Brushes with the law – that didn’t lead to convictions – can still make it difficult to get a job, a mortgage, or credit. A group of Philadelphia lawyers is trying to help people with criminal records wipe the slate clean.
Michael Hollander and three other local lawyers are running clinics to help people clean up their records. He said the process can be life changing. “We can only expunge things that were not convictions,” Hollander said. “State law prevents people from considering arrests that never led to conviction and it also prevents them from considering summary offenses when they’re making hiring decisions.” Hollander added that, “We’re not removing anything that can be considered in the first place, we’re really helping people bring their record down to the barest level so employers really are able to comply with the law.”Hollander said the state recently approved the first ten petitions for expungement submitted by the Philadelphia group. He said with the help of local law students, the group is working with dozens of other people who want to clean up their records too.
To volunteer or participate in the program, call (215) 995-1230. For information on clinic times and locations go to www.nlgphilly.org