What the Clean Slate Act does
This legislation would automatically seal certain criminal records after a required waiting period – three years after conviction or release from jail for a misdemeanor and eight years after conviction or release from prison for a felony – provided they have maintained a clean record and are no longer on probation or parole.
To protect public safety and ensure we are sealing the records of people who have truly committed to turning their lives around, there are instances where people will not be eligible for sealing. Those with pending criminal charges, who are required to register as a sex offender, who received a life sentence, or who have been convicted of a class A felony – like murder – are ineligible to have their records sealed under Clean Slate.
Importantly, this legislation still provides access to otherwise sealed records for certain necessary and relevant purposes, including:
- law enforcement purposes
- licensing or employment for specific industries where a criminal background check is required to be performed
- employment where a fingerprint-based background is performed
- extending employment to a person in jobs where they may work with such groups as children, the elderly or other vulnerable populations
- when an individual is seeking a gun license, a commercial driver’s license, or where required for public housing
To ensure adequate time for the necessary procedures to be put into place, the law will take effect one year after the governor signs it and the Office of Court Administration will have up to three years to seal conviction records that were eligible before the law went into effect.