This Saturday, April 27, people can get a second chance to deal with tickets and misdemeanors without fear of additional charges or penalties.

This is the third time the Long Beach Police Department has offered to help people with outstanding traffic or non-violent misdemeanor warrants. Those people normally would be at risk for arrest for failure to appear in court.

At the event, those who qualify will be given a new citation and court date. That gives people a fresh start to dealing with their legal issues, and clears warrants that are outstanding for the police.

Last year, more than 130 people had warrants cleared in two events.

This year, City Prosecutor Doug Haubert's office has partnered with the police to offer the prosecutor's Fresh Start program. That program began at least partially to comply with direction to expunge old minor marijuana possession convictions — part of the legalization of marijuana in California.

At the same time, attorneys and paralegals will be on hand to help people with old misdemeanor convictions. The legal experts may be able to help expunge — remove — those convictions from records.

"There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Long Beach residents who are eligible for post-conviction relief," Haubert said. "Opportunities like this do not come around that often and I hope people take advantage of what is being offered."

Haubert said that pre-registration would help recover records and speed the process on Saturday. People can pre-register in advance to get priority service at

People with misdemeanors involving violence (domestic violence, resisting arrest or a crime involving a gun) are not eligible for the expungement. Felony convictions are not eligible either.

The prosecutor's office also conducted an expungement session last year. This is the first time the police and prosecutor are conducting a joint exercise, though.

"For the first time ever we are partnering with the Long Beach Police Department so we can assist the largest number of people at one time," Haubert said. "Many could benefit from this event."

It will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Long Beach City College Pacific Coast Campus, 1305 E. Pacific Coast Highway. 

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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