I’ve noticed a real spike in views of the blog in the last few days. Particularly for the posts that outline what offenses would be eligible for expungement under SB298. I hope that it is Senator Stivers’ fellow legislators coming to have a look at this important, life-changing legislation. If anyone from the Senate or House is reading this:
I understand the reality that not all offenses should be expungeable or vacatable. But please, stick with Senator Westerfield’s five year waiting period. The vast majority of Class D felons will be probated. Many of them will succeed, some won’t. But these probationary periods are generally three to five years. When you add the one to two years it takes to resolve some cases, and the five year waiting period after probation proposed by Senator Westerfield, almost every Class D felon will have gone ten years since the offense they want to expunge.
In fact, there is an easy, compromise solution: simply require a ten year waiting period from the date of the offense, or five years since completing probation, whichever is greater. In reality this will be similar to Senator Westerfield’s proposal in most cases. It will ensure that ten years has passed since the person’s last conviction, and it will obviate a lot of the PFO 2 concerns.
One more point: $500 is just too much. We know that 92% of jobs are doing background checks. We know that most will not hire felons. If we want to get people back to work, pick a lower number. I understand that AOC is underwater and needs money. But it certainly doesn’t cost $500 to store a file in a separate system and remove it from another one. The driving force of this legislation is about getting vulnerable people back to work. We have to eliminate as many barriers as we can to that goal.