SB 588
Modifies provisions relating to petitions for the expungement of criminal records
LR Number:
Last Action:
7/13/2016 - Signed by Governor
Journal Page:
HCS SCS SBs 588, 603 & 942
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
January 1, 2018
House Handler:

Current Bill Summary

HCS/SCS/SBs 588, 603, & 942 - Current law requires a $100 surcharge to be paid for petitions for expungement of criminal records. This act raises the amount of the surcharge to $250 and provides that the judge may waive the surcharge if the petitioner is indigent.

Under current law, a person may petition the court in which the person was found guilty for the expungement of records relating to a list of specified offenses. A person may file multiple petitions throughout the state and have multiple offenses expunged, but may only file one petition per circuit court. This act repeals the limitation on the number of petitions per circuit court, allows a person who was arrested but not sentenced to apply for expungement, and allows a person to petition, over the course of a lifetime, for the expungement of records for any number of infractions, no more than two misdemeanor offenses or ordinance violations that carry jail time, and no more than one felony offense. If the violations or offenses were charged at the same time or involve the same course of conduct, the person may include all the related offenses or violations in the same petition and it only counts as a petition for one offense or violation. This act lists certain crimes and ordinance violations that may not be expunged.

Current law requires the petitioner to name as defendants any entity that has records related to the offense the petitioner is seeking to have expunged. This act adds municipal prosecuting attorneys to the list of entities.

Current law requires a person to wait 20 years for a felony and 10 years for a misdemeanor before being eligible to file an expungement petition. This act allows a person to file a petition after three years for the expungement of records relating to a finding of guilt for a misdemeanor, ordinance violation, or infraction, or an arrest for any type of offense or violation. A petition to expunge a finding of guilt for a felony may be filed seven years after completion of the sentence.

This act modifies the information that must be on the petition and repeals a provision of current law requiring the court to dismiss a petition if all the required information is not included.

This act allows the prosecutor to object within 30 days or receipt of the petition, and if the prosecutor does object, the court must hold a hearing within 60 days. If no objection is filed, the court may hold a hearing. This act modifies the list of things the court may consider at the expungement hearing. In addition, this act provides that a rebuttable presumption is created that the expungement is warranted if the petitioner meets the criteria. A victim of the offense, violation, or infraction must have an opportunity to be heard at any expungement hearing under this act and the court may make a determination based solely on the victim's testimony.

Current law allows the court to order expungement if the petitioner meets the listed criteria. This act requires the judge to enter the order if the petitioner meets the criteria. The court must issue an order within six months of the filing of the petition.

Under current law, entities possessing records relating to an expunged offense must destroy the records. This act provides that the entities must close, not destroy, the records and repeals provisions allowing for the blacking out of certain records. Also, repealed is a provision requiring expunged records to be removed from electronic files maintained by the state.

This act expands a provision of current law that requires a person granted an expungement to disclose an expunged offense when completing an application for certain types of licenses, permits and employment. Employers are required to notify applicants of specific disclosure requirements under this act. This act provides that a person who has been granted an expungement to answer "no" to an employer's inquiry into whether the person has ever been convicted of a crime if the person has no public record after the granting of the expungement. The person must disclose expunged criminal convictions if the employer is required to exclude applicants with certain criminal convictions due to federal or state law.

The court must dismiss a petition for expungement under current law if the petitioner has not met the statutory criteria. This act provides that the petition must also be dismissed if the petitioner has knowingly provided false information in the petition.

This act requires the court to make a form available for pro se petitioners seeking expungement.

The act has an effective date of January 1, 2018.

This act is similar to HB 1555 (2016), HB 1889 (2016), HB 2681 (2016), and SCS/SBs 451, 307, 100, & 165 (2015).