From City Weekly: Currently, the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification, the agency in charge of expunging criminal records, does not allow for the wiping of multiple felonies. Hutchings says the research and counsel of treatment professionals and law enforcement show that a drug offender could be hit with multiple felonies from a single criminal episode and thus, in one fell swoop, be disqualified from cleaning his or her record.
The bill language would instead qualify individuals to have multiple felony drug offenses expunged from a single criminal episode, or two felony drug-possession convictions from separate incidents. To qualify, however, the individuals need to have paid their dues—served sentences, paid court-ordered fines, finished probation and parole—and then wait seven years before seeking the expungements. Hutchings hopes that the change may also provide an incentive for offenders to seek treatment in earnest after a felony conviction, rather than falling back to drugs.
I strongly support this bill. I think our county has fought the "drug war" in such a way that they have made the problem worse. It's easier for people to fall back into drugs and crime after being labelled a felon then it is to recover and become a productive member of society again. This bill passed unanimously in the House of Representatives and will now go to the Senate for a vote.
Yeas - 72
Nays - 0
Absent or not voting - 3
|Barrus, R.||Brown, D.||Brown, M.|