Pro Bono News

Expungement Law Helps Human Trafficking Victims Move Forward (CA)

Friday, February 02, 2018

Expungement Law Helps Human Trafficking Victims Move Forward

"(CN) – Her feet hurt; her trafficker required her to wear high heels every day. But she had no money to buy personal grooming items like nail clippers and a pumice stone, so she stole them.

The trafficking survivor had a record. Prostitution, theft and drug convictions continued to follow her even after she turned her life around and got her GED, and potential employers rescinded job offers once background checks were performed.

But a new California law which vacates and erases nonviolent offenses committed by victims of human trafficking offered her and others a fresh start.

In 2016, California joined 36 other states with vacatur or expungement laws for trafficking survivors, though it took some coordination among victims’ advocates, prosecutors, public defenders, law enforcement and the courts before petitions could be successfully filed in California courts..."

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