Pa. House passes ‘clean slate’ bill

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The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has passed legislation to seal low-level criminal records of people who go 10 years without another arrest.

House Bill 1419 would automatically seal from the public the records of second- and third-degree misdemeanor convictions.

Pennsylvania’s current “clean slate” law, Act 5 of 2016, allows for sealing of low-level records, but only if a petition is filed by the accused.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland), said her proposal does not apply to violent offenses related to endangering a person, firearms, sexual offenses, cruelty to animals, and corruption of minors.

“People who had a criminal conviction from decades past and have turned their lives around, without any other police involvement, have faced employment barriers due to their prior bad actions,” Delozier said in a statement. “By sealing from public view minor criminal offenses which are at least 10 years old, individuals can have a clean slate to move on with their lives.”

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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