Bill to help offenders clear records advances in legislature

Eamon Queeney | The North State Journal
North Carolina House of Representatives members work in the opening of a special session of the General Assembly in the House Chambers of the Legislative Building in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A bill easing requirements to wipe some criminal records clean is advancing through North Carolina’s legislature.

The measure that cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday automates expunctions for criminal charges that don’t result in convictions and allows offenders to clear multiple nonviolent misdemeanor or low level felony convictions from their records. Criminal justice reform advocates say the bill gives offenders a second chance to reintegrate into society.

The committee amended the bill to allow law enforcement access to expunged records when someone applies for a law enforcement job.

Some lawmakers worried the bill could create extra work for clerks who must process the automatic expunctions, but they still supported the measure.

The bill passed the Senate in May and now heads to another House committee.