Even the simplest things in life can be a lot more difficult with a criminal record, no matter how minor the crime nor how long ago it occurred. That’s why Loyola Law School’s Center for Restorative Justice partnered with LAW Project Los Angeles to host an Expungement Clinic on Friday, Nov. 11 on the downtown L.A. campus of Loyola Law School.
During the clinic, Loyola students consulted with clients with criminal records about expunging records that might otherwise hinder them from obtaining jobs, apartments or other necessities.
“I’m trying to get a DUI I have on my record expunged. These guys are doing a great job helping me out with that. Hopefully, we can get that resolved and make my life a lot easier,” said one client, whose name is omitted to protect his identity.
An expungement reopens a criminal case, dismisses and then sets aside the conviction. The case is then re-closed without the conviction. In effect, the client is no longer a convicted person. However, a record of the case itself will remain and the client’s record will reflect the expungement. The net result of this process is that clients can honestly and legally answer questions about those now-expunged prior convictions in the negative.
“Each year in California, almost 1 million people are convicted of a crime. About 83 percent of these offenses are for misdemeanors and about 17 percent are for felonies. Millions of people in California are likely to be in need of legal advocacy when they try to enter the workforce with a criminal conviction,” said Seth Weiner ’10, CRJ co-director.