Alumnus Darnell Pratt brings expungement clinic to Warren County

Darnell Pratt, a 2011 graduate of Alcorn State University and attorney at Simmons and Simmons, PLLC in Greenville, Mississippi, wants to see those with a criminal record get a second chance to live their lives to the fullest.

“Fleeting mistakes should not have a life long effect,” said Pratt, a Leland, Mississippi native. “Every day, we grow and evolve into what I hope is a better version of self. I don’t think anyone would want the world to equate what they may have done at 18 to whom they are at 35, or want an isolated mistake to continue to shape their future. Everyone deserves a second chance because we are human, which makes us fallible and subject to mistakes.”

The Mississippi Bar Association is bringing its fourth annual Restoration Day Statewide Expungement Clinics to Vicksburg, Mississippi Saturday, March 4. The clinic will be held at the Vicksburg Municipal Courtroom, located at 820 Veto Street. Pratt, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science, is the statewide coordinator for the events.

The purpose of the expungement clinic is to erase past fellow charges from an individual’s record. Currently, under Mississippi Law, there are seven felony convictions that are expungeable five years after the completion of all terms and conditions of the sentence: Felony worthless check, possession of a controlled substance (simple possession, not with intent or manufacturing charges), false pretense, grand larceny, malicious mischief, shoplifting and first time DUI. Attorneys will draft the necessary paperwork for participants to obtain an expungement for free. The participants are required to pay the filing fee to have their paperwork filed in the respective court where they received their charge.

With the clinics, Pratt is reaching out in an attempt to help those with criminal records get a new lease on life. He wants to help clear their name so that they can enjoy the same liberties as those without a criminal past.

Pratt feels proud to be in a position to help those in need.

“There’s no better feeling than to use the skills that you have acquired through education for good and to actually see change being effectuated. Many people that need expungements cannot afford the cost of obtaining an attorney and having the process completed. It makes me extremely happy, and I am ever so thankful for the volunteer attorneys that are not only giving their time, but also giving up potential revenue that hey could have charged clients for this type of service.”

Expungement clinics will also be held in DeSoto, Harrison and Washington counties on March 4. For more information, contact Pratt at (662) 334-1666.

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