Expungement Day in Baton Rouge Saturday

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Public Defender's Office, the Greater Baton Rouge Chapter of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society and the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers will present Expungement Day, taking place at the Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Center, 950 E. Washington Street, Baton Rouge, LA, on Saturday, January 19, 2013, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

The sponsors are proud to bring Expungement Day to Baton Rouge and the Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Center again this year. Expungement Day is an opportunity for anyone who has a question about expunging an arrest or conviction to consult with an attorney free of charge.

An arrest or conviction (even of a minor offense) can prove to be problematic because increasing numbers of entities require the disclosure of convictions or arrests - even those that have been expunged. Unlike in the past, an expungement order does not completely destroy the record. It is, instead, made unavailable to many persons although it will be still be available to a number of licensing agencies as well as the police, sheriffs, judges and the district attorney. Complicating matters further, an expungement order does not apply to records held by private entities and correcting incorrect information contained in numerous private databases is difficult and expensive.

Attorneys will be available to answer questions related to why it is important to obtain expungements, how to file the necessary forms and if a particular charge is expungeable at all. In addition, attorneys specializing in employment and housing law will be on hand to answer any questions related to the impact of a criminal history on employment or housing opportunities.

Persons planning on attending should be aware that this is a purely informational event and participating lawyers will not be preparing or filing expungement applications.

The sponsors would like to give special thanks to City Counselwoman Tara Wicker and Mayor-President Kip Holden for allowing the use of the Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Center, to the Louisiana Law Institute and Judge Robert Morrison for providing material for the Expungement FAQ, and to Natasha George for organizational assistance.

The East Baton Rouge Public Defenders' Office provides legal representation to indigent persons within East Baton Rouge Parish. In 1963, the United States Supreme Court in Gideon v. Wainwright held that indigent persons accused of a crime were constitutionally guaranteed the right to legal representation. The goal of the East Baton Rouge Public Defenders'

Office is to fulfill Gideon's promise by providing high quality legal representation to those threatened with loss of liberty and unable to afford private counsel. Through client-centered advocacy and trial excellence, the attorneys and staff ensure this goal is met for each client we are appointed to represent.

The Louis A. Martinet Legal Society traces its roots back to 1957. The society was organized for the purposes of combating racial injustices and inequalities that plagued the African-American communities during the Jim Crow era.

Early organizers concentrated their efforts not just in the city streets, but in the hallways, corridors, and floors of our local courtrooms. Since its founding, Martinet has diligently worked to ensure that the poor and neglected of the community, regardless of race, received fair and equal access to the justice system, election protection, and equal treatment under the law.

The Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers was founded in 1985 by criminal defense lawyers, for criminal defense lawyers. LACDL protects the individual Constitutional rights of those accused of criminal offenses, encourages cooperation among criminal defenders through educational programs and other assistance to promote justice and the common good, and assists the courts, the legislature and law enforcement agencies in crafting criminal justice policies that are fair, just and reasonable.