New Year Offers Chance to Expunge Conviction Records Under New L - KOAM TV 7

New Year Offers Chance to Expunge Conviction Records Under New Law

Joplin, MO -

 Missourians have a better chance of getting prior convictions expunged from their record under 
 a  2016  bill that  becomes  law  January 1, 2018.
The bill was signed into law by then Governor Jay Nixon.  It allows someone to petition a judge asking that a prior conviction or convictions be expunged. Under the law, they would be sealed from public view. It would include some felonies and misdemeanors such as passing bad checks. But would not include class A felonies, sex offenses or assaults. Representative Charlie Davis says it allows people who may have done something bad in their past to not be limited in their future. 

Davis said, "It  allows that individual to apply for a job and I'm not having to worry that I'm not gonna  be able to get this job so I'm not gonna apply.'  Also for housing   cause sometimes you go to an apartment complex one of the questions is have you ever been charged with a misdemeanor  or crimes etcetera.  It allows somebody to have a second chance.*"

Representative Davis said it doesn't mean all those who petition the court will have their crimes expunged. It is up to the judge's discretion. And judges and other criminal agencies could  still see  all prior convictions. 

Davis said that was part of a compromise in getting the bill passed. He added, "I  do believe people should pay one hundred percent for the crimes they commit. This is not allowing anybody to get off. It is allowing people  who have committed a crime to serve the sentence they're given then over a period  of time allows them to go before a local judge. And one of our local southwest Missouri judges would have the authority  to look at the record and deem if there's no risk to the general public to allow those records to be sealed. It doesn't   mean those records cannot be seen in the future  by the judicial  system, CIA, things of that nature. But what it does, it makes sure those records are not known to the average public.  So that when  that individual goes out and applies for a job, and we have seen some  really negative things happen. Because  of one incident that might have happened when they were seventeen years old that for the rest of their lives, have a hard time getting a job."

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