The Second Chance Act
The Second Chance Act is a bipartisan “clean slate” bill that automatically expunges certain criminal charges that are dismissed or disposed “not guilty” after December 1, 2019 and allows individuals to petition for expungement for others. It also allows individuals to petition for expungement of all nonviolent misdemeanor convictions after 7 years of good behavior. A person may also petition for expunction of a nonviolent felony conviction after 10 years of good behavior (see reverse for more details). The definitions of “nonviolent misdemeanor” and “nonviolent felony” are not changed by this bill. Expunged criminal records are not available to the public, but expunged dismissals and convictions can still be accessed by district attorneys and considered by courts for sentencing if the person re-offends.
HOW THE SECOND CHANCE ACT/SB 562 PROVIDES CLEAN SLATE RELIEF
- AUTOMATIC RELIEF. Certain misdemeanor and felony charges that are dismissed or disposed “not guilty” on or after December 1, 2019, will be automatically expunged.
- PROVIDES EXPUNCTION RELIEF FOR CONVICTIONS OF OFFENSES TREATED AS JUVENILE OFFENSES UNDER RAISE THE AGE. A person or prosecutor will be able to petition for expunction of all misdemeanor and Class H or I felony convictions that occurred when a person was ages 16 or 17 and prior to Dec. 1, 2019 (the effective date of Raise the Age).
- PROSECUTOR-INITIATED RELIEF. A prosecutor may petition for expunction of dismissed charges and charges disposed “not guilty” and “Raise the Age” convictions (see above).
- EXPANDS ELIGIBILITY TO MULTIPLE NONVIOLENT CONVICTIONS. A person may petition for expunction of (i) all nonviolent misdemeanor convictions after 7 years of good behavior, and (ii) one nonviolent felony conviction after 10 years of good behavior, as long as the person has never been convicted of an A1 misdemeanor or violent felony offense. A judge may deny the person relief at their discretion even if the person is eligible for relief.
On May 8, 2019, SB 562 The Second Chance Act passed the Senate, 44-0.