HAPPENING TODAY: Clinic to help expunge criminal records comes to Lansing

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People convicted of crimes in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties have an opportunity to have their record reviewed for potential expungement.

Detroit Mercy School of Law students and volunteer attorneys will review people’s Michigan criminal records and advise them on eligibility for expungement.

Current Michigan state law allows people convicted of certain offenses to expunge no more than one felony or two misdemeanors.

If eligible, the individual will be provided with assistance preparing the application to set aside conviction, along with directions for filing and next steps.

The clinic in Lansing is one of nine clinics the volunteers have been able to host through a grant funded by the Michigan State Bar Foundation.

The original $20,000 grant awarded in Feb. 2019 funds traveling expungement clinics throughout Michigan including the Upper Peninsula and eight counties, Michigan State Bar Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Bentley said.

“People with criminal records face barriers with housing and employment so we thought it was a great project,” Bentley said.

In Gratiot county this week, Chief Judge, Pro Tem of the 29th Circuit Court Michelle Rick helped to expunge the criminal records of three individuals.

“It is very powerful,” Rick said. “It is restorative. It lifts for what feels like a life sentence for some people.”

Bentley and Rick estimate that the clinics have served more than 100 individuals with criminal records.

The first 100 people who pre-register for the clinic in advance will receive a free ICHAT (Michigan criminal history search tool) record review.

All other registrants thereafter must pay $10 in cash or credit card. No checks are accepted.

The clinic will be held Tuesday October 22, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Michigan Hall of Justice at 925 Ottawa Street in Lansing.

To pre-register for the clinic, call 313-596-0262. Please do not contact the courts directly.

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