Getting a Good Paying Job is Hard Enough

I get a lot of calls regarding expungement. I usually ask why the caller is looking to set aside his or her conviction and the number one reason is that it is next to impossible to get a job or second, that it effects their professional licensing.
Currently, if you have more than one conviction, you cannot expunge anything. A couple of years ago, the legislature revised the requirements and allowed for two minor misdemeanors in addition to the crime to be expunged. These minor misdemeanors are crimes such as disorderly conduct that carry a maximum punishment of up to 90 days in jail. In addition, these minor misdemeanors had to have occurred when the person was between 17 and 21 years old.

The House is now considering HB 4186, which makes significant changes. Most importantly, you can now have two misdemeanors on your record in addition to the crime to be expunged. In addition, the court is now allowed to expunge two misdemeanors in one hearing. While the waiting period of 5 years is extended to the end of incarceration and/or probation (this is new), the changes will allow many more individuals to qualify for an expungement.

Unfortunately, HB 4186 seems to have stalled in the house. Introduced in May 2013, the bill seems stuck and probably needs a push to get it unstuck. When I tell people that under the current law, they are not eligible for an expungement, I usually suggest they join those groups that are pushing for change. I would also suggest they contact their representatives and encourage them to support HB 4186.

Bottom line. It is possible to change the law but it does take some work.