SLO County residents clear criminal records with help from district attorney

March 7, 2023


The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office and other community organizations are working to assist eligible individuals clear their criminal records, District Attorney Dan Dow announced today.

The goal is to help reduce barriers to employment and housing. A criminal record—no matter how old or how minor—can be a significant barrier to reentry for people when most employers, property managers and universities use background checks to screen applicants.

The SLO County District Attorney’s Office is part of a collaborative effort with the SLO County Probation Department, SLO Defenders, Restorative Partners, People’s Justice Project, California Rural Legal Assistance, and SLO College of Law to host a free Clean Slate Clinic for SLO County residents. Eligible individuals may apply for criminal record expungement, felony reduction, and arrest record sealing on March 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the SLO County Law Library.

“Criminal records can make it very difficult for people to get jobs and housing after incarceration,” Dow said. “The added stability that comes from obtaining employment and housing helps reduce rates of recidivism which improves public safety and the overall quality of life in our community.’

Criminal record expungement provides numerous benefits for individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors and felonies. When applying for a job, individuals who successfully expunge their criminal record can lawfully answer “no” if asked whether they have been convicted of a crime. Moreover, an employer is not permitted to consider an expunged conviction that is discovered through a background check in making a hiring decision

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Wow. A new law allowing people to lie.

Could this group please prioritize straightening out the mess involving Cheyne Orndoff and his brother, who stole his identity? A clerical error made it look like Cheyne had a record which kept him from getting many jobs. When the last police chief left her gun at El Pollo Loco, Orndoff was targeted as the person who “stole it” even though he looked nothing like the person on the videotape and was in Atascadero at a doctor appointment at the time. The police went to his home, searched it, claiming he was on probation and therefore they didn’t need a search warrant (but he was not on probation, it was his brother), took his children away because the house was messy, and made his life a living hell. His previous efforts to get the file corrected were unsuccessful.

If this group can assist convicted criminals, surely they will prioritize helping this man who was a victim of a clerical error that has cost him dearly.

I was under the impression that the state of California is going to erase convictions automatically in a few months ….that are more than 4 years old …. Texas I believe is 3 years time limit .. Not illegal under Texas state law for ex felon to own a gun …it is illegal under federal law for ex felon to own a gun …But marijuana is legal under state laws …and illegal under federal law ….I do not hear of very many marijuana and ex felon owning gun federal cases, unless there is other federal crimes involved

If you’ve done your time or whatever punishment was handed down and you full intend and are walking a straight line, a second chance is an excellent idea. I think those organizations behind this effort are on the right track.

I completely agree,

One of the things that makes this country unique and special is that it is the land of 2nd and 3rd chances.

What about sex offenders? Once they do their time, can they remove themselves from the Megan’s law website or are they a “special” kind of criminal that must forever be branded as such?

Absolutely they are a special kind of criminal that must be branded as such forever. 100%. Sex crimes are perpetrated by particularly heinous individuals that deserve to have that stigma attached to them lifelong at the very least. Disturbing to see a comment suggesting otherwise…