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Press Releases - County Council

Councilmember Hucker, Delegate Reznik organize second Clean Slate Clinic to expunge criminal records

For Immediate Release: Friday, October 11, 2019

From the Office of Councilmember Tom Hucker

Marylanders who have been charged with less-serious offenses can connect
with legal professionals to navigate complex process

ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 10, 2019—County Councilmember Tom Hucker and Delegate Kirill Reznik (D-Dist. 39) are holding a “Clean Slate Clinic” on Monday, Oct. 14, from 4 to 6 p.m., at Montgomery College Germantown, Bioscience Education Center, Room 151, 20200 Observation Drive. At this clinic, Marylanders seeking expungement of their records can connect with legal professionals who’ll help them.

Under a 2016 state law, tens of thousands of Marylanders who have been charged with less-serious crimes — such as littering, possessing drug paraphernalia or disturbing the peace — may be eligible to have their criminal records expunged.

“This is an important opportunity for Montgomery County residents to put their past behind them and put their best foot forward for a fresh start,” Delegate Reznik said.

“These records, which can easily be found online in some states, including Maryland, can result in discrimination by employers, landlords and financial institutions, and can stand in the way of obtaining basic needs like housing, employment, social services and health care,” said Councilmember Hucker.

“An old criminal record for littering — even if the person was cleared of any wrongdoing — shouldn’t keep someone from getting a job or home,” Hucker said. “Studies show that in states with an open records law — such as Maryland — people with a record are five percent less likely to be employed and have an 11 percent higher recidivism rate than in other states.”

That discrimination and those obstacles, in turn, can lead to higher recidivism rates.

But these people cannot have their records expunged — even if their cases ended with a favorable disposition, such as a not-guilty finding — without the assistance of lawyers, paralegals or law students, helping them navigate the complex process.

The clinic is a follow-up to the first one held in June in Silver Spring, which drew dozens of participants.

“An old criminal record for littering — even if the person was cleared of any wrongdoing — shouldn’t keep someone from getting a job or home,” Hucker said. “Studies show that in states with an open records law — such as Maryland — people with a record are five percent less likely to be employed and have an 11 percent higher recidivism rate than in other states.”

Participants seeking legal assistance can register at http://bit.ly/UpcountyCleanSlate.

More information on the expungement process is on The People’s Law Library of Maryland site, http://bit.ly/2IrnxZn, and at http://bit.ly/2L2OLrB.

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Release ID: 19-327
Media Contact: Robert Rand 240-777-7937