Saturday, August 17, 2013
Ind. Law - "Shelby County’s prosecutor questions expungement law"
Paul Gable of the Shelby News reports today:
Shelby County Prosecutor Kent Apsley said he understands the bill’s intent.
“This bill started out as an attempt to give first-time, non-violent offenders a fresh start. However, the final bill went way beyond that. From an offender’s standpoint, this law is, obviously, a huge benefit. They can essentially wipe out a whole lifetime of crime. There is no limit on the number of convictions that can be covered up and no limit on the number of counties they can do it in,” Apsley said.
Those interested must petition a court to have their records of the conviction and initial arrest expunged. Such a petition requires the individual to: 1) Not have been charged with or committed other crimes; 2) Successfully complete their sentence; 3) Not have a pending or existing driver’s license suspension; and 4) pay a licensing fee.
Under the law, crimes such as battery, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death, theft and forgery are eligible. Most sex or violent offenders, as well as those convicted in a homicide case, aren’t eligible to have records cleared.
“Obviously the big losers are employers who can no longer ask about ‘non-expunged’ crimes. In fact, it is now an offense if they do ask. Most employers would like to know if people they are looking to hire have a history of theft, drug offenses, drunk driving and so on,” Apsley said.
Apsley said that despite Pence signing the measure into law, it will be “largely ineffective.”
“Once a person has been charged, convicted and that information hits the World Wide Web, there is no way to cover up those facts. Anyone looking for this sort of information will simply turn to the Internet, rather than to previously available and more accurate public records,” Apsley said.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 17, 2013 11:07 AM
Posted to Indiana Law