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Ottawa County Expungement event offers a fresh start for some

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Event could wipe criminal records clean after law change last year

The Ottawa County Public Defender Office announced Monday it’s hosting an expungement clinic for those wishing to have a criminal conviction set aside.

Ottawa County is offering an opportunity for some residents to have a fresh start when it comes to their criminal record, as the Public Defender’s Office is hosting an expungement event on Friday April 29th.

Last year, state legislators voted to allow some crimes to be expunged from records after a set amount of time---includes up to three felonies, one drinking and driving offense, and unlimited misdemeanors.

Ottawa County Assistant Public Defender Patrick Kolehouse says, the change in law means a second chance for some…

“You pay a penalty for the crime but you keep paying for that crime the rest of your whole damn life, because every time you apply for a job you have to put down, that ‘yes’ I have been convicted of a crime, and that means people get turned down all the time for work they are qualified for, that they would be good at, that would contribute to the overall well-being of the at county.”

Not all offenses are eligible to be expunged, so pre-registration paperwork is necessary. The criminal record will not be cleared at the the event; the expungement process can take several months.

Those interested in attending are asked to fill out a pre-registration form online to determine if they are eligible.

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