She believes more events like this can help keep people on the job and out of jail.