Having any type of contact with the criminal legal system can have far-reaching consequences on one’s ability to move forward, even decades later. Arrests and convictions can show up on background checks, often creating barriers to housing, education, and jobs. It’s part of the vicious cycle that keeps people from reaching personal and professional goals, or even meeting their basic needs.

Our Clean Slate team proudly helps people with the expungement process so that past mistakes can stop hindering people’s futures. Sometimes, the expungement process can run into its own barriers, including prosecutors who may be unwilling to overlook the fines, fees, and restitution that some people still owe. For many, the reason they have not paid off these monetary debts is because their past record has prevented them from securing more gainful employment. California State Senator Scott Wiener, who represents San Francisco, has proposed the Fresh Start Act so that people would no longer be disqualified for expungement simply because of unpaid restitution.

In this insightful and informative article – SF Prosecutors Prevent People With Court Debts From Clearing Criminal Records. A State Bill Could Change That – Noah Baustin of the San Francisco Standard features the stories of two inspirational women who have gone through the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office Clean Slate Program. The restitution they owed nearly prevented them from getting the expungements they deserve in order to elevate their lives, better provide for their families, and give back to the community.

If you or someone you know could benefit from a Clean Slate, please reach out to us with any questions at 415-553-9337 or contact us via our website. You can also start the application online and we will support you throughout the process.


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