NH Legal Clinic to assist with cancellation of criminal record / Public Press Service

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Most criminal offenses can be overturned, with the exception of violent crimes and those involving obstruction of government administration.

A forthcoming legal clinic in Manchester can help people seeking to have their criminal records expunged, who have done at least some of the work to start the process.

Emma Sisti, pro bono manager for 603 Legal Aid, the group that runs the clinic, said the status of cancellations can be complicated, even for people with legal training. She noted that there may be consequences to not read the fine printand in some cases, timing is everything.

“If a person thinks they have a record or charges that can be overturned, and they request the overturn too early, and it’s an untimely request, they will be delayed for another three years. before you can reapply,” Sisti pointed out.

Sisti advised people to bring a copy of their motor vehicle history and a summary of their court case to the clinic, to give attorneys an idea of ​​whether their case could be voided. The clinic will take place on October 11 at the Community Resource Center in Manchester, starting at 4:30 p.m.

Sisti pointed out that one of the biggest challenges for clinics is making sure people see them as a resource to streamline the cancellation process and an opportunity to eradicate the stigma of having a conviction on their record. She added that a person’s past should not be the only thing that determines their future.

“We don’t want their records to be used in a way that prevents them from advancing their careers, lives and livelihoods,” Sisti stressed. “Because all it does is hold them back. And, as a society, we should be looking to uplift people and help them move forward.”

She added that some of the most common cases seen at clinics involve drug-related or theft-related charges. According to The Sentencing Project, one in three adults in the United States was arrested at the age of 23.

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