Free legal clinic in Johnstown

Local News

What if you could wipe your criminal record clean? A free legal clinic will help folks in Johnstown get a second chance and get back on their feet.

Volunteer lawyers will be available to answer legal questions and give guidance on January 16, 2019 from 10:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. at the Cambria County Library on Main Street.

Laurel Legal Services, Cambria County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association are teaming up with the Pennsylvania CareerLink and the Cambria County Library to provide the free civil legal clinic.

Tops include divorce, custody, unemployment compensation, social security, pardons and expungements.

“Maybe they just made a dumb mistake when they were young,” said one of the volunteer attorneys, Tim Burns. “Some people get stigmatized. There could be a drug offense on their record. They weren’t a drug dealer, they didn’t hurt anyone, but that stays on their record.”

But not for long.

Thanks to a new state Clean Slate law that took effect in January, anyone with certain nonviolent misdemeanor criminal charges who have stayed out of trouble for the past ten years and paid their fines and court costs can have those records sealed.

CareerLink Site Administrator Jeff Dick said that could mean a second chance at getting into school, getting a house or a job.

“Maybe they made a mistake. Or if it’s something they weren’t convicted of and they were never charged for and it’s still out there on their record, they need to get that cleared off of there to make them more marketable to those employers,” Dick said.

If you plan on attending, don’t forget to bring any documents related to your legal case.

For questions, please contact Kimberly Tarbell, Laurel Legal Services at (724) 836-2211, ext. 1406 or ktarbell@wpalaw.org, or Jeff Dick, PA CareerLink at (814) 534-2500 ext. 243 or jedick@pa.gov.

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