House Bill (HB) 1482, authored by State Representative Jud McMillin (R-Brookville), passed through the House with an 82 to 17 vote on Tuesday. The bill will now go to the Senate for further consideration.
If enacted, the bill allows a sentencing court to expunge or eliminate from public record a non-violent, Class D felony or misdemeanor charge. The conviction must have occurred 10 years prior to the expundgement, and there can be no pending cases during the time of the appeal.
“I understand it can be difficult for those with prior convictions to rebuild their lives in our society, and while we should certainly hold them accountable for their actions, those who have made mistakes should not be hindered forever with a decade-old criminal record of a low-level, non-violent offense,” said Rep. McMillin.
Under the same parameters, the bill includes a provision to allow higher level felony charges to be expunged based on a decision made by the sentencing court.
“If the person can demonstrate that they are ready to be a productive member of society, it will be up to the sentencing court’s discretion to eliminate a higher felony charge off their record,” said Rep. McMillin.
Currently, the law allows an individual convicted of a crime to petition the sentencing court to restrict disclosure of such charges. The law also includes a provision that a sentencing court may convert a Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor after three years has taken place since completion of their sentence agreement.
“This bill is intended to bring fairness for those who made a mistake in the past, did their time and were unable to escape a poor decision they made as an adolescent,” said Rep. McMillin. “A large part of our state’s correctional system involves the rehabilitation of inmates, and I believe this bill creates a level playing field for the reintegration process to occur more effectively.”
Visit www.in.gov/legislative for more information regarding HB 1482.