Fresh Start Initiative helps clean criminal record - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Fresh Start Initiative helps clean criminal record

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Imagine you turned over a new leaf 20 years ago, yet a past mistake continues to haunt you as far as getting a job and living a good life. The Fresh Start Initiative is for those trying to clean their criminal record.

An estimated 140 people received preliminary approval today, subject to review by state police. It's the second year for the one-day Fresh Start Initiative at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Not all qualify, but those who do can get their record cleaned.

Daniel Adaway of Sulphur wants an old drug charge off his record for various reasons, including peace of mind.

"I'm clean and sober and I just want to get rid of that stigma and attachment to my name.  Ninety percent of us here aren't bad people, we made bad choices," said Adaway.

Clerk of Court Lynn Jones calls the event sort of a one-stop shop that helps accomplish expungement cheaper and faster than otherwise.

"You may walk through this process and have all the agencies look at it, and then it will take just a few days or weeks versus six months," said Jones.

District Attorney John DeRosier says helping people become more employable helps the community.

"The district attorney's office is not here simply to prosecute people. What we're here to do is keep our community safe. When we can get these young people back into mainstream America, get them good high paying jobs, it helps this community.

"As soon as their prospective employer finds out that they've been convicted of a felony, they're no longer being considered," DeRosier continued. "Once you do away with that you'd be amazed at the attitude that is developed by that person, who has been a convicted felon up until that point.

"We can't expunge necessarily everything at one time, but you can expunge one felony. You can expunge cases whether they be felonies or misdemeanors where you were never prosecuted even though you were arrested and charged if you never went to court, or if the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor or something that is expungeable, then it can help you."

Though an expungement only removes a criminal matter from public records, Mark Judson with the SWLA Law center says it's a beginning.

"If you're applying for a job or you're doing any other background check and this thing shows up, all you gotta do is show that it's expunged and the expungement should trump any sort of reporting that is being done by private companies," he said.

Judson says if you contact the private companies and go through the legal process to have information corrected and it's not, you may have legal recourse against them. 

Anyone who missed the event can still get the wheels turning toward expungement.

For more information, click HERE

Copyright 2017 KPLC All rights reserved

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Food for Seniors program feeds hundreds

    Food for Seniors program feeds hundreds

    Sunday, November 19 2017 10:16 PM EST2017-11-20 03:16:08 GMT

    Eliminating hunger for thousands of our senior citizens and keeping their minds at ease-- that's the mission of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury's Food for Seniors service. Every third Friday of the month, senior residents of Calcasieu parish can sign up to receive a box of food, but it's a lot more than that. “A lot of people if they didn't have this they couldn't make it and I know some of them wouldn't have anything to eat,” said Betty Landry a recipient of the Food ...

    More >>

    Eliminating hunger for thousands of our senior citizens and keeping their minds at ease-- that's the mission of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury's Food for Seniors service. Every third Friday of the month, senior residents of Calcasieu parish can sign up to receive a box of food, but it's a lot more than that. “A lot of people if they didn't have this they couldn't make it and I know some of them wouldn't have anything to eat,” said Betty Landry a recipient of the Food ...

    More >>
  • Multiple agencies respond to Vinton structure fire Sunday

    Multiple agencies respond to Vinton structure fire Sunday

    Sunday, November 19 2017 7:35 PM EST2017-11-20 00:35:27 GMT
    Vinton house fire (Source: KPLC)Vinton house fire (Source: KPLC)

    Multiple agencies worked to knock out a structure fire in Vinton Sunday. Around 3:30 p.m., the Vinton Fire Department responded to a call on Center Street. Fire was showing through the roof of the burning house in two locations when firefighters arrived, said Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Merchant.

    More >>

    Multiple agencies worked to knock out a structure fire in Vinton Sunday. Around 3:30 p.m., the Vinton Fire Department responded to a call on Center Street. Fire was showing through the roof of the burning house in two locations when firefighters arrived, said Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Merchant.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Could not ask for better weather during our Thanksgiving week

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Could not ask for better weather during our Thanksgiving week

    Sunday, November 19 2017 6:30 PM EST2017-11-19 23:30:04 GMT
    Nice weather on MondayNice weather on Monday

    Through the rest of tonight, we will have clear skies with rain chances down to zero. Temperatures will cool down to the upper 30s to the low 40s tonight, so it will be cooler from last night. With the clouds clearing, that will allow temperatures to quickly fall. Frost is possible north of I-10! Monday will be another beautiful day! Highs will remain in the mid 60s with mostly sunny skies. There could be a few more clouds in the afternoon, but none that will bring any rain. 

    More >>

    Through the rest of tonight, we will have clear skies with rain chances down to zero. Temperatures will cool down to the upper 30s to the low 40s tonight, so it will be cooler from last night. With the clouds clearing, that will allow temperatures to quickly fall. Frost is possible north of I-10! Monday will be another beautiful day! Highs will remain in the mid 60s with mostly sunny skies. There could be a few more clouds in the afternoon, but none that will bring any rain. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly