Expungement clinic helping many people clear their criminal record
BATON ROUGE- Hundreds of people are getting their criminal records cleared, and most of it is being done at no cost.
WBRZ spoke with James Ernest, who's having his criminal record expunged.
"It's really a blessing," he told News 2. "Something popped out of Houston that I had no idea about."
It wasn't until he tried to buy a firearm that Ernest even knew there was a problem.
"Yes, I was shocked because I was always able to purchase a firearm," he said. Now, he's taking park in the Baton Rouge Easy Expungement Screening, also knows as BREES.
"This is keeping people from getting housing, from getting jobs," East Baton Rouge Parish Chief Public Defender, Michael Mitchell said.
BREES involves volunteers from every level of the legal system who spend one Saturday a month helping people clear their criminal records.
"We want to do this as part of the Baton Rouge community, and to help our community move forward," Michael told WBRZ.
The public defender also says the service is free, and can save people a lot of money.
"If you have to pay someone to do it, it could cost you between $500 and $1,500," he explained.
And for James Ernest, it's like having a burden lifted off of his shoulders: "It feels really good to have this off my record," he said.
For more information about the expungement screen, contact the public defender's office at (225) 389-3150.