For Immediate Release
August 27, 2016
On Saturday morning, the Kim Ogg Campaign is hosting its fourth "Clean Up Your Life Day,” a pro bono legal clinic helping Houstonians clean up their criminal records. A team of pro bono attorneys will be at the CWA Hall at 1730 Jefferson starting at 10:30 to review applicants' criminal records in order to remove wrongful arrests and successful deferred prosecutions. Eligible cases will be referred to Beacon Law and the University of Houston's Juvenile and Capital Advocacy Project. The Houston College of Law has already accepted dozens of cases for indigents from previous clinics.
Ogg's expunction program is mirrored in her campaign platform and promise to have the District Attorney’s Office “clean up” the criminal records of those whose misdemeanor cases are dismissed because of wrongful arrests, those who have obtained not guilty verdicts, and those who have been misidentified. But volunteers for the program have discovered that some problems presented by applicants are worse than mere mistakes -- some are the result of professional carelessness or worse.
Typically, a former defendant must wait 6 months to 3 years to have an arrest removed from their record. But when a charge is the result of mistake, false information, or other absence of probable cause -- in other words, when the person was charged because the government made a mistake -- their record is eligible for immediate expunction. However, the typical practice of Harris County prosecutors under Anderson is to purposefully craft their dismissals in a fashion that causes otherwise eligible people to wait months or years to clear their records. Most never do, and their arrest records limit job, education, and housing opportunities even though they did nothing wrong.
Ogg’s platform promises to train prosecutors to properly designate wrongful arrest dismissals, and to move immediately for expunction in misdemeanor cases in order to protect innocent citizens from the harsh effects of a wrongful arrest.
Justice, Fairness, Safety. For everyone. Those are my promises.
Campaign Contact: 713-961-0521
Pol. Adv. Paid for by Kim Ogg for Harris County District Attorney, Hon. Jack C. Ogg, Treasurer.