Automatic Clearing of Records

7/19/2021

Automatic Clearing of Records

State lawmakers are increasingly interested in statutory provisions that automatically clear a person’s criminal record.  While many states have laws allowing for record relief, these laws typically require the individual to petition the court and pay a fee for clearing a criminal history. Making this procedure automatic, however, removes the need for a petition and is often done free of charge. Currently, 20 states have at least one statutory automatic record clearing provision. Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Utah have enacted legislation that automates the automatic record clearing process, sometimes known as “clean slate laws.” This chart has information on states that have an automatic record clearing process in statute, including general eligibility requirements and disqualifications.

The box allows you to conduct a full text search or type the state name.

 

Automatic Clearing of Records

State

Automated

Arrests

Non-Convictions

Convictions

Notes

Alabama

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Alaska

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Arizona

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

California

Penal Code
§ 95.193,
Penal Code §1203.425

*Applies to arrests, non-convictions and convictions occurring on or after Jan. 1, 2021. Eligible records will be automatically sealed starting July 1, 2022.*

No

An arrested individual who has successfully completed a diversion program is eligible.

A misdemeanor in which the charge was dismissed or the individual was acquitted, or one year has elapsed since the arrest and no criminal proceedings have been started. For a felony charge, the offense must be punishable by imprisonment in county jail (not state prison), the individual was acquitted or three years have elapsed since the arrest and there are no signs of pending criminal proceedings. 

If on probation for a conviction that occurred after Jan. 1, 2021, the individual is eligible for automatic relief if the probation term was completed without revocation. If the individual was convicted of an infraction or misdemeanor and the sentence has been completed, automatic relief is available one year following judgment. For certain felonies, the offense must not be punishable by incarceration in state prison; a person must not be required to register as a sex offender; does not have an active record for local, state or federal supervision; is not currently serving a sentence for an offense; and does not have pending criminal charges.

Starting Aug. 1, 2022, the court cannot disseminate information regarding a sealed record except to the person who qualified for relief.   

Colorado

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Connecticut

§ 54-421a et seq.

No

No automatic erasure of arrests.

Automatic erasure of all police and court records will apply in any criminal case if the individual is found not guilty, charges are dismissed or dropped and 13 months have passed, or the case was put on hold and 13 months have elapsed.  

No automatic erasure of convictions.

 

Delaware

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

District of Columbia

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Florida

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Georgia

§ 35-3-37

No

No automatic clearing of arrests.

Offenses that are not referred for prosecution and have been closed by the arresting law enforcement agency. Criminal history records will be restricted from public access as follows: misdemeanors or misdemeanors of a high and aggravated nature, two years after the date of arrest; nonviolent felonies, four years from the date of arrest; violent and sex-related felonies, seven years from the date of arrest.    

No automatic clearing of convictions.

 

Hawaii

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Idaho

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Illinois

20 ILCS 2630/5.2(i)

No

If there are no criminal charges filed or at least one year has passed since the arrest date, and no other charges were associated with the arrest. 

The charges were vacated or the individual was acquitted, or less than 30 grams of cannabis was in possession.

Possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis unless the conviction was associated with a violent crime, sexual offense, stalking offense, animal abuse, requirement to register as a sex offender, or violations of local ordinances. 

20 ILCS § 2630/5.2(i) outlines the timetable in which records will be expunged according to occurrence date.  

Indiana

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Iowa

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Kansas

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Kentucky

§ 431.076(1)(a)

No

No automatic clearing of arrests.

On or after July 15, 2020, misdemeanor or felony cases where the court orders an acquittal of criminal charges or an order dismissing all charges with prejudice not in exchange for a guilty plea in another charge.

No automatic clearing of convictions.

 

Louisiana

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Maine

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Maryland

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Massachusetts

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Michigan

§ 28.243(8),

§ 764.26a,

§ 780.622, § .623,
§ .624

In progress

Under § 28.243(8); § 764.26a, biometric data, fingerprints, and the arrest record will be expunged when charges are dismissed before trial and if the prosecutor does not object to the dismissal within 60 days.

If the charges are dismissed before trial, biometric and arrest record data is to be destroyed (§ 28.243(8); § 764.26a). 

Per HB 4980, an unlimited number of minor misdemeanors where the maximum prison sentence is 92 days, will be eligible seven years after sentencing; non-assaultive felonies will be eligible 10 years after sentence imposition or release from prison. Up to four misdemeanors and two felonies can be automatically set aside. There cannot be any pending criminal charges against the individual. Automatic set-aside will not apply if: an individual has more than one conviction for an assaultive crime; the crime(s) involve violence or dishonesty; punishment for the offense is 10 or more years in prison, if the offense involves a minor or vulnerable adult, if the offense involves injury, serious impairment, death or human trafficking. Serious misdemeanors and misdemeanor marijuana offenses are ineligible.

A process for automating set-aside relief is scheduled to go into effect October 2022.

 

The courts retain the right to make a set-aside conviction public again if the individual did not make a good faith attempt to pay restitution.

 

According to § 750.224f(8), a conviction that has been expunged or set aside restores an individual’s right to possess a firearm “unless the expunction … expressly provides that the person shall not possess a firearm or ammunition.”

Minnesota

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Mississippi

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Missouri

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Montana

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Nebraska

§ 29-3523

No

Arrest records in which charges were not filed are removed from public view one year following the date of arrest. If charges were not filed as the result of the individual completing a diversion program, the record will be removed from public view two years following the date of the arrest.

In instances of acquittal, deferred judgement or completion of a court-ordered program, the criminal history will be removed from the public record upon notification of a criminal justice agency of the acquittal or when the order dismissing the case is entered.

No automatic clearing of convictions.

 

Nevada

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

New Hampshire

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

New Jersey

§ 2C:52-1,

§ 2C:52-2(b) and (c),

§ 2C:52-5.4,

§ 2C:52-6

In progress

No automatic clearing of arrests.

Acquittals and dismissed charges (not including plea bargains). 

With the exception of murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, rape and other serious offenses outlined by § 2C:52-2(b), convictions will be eligible 10 years after the individual’s most recent conviction, payment of court-ordered financial assessments has been made (though the court may waive restitution), the individual has been released from prison or completed probation or parole. For convictions involving controlled substances, marijuana offenses involving less than 1 ounce and hashish offenses involving less than 5 grams are eligible. A conviction of the third or fourth degree could qualify if the court finds a compelling reason to grant expungement.

Enacted on Dec. 18, 2019, S4154 requires that provisions related to the automated record-clearing process “become operative on the 180th day following enactment…” When the automated system will become fully operable is currently unknown.   

 

According to § 2C:52-5.4(b)(1)(a), a task force has been established to “make recommendations regarding the development and implementation of the automated [clean slate] process.”

New Mexico

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

New York

Crim. Proc. Law
§ 160.50(3)(k)(i)-(iii),

Crim. Proc. Law
§ 160.55,

Crim. Proc. Law
§ 440.10(1)(k),

Crim Proc. Law
§ 440.10(6)

No

No automatic clearing of arrests.

In cases where criminal actions or proceedings against an individual were terminated “in favor of such person” (§ 160.50), the record will be automatically sealed.

Conviction of Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the 5th Degree prior to Aug. 28, 2019, will be automatically expunged. Conviction of Unlawful Possession of Marijuana in the 1st Degree or Unlawful Possession of Marijuana in the 2nd Degree after Aug. 28, 2019, will be automatically expunged, but the individual must still pay the court-ordered fine.

 

North Carolina

§ 15A-146(a4) & (a5)

No

No automatic clearing of arrests.

Infractions, misdemeanors and felonies disposed of on or after Dec. 1, 2021, will be eligible for automatic expungement if the charges were dismissed without leave, dismissed by the court or the individual was found not guilty or not responsible. Felony charges that are dismissed due to a plea agreement are not eligible.

No automatic clearing of convictions.

Under § 15A-146(a5), investigative records relating to expunged charges may be maintained by the arresting agency.

North Dakota

§ 12.1-32-07.1,

§ 12.1-32-07.2(2)

No

 No automatic clearing of arrest.

In a case where a deferred sentence results in the dismissal of charges, the record will only be accessible by the clerk, the court judge, the juvenile commissioner, probation officers, the defendant and defendant’s counsel, and the state attorney.

No automatic clearing of convictions.

 

Ohio

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Oklahoma

63 Okl. St. § 2-410

No

No automatic clearing of arrests.

For first-time drug offenses in which deferred sentencing resulted in dismissed charges, the record will be automatically expunged.

No automatic clearing of convictions.

Expunged records are admissible in any future criminal proceedings without needing to obtain a court order.

Oregon

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Pennsylvania

18 Pa. C.S. § 9122.2-9122.3

Yes

No automatic clearing of arrests.

All non-convictions are eligible for automatic sealing with no waiting period.

Third- and second-degree misdemeanors, first-degree misdemeanors that carry a sentence of two years or less in prison, and summary convictions are eligible for automatic sealing with record access limited to judicial officers and law enforcement. Payment of court-ordered restitution is required. Eligible individuals must be free of conviction charges that carry a sentence of one or more years in prison and have fulfilled all court-ordered obligations for at least 10 years prior to record sealing. An individual convicted of a felony, has been convicted of two or more offenses with a prison sentence of two years or greater and/or committed four or more offenses with a prison sentence of one or more years in prison is disqualified. Offenses outlined by 18 Pa. C.S. § 9122.3 which include, but are not limited to, sexual misconduct, violence and firearms are ineligible.

 

Rhode Island

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

South Carolina

§17-22-950

No

No automatic clearing of arrests.

Non-convictions in summary courts are eligible for expungement unless the individual was not fingerprinted at the time of arrest, was charged with a Title 50 violation (Fish, Game, and Watercraft), a traffic violation, or violation of a county or municipal ordinance.

No automatic clearing of convictions.

 

South Dakota

§ 23A-3-34,

§ 23A-27-14,

§ 23A-27-17,

§ 23-6-8.1

No

No automatic clearing of arrests.

First-time offenders with a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge that is not punishable by death or life in prison may have their records automatically sealed upon completion of probation and dismissal of charges. 

Petty offenses, municipal ordinance violations, and Class 2 misdemeanors will be automatically removed from an individual’s record 10 years following completion of all court-ordered conditions.

The case record will still be available to the court and to those authorized by a court order. Per § 23-6-8.1, records may be destroyed by the director of the bureau of criminal statistics if the final disposition date of the misdemeanor offense occurred 10 years prior to the authorized destruction date.

Tennessee

§ 40-32-101

No

No automatic clearing of arrests.

If the charges are dismissed or in the instance of acquittal, the judge “shall inquire” whether the individual would like the record destroyed. If the individual would like all public records associated with the charge destroyed, “the court shall so order.”

No automatic clearing of convictions.

Though restricted from public view, expunged records do not include arrest histories, investigative reports and appellate court opinions. These records can be released in criminal proceedings upon attorney request. 

Texas

Gov’t Code
§ 411.072,

Gov’t Code §441.074,

Gov’t Code
§ 441.0729

No

No automatic clearing of arrests.

For several different types of nonviolent misdemeanors, the court is to automatically enter an Order of Non-Disclosure (OND) after the individual has been placed on deferred adjudication community supervision. However, if the court finds that an automatic OND would not be in the interest of justice or the individual has previously been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for an offense other than a traffic offense punishable by fine only, the individual may be ineligible.

No automatic clearing of convictions.

Under Gov’t. Code § 411.0729, veterans who successfully complete a reemployment program are eligible for automatic OND “regardless of whether the defendant meets other eligibility criteria under this subchapter.”

Utah

§ 77-40-102(5),

§ 77-40-105(5) and (6),

§ 77-40-114,

§ 77-40-115

Yes

No automatic clearing of arrests.

Acquittals and cases dismissed with prejudice. A case dismissed with prejudice secondary to successful completion of a plea in abeyance must meet the expungement requirements outlined by § 77-40-102(5).

Class A misdemeanor convictions for possession of a controlled substance, most Class B and Class C misdemeanor convictions, certain traffic cases and infractions qualify for automatic expungement. All fines must be paid and there is a waiting period of five years for a Class C misdemeanor or infraction, six years for a Class B misdemeanor, and seven years for a Class A misdemeanor conviction for possession of a controlled substance. The individual must not have any current pending criminal charges or have exceeded the total number of allowable convictions under § 77-40-105(5) and (6). Felonies, offenses that require registration as a sex offender, child abuse, as well as other convictions defined by § 77-40-105 are ineligible.

 

Vermont

13 V.S.A. § 7602

No

No automatic clearing of arrests.

No automatic clearing of non-convictions.

Convictions that involved the possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana and occurred prior to Jan. 1, 2021, will be automatically expunged.

 

Virginia

§ 19.2-389.3

No

No automatic clearing of arrests.

There is no public access to records related to marijuana possession charges that were deferred and dismissed.

There is no public access to records related to marijuana possession convictions.

 

Washington

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

West Virginia

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Wisconsin

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Wyoming

No automatic clearing of records in statute.

 

Additional Resources