Laurel city leaders hosting expungement clinics
LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - City of Laurel leaders are trying to help citizens regain some of their civic rights.
Councilwomen Grace Amos from Ward 6 and Shirley Keys-Jordan from Ward 7 are hosting expungement clinics each quarter.
“This past Saturday we held our second clinic,” Amos said. “It is growing in numbers. We are excited about helping people clean up their records.”
The clinics are held in partnership with the Mississippi Center for Justice. Attorneys offer free legal advice to those either accused or convicted of certain felony or misdemeanor crimes.
“We basically just help people throughout the day get their documentation prepared for expungement,” said Mississippi Center for Justice Staff Attorney Charity Bruce. “We draft the petitions and the orders, we go through we make sure everything reads well, we make sure that we have the most accurate documentation from the courthouses to reflect the charge that they’re trying to get expunged.”
We’re told six felonies and nearly all misdemeanor charges qualify for expungement under certain circumstances.
“Those six felonies can include false pretenses, bad check offenses, uttering forgery... possession, things of that nature like non-violent crimes... Any misdemeanor except a DUI,” Bruce said.
Amos says helping people expunge their records is crucial.
“It’s important because it instills pride back into people that have lost their rights... not only their voting rights, their housing, grants for education, hunting privileges... So, it just instills a lot of pride back into individuals that want to make a change in their lives,” Amos said.
The next expungement clinic will be in February. For more information on the expungement process, click here.
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