House Bill 1041 unanimously passed in the Legislature this spring and was signed by the Governor earlier this month. It will become effective on July 28, 2019, and contains extraordinary changes to the qualifications for vacating a felony or misdemeanor conviction. Some highlights include: 1) streamlining the process for obtaining a certificate of discharge; 2) allowing vacations for certain assault convictions; 3) removing the prohibition on vacating more than one misdemeanor conviction; 4) removing the requirement that wait times be tied to certificates of discharge.
These changes greatly expand eligibility for post-conviction relief in regard to criminal history records. Many individuals who would be statutorily barred from petitions under today’s rules will be able to request discharge under the amendments. This is a progressive, rehabilitative Bill that will help people with employment and housing opportunities currently unavailable to them.