Expungement assistance set for October 4, November 4 in Jackson - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Expungement assistance set for October 4, November 4 in Jackson

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Two free legal assistance events are scheduled for Oct. 4 and Nov. 4 in Jackson to help low income people with criminal record expungement.

An expungement workshop is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Metro Center Mall Event Center at 3645 U.S. 80 in Jackson. The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will outline charges that qualify for expungement and the process that applicants must follow.

Persons attending the workshop will be screened to determine if their charges qualify for expungement.

Low-income people who meet financial guidelines for assistance and whose charges qualify will be invited to participate in the expungement legal clinic scheduled for Nov. 4 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the same location.

People seeking legal assistance with expungements must first attend the Oct. 4 workshop and be screened before they may be considered for acceptance at the Nov. 4 clinic.

Economic qualifications include having less than $5,000 in total assets and an annual household income below 200 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines. For example, that would be an annual income of $23,760 or less for an individual, or an annual income of $48,600 or less for a family of four. Qualified applicants must be at least 18 years old, and must not be incarcerated.

Volunteer attorneys will assist applicants in preparing documents at the clinic. Volunteer attorneys may explain the proceedings, provide general information and answer questions.

The attorneys are not obligated to accompany clinic participants to court and file documents for them. The expectation is that individuals will be able to represent themselves in court.

The expungement events are intended to assist people who have low-level non-violent convictions, or who have old arrests that did not result in convictions. State law limits the charges that can be considered for expungement. Similar workshops in Jackson in the past have attracted more than 200 people, said Tiffany M. Graves, executive director of the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission.

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