This bill provides that a court cannot deny a petition to seal or expunge a criminal record simply because the individual has not satisfied outstanding court debt, and waives certain fees that apply to expungement applications.
The Criminal Identification Act allows for the sealing or expungement of a criminal record either automatically or via an application process. There are a few exceptions, but generally, anyone with a criminal record may petition the court after a certain time. The individual must pay the applicable fee for filing a petition, unless the individual has received a court order waiving fees.
- A court cannot deny a petition for sealing or expungement because the petitioner has not paid an outstanding cost, fine, or fee. Restitution, however, must be paid, unless the restitution order was changed to a civil judgment.
- After a record has been sealed or expunged, the court may order that the record be made available solely for the purpose of demonstrating the amount of any cost, fine, or fee that the individual still owes. Once the individual has paid that amount, the record is immediately made unavailable.
- For arrest records, the Act mandates a county fee waiver pilot program which ends in January 2019. In counties of three million or more inhabitants, no fee will be imposed on an individual to expunge or seal records where (1) the arrest resulted in a release and no charge; or (2) the charge resulted in acquittal, dismissal, or a reversed/vacated conviction.
- If an individual files a petition to expunge a record that has already been sealed, the fee for the expungement petition is waived.