Photo: Joe Gratz (Flickr)
Legislation allowing many criminal records to be expunged is headed to the governor’s desk. Supporters say it will help reformed felons get a second chance.
The expungement bill will allow the criminal record of those convicted of a misdemeanor and some low-level felonies to be wiped clean five years after conviction if the person completes all the conditions of their sentence and isn’t convicted of another crime.
It does the same for most Class D felons eight years after conviction. For more serious felonies above Class D, expungement can occur eight or ten years after the sentence ends but their criminal record remains public, with the notation that the state expunged it. Sex and violent crime offenders are not eligible for expungement.
Rep. Jud McMillan (R-Brookville) says the bill is aimed at reducing recidivism.
“What we should be as a functioning arm of the government is somebody who is seeking to remove impediments to people to be successful and remove impediments to getting employment and this is an area where I think we can really do that,” McMillan says. “We can remove those impediments and help people.”
People can apply for expungement only once in their life but that application can include more than one conviction.