We recently partnered with The Expungement Council, UVA Law students, and local government officials to host an expungement clinic in Charlottesville, helping residents locally and across the state get eligible criminal charges removed from their records. The team helped 14 people through the complicated process of filing paperwork to have their charges expunged!
“A criminal record can really hold you back. Just figuring out what’s on your record and what is eligible for being cleared through the existing expungement laws isn’t simple or cheap. It’s great to connect and help people through it all and be able to do it in a way that’s free and equitable.”
Harold Foley – LAJC Senior Supervising Organizer
Having a criminal record can keep people from stable housing, employment, and educational opportunities. There are some processes for people with certain types of records, primarily non-convictions, that are eligible for expungement under current law, but the current process for expunging eligible charges can be long and arduous, and require the participation of multiple parties. A clinic brings all of those people together in the same place at the same time so that most of those steps can be accomplished all at once, making the process much easier.
In 2021, we worked with The Expungement Council—a group of directly affected people advocating for better criminal record clearing—and other groups to pass a comprehensive and groundbreaking record-sealing law. While this law was a huge victory, it does not take effect until 2025 and isn’t as far-reaching as is necessary. We have since advocated to strengthen the bill and are working to inform people of their options.
If you have been negatively impacted by having a criminal record, we encourage you to get involved with The Expungement Council to help others and advocate for better record-sealing laws! You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected.