California State University, Bakersfield hosts its first expungement clinic

February 23, 2023 /

Tomorrow, California State University, Bakersfield will be hosting its first expungement clinic for people with criminal records.

This is an expungement clinic that is part of the CSUB Legal Information and Support Clinic. The purpose of the expungement clinic is to give CSUB pre-law students hands-on experience with working with attorneys and clients.

“We also wish to help bridge the gap in our legal dessert — because we have more
people in Kern County that need legal services than we do attorneys,” said Jeanine E. Kraybill, Associate Professor and Department of Political Science Pre-Law Program Director at CSUB.

The expungement clinic helps to provide low to no-cost services to individuals who need assistance navigating the law.

“The clinic focuses on criminal law, housing discrimination, family law, employment law, immigration law, and self-help. Students apply to the program each fall and spring and work with volunteer attorneys in these areas. In addition to their placements, we have also started the pop-up clinics with the first one focusing on expungement,” said Kraybill.

This expungement clinic will be very beneficial to CSUB students, specifically first-generation students because they will get hands-on experience in helping people navigate the legal system.

“Students cannot give legal advice but they will assist the attorneys with client in-take forms, paperwork, and get to attend court proceedings,” said Kraybill. “This is a unique experience because most students do not get legal clinical training until the second year of law school.”

Not only will this expungement clinic be beneficial to students, but it will also help individuals with certain misdemeanors and felonies get better access to gainful employment, housing, and even custody issues.

The cases that will be eligible for expungement will vary because it is based on the type of misdemeanor and/or felony.

“It will not provide assistance for certain violent crimes or sex offenses. See penal code (PC) 286(c), 287(c), 288, 288a, 288.5, 289(j), 261.5(d) as a felony, 311.1, 311.2, 311.3, 311.11. Also, PC 288, VC §§ 2800, 2801, 2803, 42002.1, and 12810(e)-(j), and it won’t assist with supervised probation,” said Kraybill.

People must bring their case number, proof of valid identification, any information relating to pending charges, and access to their wrap-sheet, and they must share if they did time in custody and if their case is a misdemeanor or felony.

Clients will first fill out an in-take form, then probations will help to determine if the client is eligible or still needs to fulfill probation or other obligations.

“If clients are eligible, they will have to sign a limited scope of representation agreement stating they understand that the volunteer attorney is only representing them on this particular expungement issue,” said Kraybill. “Only Kern County charges will be applicable, so not a charge from another county.”

CSUB students will learn how to use their professional and educational skills to serve the community.

“We are hoping to help cultivate the next generation of diverse legal professionals
here in Kern County with a heart for service,” said Kraybill.

The expungement clinic will be on February 24 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Kern County Board of Supervisors Building, 1115 Truxtun Ave, 3rd-floor conference room.

“The clinic will have to conclude right at 5:00 pm so we recommend folks come closer to 1:00 p.m. and though we are taking emails as notices of attendance for headcount purposes, the clinic will be first come, first serve. Eligibility will be determined at the clinic,” said Kraybill.