Monday, July 2, 2012

NC seeks to expand availability of criminal expungement

North Carolina felons would get a fresh start under a bill recently passed by a Senate panel.  The bill allows judges to erase some nonviolent convictions if the offender meets a series of requirements, according to The Associated Press.

The bill would affect current and future felons and has been in the making for a decade. The Senate Rules Committee approval moved it to the full Senate for debate but it adjourned for the night without taking up the bill.

To get the crimes expunged, 15 years must have passed since the conviction and "good moral character" must be established and vouched for. It also permits probation officers to conduct a background check, district attorneys to contact victims and judges to throw out requests they feel don't have merit.

Ohio recently enacted a collateral sanction bill.  The new law will permit former offenders to get employment and other relief from other sanctions imposed as the result of a conviction.  In North Carolina opponents worry the measure is soft on crime and harms business owners. The bill received some pushback in the House last week when it passed 76-39.

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