Free clinics offer the opportunity to clear criminal records

American+River+College+offers+students+the+opportunity+to+expunge+their+criminal+records+through+multiple+free+clinics+on+campus.+%28Photo+illustration+by+Patrick+Hyun+Wilson%29+

American River College offers students the opportunity to expunge their criminal records through multiple free clinics on campus. (Photo illustration by Patrick Hyun Wilson)

Imani Smith

American River College is offering students a chance to get their criminal record expunged during free, on-campus expungement clinics throughout this semester. The next clinic will be held March 9.

The free clinics will allow those convicted of certain felonies and misdemeanors, which can be a roadblock to jobs and housing, a chance to clear their records, according to ARC’s Legal Assisting website.

Asha Wilkerson, assistant professor and coordinator for the legal assisting program at ARC, said that the clinic can possibly reduce felony charges to misdemeanors.

“Essentially the expungement application asks judges to reduce qualifying felonies to misdemeanors and to clear existing misdemeanors from an applicant’s criminal record,” Wilkerson said.

According to the Pioneer Law Group, the cost of expungement can range anywhere from $

Expungement can change lives, according to Wilkerson.

“Successfully reducing felonies to misdemeanors and/or having misdemeanors erased from a criminal records makes it much easier for people to apply for jobs, school and other opportunities,” Wilkerson said. “Clearing a criminal record opens the door to opportunities a little bit wider.”

The clinics are held in Portable 609A and require students to bring a copy of their California Rap sheet.

The upcoming dates for this clinic are, March 9, April 9, and May 11. Students looking for more information can visit ARC’s Legal Assisting website. http://www.arc.losrios.edu/legal-clinic.