Expungement workshop offered by LAD, Michigan Works!

Legal Aid and Defender Association Inc. (LAD) conducted a workshop on expungement of criminal records for residents of Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland counties at Waterford Township Hall in Waterford on Thursday, June 27.
LAD conducted the workshop in partnership with Michigan Works! in Waterford as part of its broad based advocacy program.  
Kelly Bidelman, managing attorney of LAD’s Oakland County office in Pontiac, delivered LAD’s presentation on expungements.  
Michigan allows for expungement of records of single criminal convictions after five years, according to LAD’s legal rights handbook for former offenders.  
“Expungement, or setting aside a conviction, allows a person to move forward with [his or her] life without the baggage of a prior conviction or having to disclose a criminal record,” the handbook says.  
Assisting Bidelman at the workshop were pro bono attorney Mario Azzi, a recent graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School and a former intern at LAD, and Tammy Kurzman, an employment technician for Michigan Works! 
“Expungement means there’s no public record,” Bidelman told workshop attendees.  “And you can answer ‘no’ if you’re asked about a criminal conviction during a job interview,” she said. Not all convictions can be expunged, however, including those for crimes that carry possible life sentences and traffic convictions such as drunk driving, or where there is lifetime probation, Bidelman said.

Photos by John Meiu