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Attorney general, state’s attorney, Vermont Legal Aid to host expungement tele-clinic

BRATTLEBORO—Attorney General T.J. Donovan will partner with Windham County State’s Attorney Tracy Shriver, Vermont Legal Aid, and Code for BTV to host an expungement “tele-clinic” on Friday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Expungements wipe from your record specific convictions and dismissed charges after a certain period of time has passed. Under Vermont law, many misdemeanors, 14 felony offenses, and all dismissed charges can be expunged.

The free clinic will focus on expunging criminal charges and convictions from Windham County and will be open by telephone appointment.

Both Donovan and Shriver have been strong advocates of expanding access to expungements by increasing the types of offenses that are eligible. This clinic is the latest in a series of expungement clinics that Donovan has co-hosted around the state with state’s attorneys and Vermont Legal Aid.

“Access to expungement is a critical component in our ongoing fight for criminal justice reform,” said Donovan in a news release. “Expunging criminal records gives Vermonters a fresh start by providing greater educational, economic, and social opportunities.”

Shriver said she was pleased that there will be another Expungement Clinic in Windham County, adding she was hopeful that county residents “will take advantage of this great opportunity because it provides an easy, quick, and guided means for getting eligible offenses expunged from their records.”

Attorneys from the Attorney General’s Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office, and Vermont Legal Aid will offer free assistance with petitions for Vermont-specific “qualifying” criminal convictions and dismissed charges.

Vermonters are encouraged to schedule appointments in advance by calling Vermont Legal Aid at 802-503-0005, ext. 255.

On the day of the tele-clinic, Vermonters seeking expungement assistance will ideally have access to a telephone (either landline or mobile), the internet, and a computer or smartphone that allows them to electronically sign documents.

When scheduling a clinic appointment, Vermont Legal Aid will provide instructions on how to download a free app to sign documents, if needed, and help identify free public Wi-Fi hotspots.

If you would like to participate in the clinic but do not have access to a computer, smartphone, or the internet, the Attorney General’s Office will provide an accommodation by mailing documents to you. All you will need is a telephone.

If there are questions regarding eligibility for expungement or the clinic, contact Vermont Legal Aid at 802-503-0005, ext. 255 or expungement@vtlegalaid.org. More information on expungement is available at vtlawhelp.org/expungement.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #585 (Wednesday, October 28, 2020). This story appeared on page C3.

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