Clinic on expunging criminal records offered by LAD

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Legal Aid and Defender Association Inc. (LAD), in cooperation with City of Southfield Human Services, conducted a free clinic on expungement of criminal records for residents of Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland counties on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at the Southfield Public Library

“Your first step is to know enough about the law to make sure you qualify to expunge your record,” Donna Lassa, an LAD staff attorney who conducted the clinic, told attendees.

Michigan allows for expungement, or removal from the public record, 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.

“If you have one conviction and it’s not for a serious offense, you will generally qualify,” Lassa 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, the handbook says.

“If you don’t qualify today, however, the law might change in the future,” Lassa said, citing previous changes.

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