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Forgiving and Forgetting
in American Justice
A 50-State Guide to Expungement and
Restoration of Rights

October 2017

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

The Collateral Consequences Resource Center is a non-profit organization
established in 2014 to promote public discussion of the collateral consequences
of conviction, the legal restrictions and social stigma that burden people with a
criminal record long after their court-imposed sentence has been served. The
resources available on the Center website are aimed primarily at lawyers and
other criminal justice practitioners, scholars and researchers, but they should
also be useful to policymakers and those most directly affected by the
consequences of conviction. We welcome information about relevant current
developments, including judicial decisions and new legislation, as well as
proposals for blog posts on topics related to collateral consequences and
criminal records. In addition, Center board members and staff are available to
advise on law reform and practice issues.
For more information, visit the CCRC at http://ccresourcecenter.org.

This report was prepared by staff of the Collateral Consequences Resource Center, and is
based on research compiled for the Restoration of Rights Project, a CCRC project launched
in August 2017 in partnership with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers,
the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, and the National HIRE Network.

The Restoration of Rights Project is an online resource containing detailed state-by-state
analyses of the law and practice in each U.S. jurisdiction relating to restoration of rights and
status following arrest or conviction. Jurisdictional “profiles” cover areas such as loss and
restoration of civil rights and firearms rights, judicial and executive mechanisms for
avoiding or mitigating collateral consequences, and provisions addressing nondiscrimination in employment and licensing. In addition to the jurisdictional profiles,
Project materials include a set of 50-state comparison charts that make it possible to see
national patterns in restoration laws and policies, and summaries that provide a snapshot
of available relief in each state. These summaries constitute the heart of this report, and
two of the 50-state charts are also included in appendices.
The resources that comprise the Restoration of Rights Project were originally published in
2006 by CCRC Executive Director Margaret Love. They have been expanded over the years
to broaden their scope and to account for the many changes in this complex and dynamic
area of the law. In 2016, Project resources were re-organized into a unified online platform
hosted on the CCRC website.

The Restoration of Rights Project is kept continuously up to date, and CCRC anticipates
revising and republishing this overview report from time to time as warranted by
developments in the law.

Forgiving & Forgetting in American Justice
A 50-State Guide to Expungement and Restoration of Rights
by MARGARET LOVE, JOSH GAINES & JENNY OSBORNE

Introduction

Types & characteristics of relief
Executive pardon

Judicial record-closing authorities

2
4
4
6

Deferred adjudication

12

Fair employment & licensing laws

17

Certificates of relief

Loss & restoration of voting rights
Conclusion
Endnotes

Summary of state restoration mechanisms

Appendix A – 50-state comparison of
expungement, sealing & set-aside
authorities

Appendix B – 50-state comparison of laws
limiting consideration of criminal
records in licensing & employment

14
21
23
24
26
69
96

INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

T

his report catalogues and analyzes the various provisions for relief from the collateral
consequences of a criminal conviction that are now operating in each of the 50 states. Its
goal is to facilitate a national conversation about how people who have been convicted of a
crime may best regain their legal rights and social status. Given the millions of Americans who
have a criminal record, and the proliferation of laws and policies excluding them from a wide
range of opportunities and benefits, there is a critical
need for reliable and accessible relief provisions to
maximize the chances that these individuals can live
Given the millions of
Americans
who have a
productive and law-abiding lives after completion of
criminal record, and the
their court-imposed sentences. Whatever their form,
proliferation of laws and
relief provisions must reckon with the easy availability
policies excluding them
of records, and the pervasive discrimination that
from a wide range of
frustrates the rehabilitative goals of the justice system.
opportunities and benefits,
there is a critical need for
reliable and accessible
relief provisions.

The title of the report (“Forgiving & Forgetting”)
suggests a framework for analyzing different types of
relief provisions. For most of our history, executive
pardon constituted the principal way that persons
convicted of a felony could “pay their debt to society” and regain their rights as citizens. This
traditional symbol of official forgiveness was considered unreliable by mid-20th century
reformers, who sought to shift responsibility for restoration to the courts. The reforms they
proposed took two quite different approaches: One authorized judges to limit public access to
an individual’s record through expungement or sealing, and the other assigned judges
something akin to the executive’s pardoning role, through deferred dispositions and
certificates of relief. These two approaches to restoration have existed side by side for more
than half a century and have never been fully reconciled.
Today, with a new focus on reentry and rehabilitation, policy-makers are again debating
whether it is more effective to forgive a person’s past crimes (through pardon or judicial
dispensation) or to forget them (through record-sealing or expungement). Despite
technological advances and now-pervasive background-checking practices, many states have
continued to endorse the forgetting approach, at least for less serious offenses and records not
resulting in conviction. At the same time, national law reform organizations have proposed
more transparent judicial forgiving or dispensing mechanisms. While the analytical model of
"forgiving v. forgetting" is necessarily imperfect given the wide variety of relief mechanisms

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operating in the states, it seems to capture the basic distinction between an approach that
would mitigate or avoid the adverse consequences of past crimes, and an approach that would
limit access to information about those crimes.

It is not the purpose of this report to recommend any specific approach to relief, but simply to
survey the present legal landscape for the benefit of the policy discussions now underway in
legislatures across the country. Its authors are mindful of the fact that very little empirical
research has been done to measure outcomes of the various schemes described, many of which
are still in their infancy. It is therefore hard to say with any degree of certainty which approach
works best to integrate individuals with a criminal record into their communities. At the same
time, we hope that our description of state restoration mechanisms will inform the work of
lawyers and other advocates working to assist affected individuals in dealing with the
lingering burdens imposed by an adverse encounter with the justice system.
In the pages that follow, we summarize and analyze state restoration laws organized into six
categories: executive pardon, judicial record-closing, deferred adjudication, certificates of
relief, fair employment and licensing laws, and restoration of voting rights. The judgments
made about the availability of each form of relief, reflected in color-coded maps, are in many
cases necessarily subjective, and we have done our best to explain our approach in each case.
More detailed information about different forms of relief is available from the state-by-state
summaries that are the heart of this report. Citations to relevant laws and comparisons of the
laws of each state are included in the 50-state charts in Appendices A & B. Up-to-date
summaries and charts are available from the Restoration of Rights Project
(http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org), which additionally includes in-depth discussions of
the law and policy in its state-by-state “profiles.” We intend to republish this report from time
to time to reflect significant changes in the law.

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

PARDON

TYPES & CHARACTERISTICS OF RELIEF
EXECUTIVE PARDON
Pardon has been described as the patriarch of restoration mechanisms, whose roots in
America are directly traceable to the power of the English crown. Just as a power to pardon
was assigned to the president in Article II of the U.S. Constitution, the constitutions of all states
but Connecticut provide for an executive pardoning power. Pardon is the ultimate expression
of forgiveness and reconciliation from the sovereign that secured the conviction. For almost
two centuries, pardon played a routine operational role in the criminal justice system,
shortening court-imposed sentences and restoring civil rights lost because of conviction.

Nowadays, pardon is a shadow of its once-robust self, particularly in states where the governor
exercises the power without restraint. But in a dozen states, where the pardoning authority is
shielded from the political process by constitutional design, pardon still thrives. In those states
(colored gold on the map on the following page) people who can demonstrate their
rehabilitation have a good chance of official forgiveness, which relieves legal disabilities and
certifies good character. In another handful of states (colored dark blue) the pardon process
is regular and reliable, although in recent years it has produced few grants.
Not surprisingly, in most of the states in which pardons
are granted on a routine basis, the governor either has
In most of the states in
marginal involvement in the pardon process, or shares
which pardons are
power with other executive officials. In six states, the
granted on a routine
pardon power is exercised in most or all cases by an
basis, the governor either
has marginal involvement
independent board. In five of those six states, the power
in the pardon process, or
derives from the state constitution. (In Connecticut, the
shares power with other
power to pardon has since colonial times remained within
executive officials.
the legislature’s control, so that pardoning is both
authorized and limited by statute.) In five of the
independent board states, pardoning is frequent and
regular, administered through a transparent and accountable process. In Alabama,
Connecticut, Georgia, South Carolina, and Idaho, hundreds of pardons are granted each year to
ordinary people convicted of garden variety crimes who are seeking to mitigate the harsh
lingering consequences of conviction. Utah is also an independent board state, but that state
has for many years had a broad expungement remedy so that there has been little or no call on
the pardon power.

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PARDON PRACTICES

In another 14 states, the governor shares the pardon power with other officials or with an
appointed “gatekeeper” board. In about half of these states pardon remains a viable form of
relief, and pardoning occurs at regular intervals through a public process: Delaware, Nebraska,
and Pennsylvania are the stars of this category. Arkansas and South Dakota governors have
traditionally pardoned generously, and Minnesota’s pardon board grants a substantial portion
of its surprisingly small annual caseload. California’s current governor Jerry Brown has
revived the practice of pardoning in that state, which had fallen on hard times since the 1980s.

The pardon process is regular and transparent in Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and Washington, but
pardons have been less frequent in these states in recent years than in the past. Virginia’s last
three governors have issued a substantial number of “simple pardons” (for forgiveness),
although the process for obtaining this relief is opaque and irregular. While Arizona and
Louisiana have statutory procedures calling for regular public hearings on pardon
applications, the governors in those states have issued very few grants in recent years.
In Arkansas, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, and Washington a full pardon
entitles the recipient to expungement, but in Illinois the pardon must authorize this additional
relief. Oklahoma makes expungement available to pardon recipients only after a lengthy
crime-free waiting period, and Delaware authorizes expungement only for pardoned

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

RECORD CLOSURE

misdemeanors. In the other “regular” states pardon does not carry with it judicial relief,
though in disclosing the conviction a person may also report that it has been pardoned.
The states colored pale blue on the map are ones in which pardoning in recent years has been
infrequent or rare, or uneven depending upon the inclinations of the incumbent governor. In
none of the states in this last category may an ordinary person at present have a reasonable
expectation of success, and in a few cases the power has been abused by late-term irregular
grants that confirm popular suspicions about the corruptibility of the pardon power. Federal
convictions, and convictions obtained in District of Columbia courts, may be pardoned only by
the president. The number of presidential pardons granted in recent years is small compared
to the number of applications that are filed each year, and there has been only one pardon
granted to a D.C. Code offender in the past two decades.
More specific information about pardoning policies and procedures in each state is available
from the Restoration of Rights Project (http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org), whose stateby-state “profiles” are linked in the body of this report.

JUDICIAL RECORD-CLOSING AUTHORITIES
The concept of expungement or sealing of a criminal record originated in the 1940s in
specialized sentencing schemes for juvenile offenders, whose susceptibility to antisocial
conduct was thought to be temporary and who were therefore considered “easier to
rehabilitate than adults.” The idea was to minimize the legal consequences of conviction and
give youthful offenders “an incentive to reform” by “removing
the infamy of [their] social standing.” 1 It was not long before
the optimistic reformers of the age proposed extending this
Laws limiting public
access to criminal
“clean slate” concept to adult offenders, authorizing courts to
records have
seal convictions and defendants to deny them. A different sort
proliferated in the
of “clean slate” approach was proposed by the drafters of the
past five years, with
1962 Model Penal Code, which authorized courts to vacate the
more than 20 states
record of conviction to signal a defendant’s rehabilitation but
expanding existing
record-closing
laws
expressly retained the record of conviction.
or enacting entirely
new ones.

The debate between these two approaches to restoration
continues to this day. Many states have embraced the cause of
forgetting, apparently because many advocates do not trust
decision-makers to be fair and rational where criminal records are concerned. Others,

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influenced by national law reform proposals, prefer a more transparent form of restoration.
See the section on certificates of relief that follows.

Laws limiting public access to criminal records have proliferated in the past five years, with
more than 20 states expanding existing record-closing laws or enacting entirely new ones. In
2017 alone, Illinois, Montana and New York enacted expansive new sealing schemes
applicable to adult convictions, while Nevada, North Carolina and Tennessee expanded
existing ones. But record-closing laws differ widely from state to state, in scope (including
eligibility criteria and waiting periods), legal effect, standards and procedures. The following
discussion is therefore necessarily general, and readers wishing more specific information are
invited to consult the individual state summaries and 50-state chart that follows in this report,
and the more detailed information in the state profiles of relief mechanisms from the
Restoration of Rights Project (http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org).

Scope & eligibility

The map on the following page organizes state record-closing laws into categories according
to the scope of covered offenses. It is important to note that assignment to specific color-coded
categories is an imperfect grading system, because it does not factor in eligibility criteria such
as prior record and waiting periods, accessibility of the process, or thoroughness of relief.
Thus, for example, a state like Louisiana was included in the “gold” category only because of
the number of offenses that are eligible for expungement in that state, and its 10-year eligibility
waiting period and limited effect would seem to make its relief less comprehensive than what
is offered by Indiana and Minnesota. At the same time, Indiana’s
broad and accessible “expungement” scheme merits no more than
Closure of at least
a “dark blue” grade because it limits record-closing (“sealing”) to
some adult
relatively minor offense categories. It is easy to see how making
conviction
assignments to specific categories was an exercise that frequently
records is
felt like pounding square pegs into round holes. With that caveat,
authorized in all
we summarize the research underlying the map categories.
but nine states,
but scope ranges
widely.

Closure of at least some adult conviction records is authorized in
all but nine states, but scope ranges widely. At one extreme
is Illinois’s recently expanded sealing law, which extends relief to
all but a few very serious felonies without regard to an applicant’s prior record, after a
uniformly brief waiting period of three years. At the other end of the spectrum is California’s
very limited closure for underage first offender misdemeanors and minor marijuana offenses.
(California also offers other more transparent judicial relief, including set-aside and
certificates of relief, which is mentioned at the end of this section and discussed more fully in
the section on certificates relief.)

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

RECORD CLOSURE
AVAILABILITY OF RECORD-CLOSURE

Between these two extremes, there are as many differing approaches as there are states, with
scope generally dependent on seriousness of the offense, and eligibility generally dependent
on prior record and the passage of time since completion of sentence. For example, in New
York and Oregon, closure is available for most felonies but only if it is the person’s only serious
offense. Indiana’s law extends judicial relief styled “expungement” to all but the most serious
violent offenses after graduated waiting periods, but limits public access to the record only for
misdemeanors and minor felonies. Nevada now offers sealing for almost all felonies, the only
proviso being a clean record during a graduated waiting period.

North Carolina and Kentucky authorize closure of most non-violent misdemeanors and lowlevel felonies, but only for those with no prior felony convictions. Missouri’s new sealing law,
which takes effect at the beginning of 2018, will permit closure of a significant number of
felonies and misdemeanors, but only one felony and two misdemeanors will be eligible for
closure in a person’s lifetime. Michigan’s recently expanded law is similar, as is Ohio’s. In
addition to first offender eligibility requirements imposed by some states, other states make
record-closing a one-bite affair: In Indiana and Illinois, for example, individuals may seek
sealing relief for multiple prior eligible offenses, but may not return for further relief if they
are again convicted.

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Eligibility is not always categorical: Maryland limits closure to a long list of over 100
misdemeanors, while Minnesota limits felony sealing to a list of 50 offenses ranging from
aggravated forgery to livestock theft. Eligibility criteria are sometimes curiously complex. For
example, in Oregon closure is available for many non-violent misdemeanors and less serious
felonies, but only if the individual has not been convicted in the previous 10 years (or ever, if
the record for which closure is sought is a Class B felony) nor arrested within the previous
three years.
Eligibility waiting periods may be uniform or graduated, short or long. No two states are alike.
Many have waiting periods of a decade or more, which would seem in tension with stated
legislative goals of reducing recidivism. For example, by the
time someone has satisfied Louisiana’s waiting period of 10
crime-free years after completion of sentence, they would
Many states have
appear to be in little or no jeopardy of reoffending. New York,
waiting periods of over
a decade, which would
North Carolina, and other states have similarly long eligibility
seem inconsistent with
waiting periods.
stated legislative goals
of reducing recidivism.

As noted in the previous section, several of the states where
executive pardon is generally available make pardon
grounds for automatic expungement.
However, only
Connecticut’s pardon system is recognized with a “gold” designation on the color-coded
record-closing map, since only that state makes “erasure” of the court record widely available
by action of an administrative board. By the same token, the color categories assigned
Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota may to some extent understate the availability of
record-closure in those states.
Effect of expungement or sealing

Terminology is an unreliable guide to what laws accomplish as a practical matter, since words
like “sealing” and “expungement” have no fixed meaning, and are interpreted and applied
differently from state to state. 2 In some states sealed records may be closed to private parties
only, in others public employers and licensing boards may also be denied access, and in still
others, records may no longer be available even to law enforcement without a court order. In
some states “expungement” is indistinguishable from sealing (e.g., Louisiana and Kansas), and
in others expunged records are physically destroyed (e.g., Montana, Pennsylvania, North
Carolina). In Indiana, an expungement order does not limit public access to the record of most
felonies, although expunged misdemeanors and non-conviction records are also sealed. Even
in states where expunged records are physically destroyed, traces may remain in a court’s
index.

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

RECORD RECORD
CLOSURE

In Indiana, commercial record providers are prohibited from reporting closed convictions,
supplementing protections afforded by the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Colorado is one
of several jurisdictions that prohibit closed records from being introduced as evidence in civil
actions brought against employers and/or landlords for the actions of their
employees/renters.

The effect of sealing or expungement orders on legally restricted opportunities is unclear in
many states. It is true that many record-closing laws purport to authorize a person to deny
having been convicted, but this is perilous advice when dealing with entities required by law
to conduct a background check. A few states make clear that expunged or sealed convictions
must be disclosed for employment requiring a background check
(e.g., Illinois, Indiana, New York). Kansas specifically requires
disclosure of expunged convictions in certain licensing and public
Record-closing
employment applications (health, security, gaming, commercial
relief can rarely
driver or guide, investment adviser, law enforcement), and
promise an
entirely clean
Missouri has a similar disclosure requirement for professional
slate, particularly
licenses, or any employment relating to alcoholic beverages, the
where felony
state-operated lottery, or provision of emergency services.
convictions are
Missouri’s law is one of the few that makes clear that “an
concerned.
expunged offense shall not be grounds for automatic
disqualification of an application, but may be a factor for denying
employment, or a professional license, certificate, or permit.”
Some states require that even non-conviction records that have been expunged must be
disclosed in some contexts (e.g., Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana)
In sum, quite apart from the risk of exposure by technology or social media or industrious
background-checkers, record-closing relief can rarely promise an entirely clean slate,
particularly where felony convictions are concerned.
Process

Procedures for closing a record also vary widely, and may or may not offer prosecutors or
victims an opportunity to object. Relief for eligible applicants may be automatic, presumed, or
dependent on the court’s discretion. In some cases, the law specifies criteria to guide a court’s
discretion (e.g., Minnesota and New Hampshire), in others the court’s discretion is unlimited
(e.g., New Jersey and North Carolina), and in still others sealing is mandatory if statutory
eligibility criteria are met (e.g., Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana). In Utah, where most felonies
may be expunged after a graduated waiting period, an order must issue unless the court finds
that this would be “contrary to the public interest.” In a few states filing fees may be
prohibitively high for persons of limited means (approaching $500 in Kentucky), while in
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others the courts and bar have gone out of their way to assist persons of limited means. For
example, Indiana’s courts publish model forms for different types of case, and provide
information about where those seeking relief may obtain the assistance of a pro bono lawyer.
Non-conviction and juvenile records

Almost all states authorize sealing or expungement where no conviction results, whether
because of acquittal, reversal, or dismissal of charges. Only two states (Arizona and
Wisconsin) make no general provision for limiting public access to non-conviction records. In
some states (e.g., Colorado, New Jersey and New York) the record is sealed routinely upon final
disposition of the case without the need for a separate court proceeding, while in others (e.g.,
Nebraska) sealing happens after a brief waiting period in which an
individual is expected to be crime-free. In many states, arrest records
Only three
not resulting in charges are automatically sealed or expunged after a
states make
short waiting period.
no general
provision for

Still, a distressingly large number of states require individuals who
closing nonhave been charged but not convicted of any crime to go to court to
conviction
records.
argue the case for clearing their record. A subset of these states restrict
relief to individuals with a limited prior record (e.g., Florida, North
Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island), or to specific types of nonconviction records (e.g., Alaska, Idaho, New Mexico). The 50-state chart from the Restoration
of Rights Project (http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org) offers a quick reference guide to
which states require a full-blown judicial proceeding before a non-conviction record is
expunged, including some that make relief in such cases discretionary with the court, or
dependent upon the concurrence of the prosecution.

Deferred adjudication schemes may also result in dismissal of charges without conviction
upon successful completion of a period of probation. Because their importance in enabling
charged individuals to avoid a conviction record, they are discussed in detail in the following
section.

All states provide for judicial sealing or expungement of at least some juvenile adjudication
records, applying procedures and standards that tend to be more favorable to affected
individuals than those applicable to adult records. Many states also place general limits on
public disclosure of juvenile records apart from any action by a court. Some states make
sealing relief automatic and mandatory except for serious violent offenses, but most make
sealing discretionary with the court. Some states require a crime-free waiting period, and a
few require the court to make a finding of rehabilitation. There is significant variation in how
expungement and sealing of juvenile records is handled even among neighboring states. For
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DEFERRED ADJUDICATION

example, while Montana and Nevada automatically seal most juvenile records when the
subject reaches age 18 or 21, respectively, South Dakota and Wyoming permit
sealing/expungement only upon petition, and only after the court makes a finding of
rehabilitation. Similarly, both Virginia and West Virginia make expungement of most juvenile
records automatic, while South Carolina and Georgia require the court to make a finding of
rehabilitation before sealing a juvenile’s record. 3
Judicial dismissal of charges without record-sealing

Before leaving discussion of judicial record-closing laws we will mention several states that
authorize their courts to dismiss charges or set-aside (vacate) the record of conviction,
avoiding the consequences of conviction but not sealing or otherwise limiting public access to
the record. Arizona, California and Nebraska are the main states in this small category. (New
Hampshire, Oregon and Washington have recently added record-sealing to their venerable
set-aside schemes.) West Virginia enacted a set-aside authority in 2017, joining California,
Idaho, and North Dakota in offering a process by which minor felonies may be reduced to
misdemeanors, but (like the other three states mentioned) offering no sealing of the record in
those cases. California also limits an employer’s use of a conviction that has been dismissed or
set aside, and Indiana limits use and reporting of serious offenses that have been the subject
of an expungement order but not sealed.

As discussed in the next section, some of the states that authorize deferred adjudication
leading to dismissal of charges provide for sealing or expungement of the record, and some do
not.

DEFERRED ADJUDICATION
Deferred adjudication (or deferred sentencing) is a statutory judicial mechanism that allows
individuals to avoid the collateral consequences of a conviction at the front end of the criminal
process by giving them an opportunity to avoid conviction altogether. Deferred adjudication,
which is generally managed by the court, is distinguished from pure diversion, which is
generally controlled entirely by the prosecutor. In most states, an individual must first enter
a guilty plea, after which the court continues the case without entering a judgement of
conviction, while the individual serves a period of probation or supervision. Upon successful
completion of probation or supervision, the charges are dismissed and, in most states, the
record may then be sealed or expunged.

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DEFERRED ADJUDICATION AUTHORITIES

As the map above indicates, deferred adjudication is available in at least some cases in all but
13 states. 4 And, in almost all states that make deferred adjudication available for a significant
number of offenses, closure of the record of charges/arrest is available upon successful
completion of the required process. Deferred adjudication schemes originated in the 1970s as
a way of avoiding collateral consequences, and the recently revised sentencing articles of the
Model Penal Code contain a specific proposal for deferred adjudication that does not require a
defendant to enter a guilty plea. 5
Eligibility for deferred adjudication is generally based on the type of offense and on an
individual’s criminal history. This disposition is generally not available for particularly serious
offenses since it requires admission of guilt and, in most states, a relatively brief period of
probation or supervision. However, as with conviction record-closing mechanisms discussed
in the preceding section, eligibility varies greatly among states.

Fifteen states (gold on the map), including New York, Texas, and Washington, make deferred
adjudication available, with record closure, for most misdemeanors and significant number of
felonies, even to individuals who have been previously convicted. Eight other states (dark
blue), including Illinois, Michigan, and Maryland, make deferred adjudication with record
closure available for a similarly broad class of offenses, but restrict eligibility to first felony
offenders. Six states (medium blue), including Georgia, Minnesota, and New Mexico, authorize

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

CERTIFICATES OF RELIEF

deferred adjudication for many felonies and misdemeanors, but make no provision for sealing
the record. The remaining eight states either restrict eligibility to minor offenses (light blue),
or to a narrow subset of offenses (pale blue) – usually drug offenses, as is the case in New
Jersey, South Carolina, and Virginia. Many states seeking to manage collateral consequences
have expanded their provisions for deferred adjudication and deferred sentencing in recent
years. 6

Further information about deferred adjudication procedures and eligibility can be found in
the state summaries in this report. More detailed information about applicable procedures
and eligibility can be found in the state-by-state profiles in the Restoration of Rights Project
(http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org). These profiles also identify other judiciallymanaged drug treatment or other limited purpose courts (e.g., veterans, mental health) that
promise avoidance of a criminal record upon successful completion of the program. Because
diversion usually does not typically involve the court and is rarely controlled by statute, it is
not captured in these resources.

CERTIFICATES OF RELIEF
A growing number of states authorize their courts to issue
orders or “certificates” that avoid or mitigate collateral
Certificates of relief do
consequences and provide some reassurance about a
not remove information
person's rehabilitation. New York's certificate scheme is the
from a person’s criminal
history or limit public
oldest, dating from the 1940s, and its “Certificates of Relief
access
to the record, but
from Disabilities” and “Certificates of Good Conduct” have
aim instead “to confront
the most far-reaching legal effect when coupled with that
history squarely with
state’s nondiscrimination laws. Other states have more
evidence of change.”
recently adopted a wide variety of other names for similar
judicial certificates, but all are in the forgiving or dispensing
tradition of executive pardon. They should be distinguished from more limited executive or
judicial orders restoring voting and other civil rights, including firearms rights. Unlike the
record-closing authorities discussed earlier in this report, these “certificates of relief” do not
remove information from a person’s criminal history or limit public access to the record, but
aim instead “to confront history squarely with evidence of change.” 7

Certificates of relief that directly limit the application of collateral consequences to their
recipients are now available from the courts in ten states, and from administrative agencies in
a handful of others (notably Connecticut and Rhode Island). That number appears to be

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growing, however, and certificate mechanisms have recently been proposed by the Uniform
Law Commission, and by the American Law Institute in the revised sentencing articles of the
Model Penal Code. These national law reform proposals include a limited order of relief at
sentencing to aid reentry, and more comprehensive relief after a waiting period to recognize
and reward rehabilitation. Neither proposal provides for sealing or otherwise limiting public
access to the record. 8

All certificates of relief have the effect of converting mandatory collateral consequences
(automatic disqualifications imposed by law) into discretionary ones, giving decision-makers
discretion to grant opportunities and benefits to individuals who would otherwise be barred
from them by law. Some states go further to require that certificates be given weight in the
discretionary decision-making process. In Ohio, for example, a “Certificate of Qualification for
Employment” creates a “rebuttable presumption that the person's criminal convictions are
insufficient evidence that the person is unfit for the license, employment opportunity, or
certification in question."

Certificates are generally effective at relieving a range of occupational and business licensing
consequences, and may also relieve mandatory bars to public and private employment, as is
the case in Illinois, New York, North Carolina and Vermont. A few certificates carve out
exceptions for specific consequences, particularly those that relate to licensing and
employment in sensitive occupations. For example, Washington’s “Certificate of Restoration
of Opportunity” does not provide licensing relief for
nurses and physicians, private investigators, teachers, or
law enforcement personnel, among others. Ohio’s
Certificates are generally
effective at relieving a
“Certificate of Qualification for Employment” is effective
range of occupational and
only in cases where a person is barred by law from a
business licensing
specific employment or license, and Illinois’ “Certificate of
consequences, and may
Relief from Disabilities” authorizes relief only in 27
also relieve mandatory
licensed fields. California’s “Certificate of Rehabilitation”
bars to public and private
employment.
has limited legal effect in licensing, but relieves the
obligation to register as a sex offender and constitutes the
first step in the executive pardon process.

Certificates may also provide relief from informal privately-imposed consequences by
evidencing rehabilitation or, in the case of New York, creating an enforceable presumption of
rehabilitation under the state’s Human Rights Law. Some certificates accomplish this by
limiting an employer’s liability in negligent hiring actions. In Ohio, North Carolina and
Vermont, for example, reliance on a certificate creates a presumption of due care in hiring; in
Illinois and Tennessee, reliance is a complete defense to liability. In Ohio, protections may also
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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

CERTIFICATES OF RELIEF

extend to other similar forms of liability like negligent renting or admission to an educational
program.

Most certificate laws include an eligibility waiting period, presumably to give individuals time
to establish rehabilitation, but a few states make limited relief available as early as sentencing
to assist with reentry. Colorado, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont fall into this category.
Colorado is the only state whose “Order of Collateral Relief” does not seem intended to
evidence rehabilitation¸ authorizing sentencing courts to lift certain mandatory bars in the
case of defendants not sentenced to prison to facilitate their reentry. Somewhat anomalously,
the certificates in New Jersey and New York evidence rehabilitation even when issued as early
as sentencing, but Vermont requires beneficiaries of an early order to return to court for more
complete relief after a further waiting period.

Like record-closure, eligibility for a certificate of relief
generally depends on three factors: 1) the nature of the
Certificates are usually
available for a broader
conviction for which relief is sought; 2) the passage of time
class of offenses than
since conviction or completion of sentence; and 3) prior and
record closure, and
subsequent conviction history. However, certificates are
after a shorter waiting
usually available for a broader category of offense than is
period, making them a
eligible for sealing or expungement, and after a shorter
better aid to reentry.
waiting period, making them presumptively a better aid to
reentry than most record closure mechanisms. In North
Carolina, for example, a certificate is available for more felony offenses after a significantly
shorter waiting period (one year for a certificate vs. five to ten years for expungement). In
Illinois, New Jersey, and New York, a court may issue a certificate as early as sentencing, or at
any time thereafter.

State residents with federal and out-of-state convictions are eligible for certificates in
Connecticut, Illinois, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Vermont, but not in California,
Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, or Washington. Some states require applicants
convicted in more than one county to file multiple applications, but others (notably Ohio)
permit consolidation of all convictions in one court.
Most states make certificates available only to people with less serious criminal histories. In
Washington, for example, certificates are only available to individuals with no subsequent
convictions who have not been convicted at any time of a Class A felony, certain sex offenses,
and a handful of other serious felonies. Colorado limits certificates to individuals sentenced
to community corrections, while North Carolina and Rhode Island limit certificates to those
convicted of minor nonviolent crimes.

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16

Issuance of a certificate is entirely discretionary in all states except Washington, and an
otherwise eligible petitioner may be denied relief if the court does not make the necessary
findings, sometimes weighing the applicant’s need for relief against the public welfare.
Moreover, the scope of relief granted in any specific case is generally up to the court: a
certificate may be unlimited in scope (subject only to legally established limits), or it may
provide relief only from those consequences specified in the certificate itself. This allows the
court to tailor the scope of relief to each petitioner and his or her specific circumstances,
including employment, licensing, or other objectives. Most states authorize revocation of the
certificate if the person reoffends.

FAIR EMPLOYMENT & LICENSING LAWS
States are increasingly directing attention to the employment barriers facing people with
criminal convictions in the age of computer-generated criminal background checks. As
evidenced by the map on the following page, most states
now have at least some overarching law limiting
Most states now have at
discrimination based on a conviction in either
least some overarching
employment, licensure, or both.
law limiting
discrimination based on a
conviction in either
employment, licensure,
or both.

For the most part, state laws regulating consideration of
conviction in employment apply only to public
employment, and generally exclude certain categories like
law enforcement employment. Nondiscrimination laws in
the District of Columbia and six states—California, Hawaii,
Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—apply to private employment as
well. Nondiscrimination laws are often difficult to enforce, but they are helpful in requiring
employers and licensing boards to make individualized determinations.

States with nondiscrimination laws in employment and licensing typically have statutory
prohibitions on the consideration of conviction in employment and licensing decisions unless
there is some type of relationship—e.g., “direct,” “substantial,” “reasonable,”—between the
conviction and the duties and responsibilities of the employment or license sought. (In Illinois,
consideration of conviction in public employment decisions is regulated by executive order.)
States in the “general regulation” category (marked in lighter shades of blue on the map) have
laws like this for either employment or licensing or both. Even states that cover licensing and
employment decisions generally may exclude certain types of licenses or employment, such as
jobs in law enforcement and health, and licenses working with vulnerable populations. And
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EMPLOYMENT/LICENSING
FAIR EMPLOYMENT & LICENSING LAWS

states with no general regulation limiting consideration of conviction in licensing decisions
may nonetheless have license-specific regulations on consideration of convictions.

But more than half the states go beyond the general standard. Ten states and the District of
Columbia (gold) have more specific regulations affecting both public employment and
licensing decisions. Another 18 states (dark blue) specifically regulate either employment or
licensing, though not both.

Most commonly, states in these two top categories put teeth in the “relationship” standard by
requiring employers and/or licensing authorities to consider specific enumerated factors
before denying employment or refusing to grant a license based on conviction. These factors
usually include nature and seriousness of offense; relationship between the offense and ability
and capacity to perform the duties required of the position sought; time elapsed since
commission of the offense; age of applicant at the time of offense; and efforts at rehabilitation
since the offense.
In Hawaii, Minnesota, and New Mexico, a person determined to be “rehabilitated” may not be
disqualified from employment or licensure even if their conviction is found to be directly
related to the employment or license sought. In Minnesota, for example, even if a direct
relationship is found, applicants may not be disqualified if they can demonstrate “sufficient
rehabilitation and present fitness to perform the duties of the public employment sought or
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18

the occupation for which the license is sought.” One year of law-abiding conduct and
compliance with conditions of supervision is sufficient to demonstrate rehabilitation. North
Dakota has a similar scheme for licensure, allowing denial of a license only if, after considering
several enumerated factors, “it is determined that such person has not been sufficiently
rehabilitated, or that the offense has a direct bearing upon a person’s ability to serve the public
in the specific occupation, trade, or profession.”

A few states go beyond the general relationship standard by prohibiting consideration of older
convictions. In Washington, employers may only consider convictions that occurred within the
last ten years (and only if the crime directly relates to the employment sought). In Maine,
licensing agencies may only consider convictions within the last 3-10 years, depending on the
license sought. In Massachusetts, misdemeanor convictions older than five years may not be
considered in employment decisions. Hawaii applies a more stringent standard when
considering convictions older than 10 years.
Several states in the “specific regulation” category also require employers or licensing boards
to provide written reasons for a rejection based on conviction, a process that can facilitate
enforcement of the nondiscrimination laws. States with this requirement include Arkansas,
Connecticut, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and the
District of Columbia. In Louisiana, a licensing entity “shall issue” an occupational or
professional license to an “otherwise qualified” convicted person unless the conviction
involves a felony that “directly relates to the position of employment sought, or to the specific
occupation, trade or profession for which the license, permit or certificate is sought.”

While numerous states regulate consideration of conviction in employment and licensure, few
regulatory schemes incorporate enforcement mechanisms. Only a handful of states make
discrimination based on a criminal conviction a stand-alone basis for challenging adverse
employment or licensing decisions. Hawaii, New York, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and recently,
Nevada, fall into this category. Hawaii’s law prohibiting consideration of conviction except in
limited circumstances is enforced by the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission; New York’s Human
Rights Law makes it an unlawful employment practice to deny employment or licensure based
on a criminal conviction and authorizes enforcement through the Division of Human Rights
(or through civil action in public employment); Wisconsin’s Fair Employment Act, which bars
discrimination in employment and licensing decisions based on a criminal conviction, is
enforced by the Labor and Industry Review Commission. Pennsylvania’s law makes no public
enforcement provisions but does create a basis for civil liability in court.
In June 2017, Nevada passed an expansive law limiting the extent to which public employers
may consider a criminal conviction in employment decisions, setting forth specific standards

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

EMPLOYMENT/LICENSING

for decision. The new law makes failure to comply with established procedures an unlawful
employment practice and authorizes complaints to be filed with the Nevada Equal Rights
Commission. Months later, in September 2017, California’s legislature approved fair
employment legislation with even broader coverage, applicable to both public and private
employment and enforceable by the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
That legislation was awaiting the Governor’s signature at the time of this report’s publication.
Massachusetts’ general fair employment practices law makes it unlawful for any employer,
public or private, to request information on arrests without conviction, certain minor first
misdemeanor convictions, and misdemeanor convictions older than five years. This law is
enforced by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
Although there are many exceptions to these nondiscrimination requirements, and the direct
relationship test has tended in most states to be interpreted in favor of the employer or
licensing authority, comprehensive enforcement schemes
put employers and licensing authorities on notice that a
Comprehensive
decision to exclude based on criminal history cannot be
enforcement schemes
arbitrary.
put employers and
licensing authorities on
notice that a decision
to exclude based on
criminal history cannot
be arbitrary.

Over and above the nondiscrimination laws discussed above,
many states have enacted other laws designed to improve
employment opportunities for people with criminal records.
For example, most states (29) and the District of Columbia
now have laws applicable to public employers that prohibit
threshold inquiries into criminal history, and in some cases
these laws apply to private employers as well. These so-called ban-the-box laws are designed
to allow employers to consider an applicant’s qualifications before they account for their
criminal history. (The National Employment Law Project keeps track of these laws in a report
that is periodically updated.) 9
To the extent ban-the-box laws simply postpone consideration of criminal history until a later
stage in the hiring process, they may not be a complete solution to the problem of employment
discrimination. Ban-the-box laws are most effective where they are combined with
substantive limitations on employer decisions that come into play at a later stage of the hiring
process. It therefore seems significant that most of the states that have specific
nondiscrimination standards (colored gold or dark blue on the map) also have ban-the-box
laws.

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20

Some states protect employers from negligent hiring liability, which is the primary reason that
employers cite for not hiring someone with a criminal record. Frequently such protections
are triggered when an employee or applicant for employment receives some form of
individualized restoration of rights, such as a pardon or judicial sealing. But other states, like
Colorado, Minnesota and New York, absolutely limit or prohibit the use of conviction evidence
in a negligent hiring civil suit. Massachusetts protects employers so long as they have relied
on information from the state’s Criminal Offender Record Information System (CORI) and
reached a decision within 90 days of receiving that information.
Appendix B contains a 50-state comparison of the laws regulating consideration of conviction
in employment and licensing in each state and should be consulted for additional detail. The
National Employment Law Project has also published a report that analyzes each state’s
licensing non-discrimination laws in detail. 10

LOSS & RESTORATION OF VOTING RIGHTS
The map on the following page reflects national patterns of disenfranchisement based on a
felony conviction. (The varied provisions for restoration of other civil rights and firearms
rights are described in the state-by-state summaries that follow.) While most people know
that Vermont and Maine allow even prisoners to vote, many
are unaware that in 19 additional states and the District of
Columbia, felony offenders do not lose their right to vote at
In 21 states and the
District of Columbia,
all unless sentenced to a prison term. These states are
felony
offenders do not
indicated in dark blue on the map. In 15 of those 19 states
lose their right to vote at
and D.C., anyone may vote if they are not actually
all unless sentenced to a
incarcerated. In California, Colorado, Connecticut, and New
prison term.
York, disenfranchisement of those sentenced to a prison
term continues until completion of parole. (In these four
states, federal offenders on supervised release may vote.)
In 21 states (medium blue) the right to vote is restored automatically in most cases upon
completion of a court-imposed sentence (or in Nebraska two years afterwards). In several of
the states in this category restoration of voting rights is automatic only for first offenders
(Arizona), or for less serious non-violent first offenders (Nevada and Wyoming), and others
must seek restoration from a court or administrative board. In addition, several states in this
category have special rules for people convicted of voter fraud, requiring them to seek a
pardon before they are eligible to register.

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

VOTING
LOSS & RESTORATION OF VOTING RIGHTS

In Alabama and Mississippi, only conviction of certain crimes results in disenfranchisement,
and restoration is by pardon. In Alabama restoration is relatively easy, especially for first
offenders, but in Mississippi it is exceedingly rare.

There are only four states in which felony offenders lose the right to vote permanently unless
restored by action of the governor: Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia. Generally, residents
of these four states who were convicted in other jurisdictions are eligible for restoration of
voting rights, and may be able to vote if their rights were restored where they were convicted.
In Virginia, the present governor has made restoration of civil
rights virtually automatic upon completion of sentence for those
convicted of non-violent felonies. However, the state supreme
court ruled that the governor may not, consistent with the state
constitution, restore rights on a blanket basis by executive order.
Those convicted of violent crimes must wait five years after
discharge before applying for restoration.

There are only four
states in which
felony offenders
lose the right to
vote permanently
unless restored by
the governor.

Procedures for restoration in the other three states vary. In Iowa,
felony offenders were restored automatically to the franchise by
an executive order issued in 2005, but since 2011 they have been required to seek restoration
from the governor on a case-by-case basis. Under current policy, a convicted person will be
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22

eligible for restoration of rights only upon satisfaction of fines, restitution, or other financial
obligations stemming from the crime. In Kentucky, too, felony offenders must seek restoration
by applying to the governor.
Florida currently imposes the stiffest bar to re-enfranchisement, and the current governor has
imposed an in-person hearing requirement for many different categories of crime. The waiting
time for restoration is lengthy even for cases not requiring a hearing, and thousands of
individuals remain permanently disenfranchised in that state.
Details on loss and restoration of voting and other civil rights are available in the state
summaries in this report, and in the more detailed state-by-state profiles in the Restoration of
Rights Project (http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org).

CONCLUSION
One of the most important and difficult challenges of the modern criminal justice system has
been finding ways to avoid or mitigate the disabling effects of a criminal record, to enable
affected individuals to reintegrate fully into their communities. This is not a new problem, but
its human scale today is daunting. Law reformers and legislatures understand the need to
meet this challenge, and in recent years have been reworking old solutions and devising new
ones. Many of these modern-day restoration efforts have only recently been put in place, and
the results of even longstanding relief schemes have not been studied. As evidenced by this
report, there is not even consensus as to how best to approach the problem: is it more effective
to “celebrat[e] the negotiation – or survival – of the perilous correctional experience,” or to
deny that it ever occurred? 11 Is one approach more suited than another for different types of
records? Are there other more effective ways than case-by-case judicial or executive
restoration to persuade the public to overlook the fact of a criminal record, or at least to apply
fair and reasonable standards in considering it? 12 It is our goal in preparing this report to
benefit the policy discussions now underway concerning these issues, and at the same time to
inform the work of lawyers and other advocates working with affected individuals to obtain
relief that will enable them to function effectively in their communities.

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

NOTES

ENDNOTES
For historical background and citations, see Margaret Colgate Love, Starting Over with a Clean Slate: In Praise of
a Forgotten Section of the Model Penal Code, 30 Fordham Urb. L.J. 1705, 1707-15 (2003).

1

2 Other terms used to designate record-closing are annulment (NH), erasure (CT), restriction (GA), non-disclosure

(TX), withheld (AK). Most recently, Maryland enacted a new record-closing authority it calls “shielding.”
Authorities providing for the dismissal of charges or the set-aside of a conviction record may or may not be
accompanied by a further authorization to seal the record. See section on record-closing laws.
The Juvenile Law Center has published two in-depth reports analyzing the juvenile record closure laws of each
state. See Riya Saha Shah, Lauren Fine & Jamie Gullen, Juvenile Law Center, Juvenile Records: A National Review
of State Laws on Confidentiality, Sealing and Expungement (2014); Riya Saha Shah, Lauren Fine, Juvenile Law
Center, Failed Policies, Forfeited Futures: A Nationwide Scorecard on Juvenile Records (2014). Both reports are
available at http://juvenilerecords.jlc.org/juvenilerecords/#!/map.

3

A recent report from the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) catalogues various programs managed
by federal courts that are geared to avoiding a prison sentence. See Federal Alternative-to-Incarceration Court
Programs
(September
2017),
https://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/research-andpublications/research-publications/2017/20170928_alternatives.pdf.
This report describes generally
analogous state problem-solving court programs, but does not focus on statutory deferred adjudication options
aimed at avoiding conviction and generally leading to expungement of the record. Perhaps because federal law
contains only one narrow authority for deferred adjudication (18 U.S.C. § 3607, sometimes referred to as the
Federal First Offender Act), the USSC report does not address non-incarceration outcomes that avoid a conviction
record. Curiously, it does not suggest the potential usefulness of such outcomes in reducing recidivism, or
proposed further study of these issues. Notably, such a study has been suggested on several occasions by the
Practitioner’s Advisory Group to the USSC.
4

5

See § 6.02B, Model Penal Code: Sentencing, Proposed Final Draft (April 2017).

See Four Years of Second Chance Reforms, 2013-2016, Collateral Consequences Resource Center (2017),
http://ccresourcecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/4-YEARS-OF-SECOND-CHANCE-REFORMSCCRC.pdf.
6

Love, supra note 1 at 1713. See also Jeremy Travis, Invisible Punishment: An Instrument of Social Exclusion, in
INVISIBLE PUNISHMENT: THE SOCIAL COSTS OF MASS IMPRISONMENT 36 (Meda Chesney-Lind & Marc Mauer eds., 2002)
(“We need to find concrete ways to reaccept and reembrace offenders who have paid their debt for their offense.”).
7

See Uniform Collateral Consequences of Conviction Act, §§ 10 and 11 (2010),
http://www.uniformlaws.org/Act.aspx?title=Collateral%20Consequences%20of%20Conviction%20Act; Model
Penal Code: Sentencing, Proposed Final Draft, §§ 6x.01 through 6x.06 (April 2017).
http://ccresourcecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/article-6x.pdf. The American Bar Association’s
Criminal Justice Standards for Collateral Sanctions and Discretionary Disqualification proposed a similar two-step
process for restoration. See ABA Standards for Criminal Justice, Collateral Sanctions and Discretionary
Disqualification of Convicted Persons, Standard 19-2.5 (“Waiver, Modification, Relief”) (3d ed. 2004). Each of
8

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24

these schemes is intended to provide individuals both incentive and reward for rehabilitation, and satisfy the
community’s need for a ritual of reconciliation.

National Employment Law Project, Ban the Box: U.S. Cities, Counties, and States Adopt Fair Hiring Policies (2017),
available at http://www.nelp.org/publication/ban-the-box-fair-chance-hiring-state-and-local-guide.

9

National Employment Law Project, Unlicensed and Untapped: Removing Barriers to State Occupational Licenses
for People with Criminal Records (2016), available at http://www.nelp.org/publication/unlicensed-untappedremoving-barriers-state-occupational-licenses.
10

Bernard Kogon & Donald L. Loughery Jr., Sealing and Expungement of Criminal Records—The Big Lie, 61 J.
CRIM. L. CRIMINOLOGY & POLICE SCI. 378, 390 (1970).
11

12

For a sampling of proposals for neutralizing the exclusionary effect of a criminal record, see Alessandro
Corda, More Justice and Less Harm: Reinventing Access to Criminal History Records, 60 HOWARD L. J. 1, 3
(2016)(“the stigma that public access and dissemination entail must be reinvented as an ancillary criminal
sanction that is ordered at sentencing, if at all, for a limited time as a deserved supplement to criminal sanctions
imposed”); James Jacobs, THE ETERNAL CRIMINAL RECORD 314 (Harvard U. Press 2015) (“We should not minimize
the influence that public policy could have if government demonstrated willingness to employ ex-offenders and
otherwise eliminate mandatory disabilities imposed on them.”); Nora V. Demleitner, Preventing Internal Exile:
The Need for Restrictions on Collateral Sentencing Consequences, 11 STAN. L. & POL’Y REV. 153, 162 (1999) (“exoffenders should have access to a ceremony marking their official reintegration into the community and the
end of their exclusion and degradation.”).

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

FEDERAL

SUMMARY OF STATE RESTORATION
MECHANISMS

T

he following summaries are re-published from the Restoration of Rights Project (RRP), which is
available online at http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org. In addition to these brief
summaries, the RRP contains up-to-date in-depth profiles of the law and policy in each state,
complete with statutory and regulatory citations, caselaw references, and links to additional
resources. Links to these state profiles follow each summary.

FEDERAL

Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote depends on state law for both state and federal
offenders. Federal jury eligibility is lost upon conviction in state or federal court of a crime
punishable by more than one year if a person’s “civil rights have not been restored.” The
Constitution does not prevent individuals from holding federal office after conviction of any
crime. Most states that do not restore the right to vote automatically give federal offenders
access to their restoration procedures. Jury eligibility is only restored upon an affirmative act,
such as pardon or expungement.

Firearms rights: Persons with convictions in any court of a crime punishable by
imprisonment for a term exceeding one year are subject to the prohibition on possession of
firearms under federal law, as are persons convicted of domestic violence offenses; restoration
by presidential pardon only for federal offenders; restoration for state offenders under 18 U.S.C.
§§ 921(a)(20) & (33) (defining triggering offense) or 18 U.S.C. § 925 (ATF relief). (Section 925
has not been funded since 1990.)
Pardon policy & practice: President decides; no reporting or notice requirement. By policy,
eligibility five years after sentence or release from confinement. No public hearing, paper
record review, unlimited time. Relieves all legal disabilities but does not expunge. Pardons
infrequent and irregular since 1990.

Judicial expungement & sealing: No federal expungement, except where arrest or
conviction invalid or subject to clerical error. Deferred adjudication and expungement for first
misdemeanor drug possession if under age 21 at time of offense.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Only limitation found in Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act, barring employment discrimination on grounds of race, national
origin, gender, etc.
Read the Full Profile Online

http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

26

ALABAMA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any “felony
involving moral turpitude,” defined for purposes of voting as 47 enumerated offenses. Vote
restored by Board of Pardons and Parole by expedited administrative process upon completion
of sentence, or by pardon for violent and sex offenses; jury and office eligibility restored only
by pardon. Federal and out-of-state offenders are eligible to apply for restoration of rights.

Firearms rights: Handgun rights lost upon conviction of “crime of violence;” restored by
pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Independent board appointed by governor exercises pardon
power except in capital cases; board must make annual report to governor. Eligibility upon
completion of sentence. Simple form application filed with the local probation office is
“intended to facilitate application by individuals who lack formal education.” Federal and outof-state offenders may apply. Public hearing required, with reasons given; separate paper
procedure for restoration of rights. Pardon process takes about one year. 500 full pardons
each year, plus more than 2000 rights restorations.

Judicial expungement & sealing: No authority to expunge or seal adult
convictions. Records of most delinquency adjudications sealed two years after final discharge.

Expungement of non-conviction records of non-violent felony and misdemeanor charges,
including cases where charges were dismissed after successful completion of a drug court
program, mental health court program, diversion program or veteran’s court program. There
is an administrative fee of $300, and if the prosecutor or victim object a hearing shall be
held. Proceedings expunged “shall be deemed never to have occurred,” except that they must
be disclosed to any government regulatory or licensing agency, any utility and its agents and
affiliates, or any bank or other financial institution.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: No general law regulating
consideration of conviction, though a direct relationship test is applied to some licenses.
Read the Full Profile Online

ALASKA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Right to vote and serve on jury lost upon conviction of any
felony, and restored upon completion of sentence. Any bar to office linked to voting right also
removed.

Firearms rights: A felony offender may not possess a concealable weapon for 10 years
following discharge (rights lost permanently if offense is one against the person), unless
conviction set aside or pardoned.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides; must consult parole board, but board’s advice
not binding. No public hearing; parole board staff investigates, consults with DA and court, and
prepares confidential recommendation to governor. Only three pardons since 1995. The
clemency program has been “under review” and not functioning since 2009.

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

ARIZONA

Judicial expungement & sealing: No provision for expungement of adult convictions. Most
juvenile records sealed within 30 days of 18th birthday, or five years after completion of
sentence if charged as an adult.

Deferred sentencing and set-aside for certain offenses does not include expungement, but a
2016 law prohibits the state from publishing online the records of such cases. Non-conviction
records are generally unavailable to the public without the consent of the subject of the
record. However, no sealing of non-conviction records unless mistaken identity or false
accusation proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: No general law regulating
consideration of conviction. Direct relationship test applied in disciplinary action for medical
and nursing licensees.
Read the Full Pro�ile Online

ARIZONA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony. Civil rights
restored automatically for first-time offenders upon completion of sentence; those convicted of
two or more felonies may regain rights only through judicial set-aside or pardon. Federal
offenders are eligible for relief, but those convicted in other states are not.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of any felony; may be restored by
court on sliding timetable depending on seriousness of offense. First offenders eligible upon
release from probation, or two years after release from prison. Those convicted of “serious”
offenses must wait ten years. Those convicted of “dangerous” offenses may regain rights only
through pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides but may not act without affirmative
recommendation of clemency board; governor must report pardons, with reasons, to the
legislature. Public hearing; publication of board recommendation to governor, with
reasons. Pardon relieves legal consequences of conviction, but conviction must still be
reported. Pardons increasingly rare since 1990; Gov. Brewer issued 12 pardons in her six years
in office, all in her last month in office. Governor Doug Ducey has issued no pardons to date.

Judicial expungement & sealing: “Set-aside” available from the sentencing court to state
offenders upon discharge for all but violent and sex offenses; relieves collateral consequences,
but conviction must be disclosed and serves as predicate offense. Juvenile adjudications may
be set aside upon reaching 18 years of age and discharge from sentence, except for serious
violent offenses; remain predicate offense.
Non-conviction records may not be sealed or expunged, but may be amended to note that a
person has been cleared of any arrests or indictments that did not lead to conviction.

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Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: A person may not be
disqualified from public employment “solely because of a prior conviction for a felony or
misdemeanor,” nor may a person “whose civil rights have been restored” be disqualified from
an occupation for which a license is required “solely because of” a prior
conviction. Disqualification from public employment or licensure only if “the offense has a
reasonable relationship to the functions of the employment or occupation for which the license,
permit or certificate is sought.”
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ARKANSAS
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote and jury eligibility lost upon conviction of any felony;
office eligibility lost upon any malfeasance in office. Vote restored by completion of sentence;
jury eligibility restored by pardon; office eligibility restored by expungement.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon any felony conviction; restored by pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides, but must consult parole board, whose
recommendation is not binding; governor must report to legislature on all grants, with
reasons. Board and governor must each give 30 days’ public notice of intention to recommend
or grant, respectively, with reasons. Relieves legal disabilities and is grounds for automatic
expungement; pardoned conviction may not serve as predicate or to enhance
sentence. Firearms rights must be restored separately. Pardons issued regularly, about 100
each year.
Judicial expungement & sealing: Minor felonies and drug convictions eligible for sealing
after five years; misdemeanors and certain drug convictions after completion of sentence
(presumption in favor of sealing); prostitution convictions as a result of being a victim of human
trafficking eligible for sealing at any time (mandatory if found to be human trafficking
victim). Serious violent and sexual offenses ineligible, as are motor vehicle violations
committed by holder of a commercial driver’s license. Deferred adjudication for first-time
offenders may result in sealing (serious violent offenses and certain sex offenses ineligible).
Non-conviction records, including cases where charges have been dismissed, “shall” be sealed
by sentencing court unless there is a public safety risk.

Expungement available in only two situations: where non-violent felony committed before the
age of 18, and after completion of drug court.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Conviction may be
considered but may not bar licensing; five years following completion of sentence is “prima
facie evidence of rehabilitation.” Reasons for denial of license must be given in writing.
Read the Full Profile Online

29

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

CALIFORNIA

CALIFORNIA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon conviction of any felony if sentenced to a
term of imprisonment, not including those serving felony sentences in county jail; jury
eligibility lost upon conviction of any felony or malfeasance in office; office eligibility lost upon
any malfeasance in office. Vote restored upon completion of sentence, including parole; jury
and office eligibility restored by pardon.

Firearms rights: All firearm rights lost upon any felony conviction and misdemeanor
involving use of a firearm; restored by pardon except when underlying offense involves use of
dangerous weapon.
Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides with optional consultation of parole board; for
recidivists, board must be consulted and supreme court justices must recommend. Judicial
Certificate of Rehabilitation, first step in pardon process, available to residents after 10
years. Pardon restores civil rights and removes occupational bars but does not expunge
record; firearms rights restored separately. Pardons relatively frequent under Governor
Brown.
Judicial expungement & sealing: Courts may dismiss charges or set aside convictions for
probationers, misdemeanants, and minor felony offenders sentenced to county jail, except
certain driving restrictions. This relief does not seal record, but restores rights and removes
disabilities, and has other employment-related
benefits. Conviction may still be used as predicate
New in 2017
offense and must be disclosed in certain contexts.
Employment
non-discrimination:
Certain minor felonies may be reduced to
Bill passed in October 2017 (and
misdemeanors and become eligible for dismissal or
awaiting signature from Governor as
set-aside, including felonies for which sentencing
of publication) bans the box in most
deferred.
public and private employment and
Judicial dismissal of charges and set-aside commonly
referred to as “expungement,” but no sealing of
records except for certain under-age misdemeanants
and most juvenile adjudications after five years (if
found to be rehabilitated and no subsequent
convictions of felony or crime of moral
turpitude). Court may, with concurrence of
prosecuting attorney, order non-conviction records
sealed and destroyed. Eligible juvenile misdemeanor
arrest records must be sealed upon request. Nonconviction records may be sealed and destroyed with
the concurrence of the prosecuting attorney.

requires hiring employer to conduct
individualized
assessment
to
determine whether conviction has “a
direct and adverse relationship with
the specific duties of the job.”
Enforced by Department of Fair
Employment & Housing.

Marijuana set-aside: In Nov. 2016,
Proposition 64 made a number of
prior marijuana convictions eligible
for set-aside, either directly or by
reducing felony convictions to
misdemeanors.

Certificate of Rehabilitation (COR) available to state
law offenders from court in county of residence after waiting period (generally 10 years) and
satisfaction of other statutory criteria. COR relieves certain licensing restrictions as well as
obligation to register as sex offender, an serves as first step in the pardon process.

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30

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: General nondiscrimination
law bars employers from inquiring into or considering arrests not leading to conviction and
convictions that have been dismissed, set aside or sealed (with some exceptions). Applies Title
VII standards. State licensing board may not deny license solely on basis of conviction that has
been dismissed or set aside or for which a COR has been granted, or based on a misdemeanor
conviction if the person is “deemed rehabilitated” by licensing board. Suspension or revocation
of license allowed only if crime is “substantially related” to qualifications. State-wide ban-thebox law for public employment (no inquiry into conviction history until determined applicant
meets minimum employment qualifications). Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act
limits reporting by background checking companies.

Effective 2018, state Fair Employment and Housing Act amended to extend ban-the-box
requirements to private employment, and to make consideration of certain non-conviction
records an “unfair employment practice.” The FEHA amendments also regulate consideration
of conviction records, requiring employers to conduct individualized assessments to determine
whether conviction has a “direct and adverse relationship with the specific duties of the job.”
Read the Full Profile Online

COLORADO
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon any felony conviction if sentenced to a
term of imprisonment; jury eligibility not lost; office eligibility lost while incarcerated or on
parole following conviction of any felony. Vote and office eligibility restored upon completion
of sentence, including parole.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon
felony conviction; restored by pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides with
non-statutory advisory scheme; must report
pardons to legislature, with reasons. No eligibility
restrictions. No public hearing; governor must seek
views of corrections authorities, DA, and
judge. Pardon restores civil rights and firearms
rights. Pardons infrequent.
Judicial expungement & sealing: Sealing of drug
conviction records, with eligibility period ranging
from three years for petty offenses to ten years for
more serious felonies; sealing of petty offenses and
violations after 3-year waiting period. Minor drug
felonies may be vacated and reduced to
misdemeanors, making many of them eligible for
sealing. Mandatory sealing of decriminalized
misdemeanor marijuana offenses.

New in 2017

Sealing of decriminalized marijuana
offenses: As of Aug. 2017, convictions
for misdemeanor marijuana use &
possession offenses must be sealed
upon petition.
Expanded minor offense sealing: As
of Aug. 2017, petty offenses and
municipal violations may be sealed
notwithstanding a single intervening
misdemeanor conviction. Previously,
a single intervening misdemeanor
barred eligibility. Exceptions apply.

Juvenile expungement authority
revision: As of July 2017,
expungement will be automatic for
juvenile records in cases of acquittal,
dismissal, and low-level adjudication.

Relief from collateral consequences at sentencing for non-incarceration sentences.

Non-conviction records may be sealed where charges completely dismissed or person
acquitted. Deferred sentencing dispositions may also lead to sealing.
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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

CONNECTICUT

Under 2017 scheme, juvenile record expungement mandatory in the case of most petty offenses
and misdemeanors, or where no conviction results; expungement discretionary for low-level
felonies after eligibility waiting period, which is longer for repeat offenders.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Conviction of felony or other
offense involving moral turpitude cannot, by itself, prevent a person from obtaining public
employment, or from receiving a license or permit required to pursue any profession or
business in the state. State-wide ban-the-box for public employment, with some exceptions (no
background check until applicant is finalist or conditional offer made; non-conviction records
cannot be considered). Employers protected from negligent hiring suits.

General Assembly reviews agency licensing and certification processes to determine whether
they disqualify applicants based on criminal history and if so whether such disqualification
serves public safety or commercial or consumer protection interests.
Read the Full Profile Online

CONNECTICUT
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote and office eligibility lost upon conviction of any
felony only if sentenced to a term of imprisonment; jury eligibility lost upon conviction of any
felony. Vote and office eligibility restored upon completion of sentence, including parole,
except that vote remains lost while on probation for election law offense. Jury eligibility
automatically restored seven years after conviction unless person remains incarcerated.
Firearms rights: Handgun rights lost upon any felony conviction and “serious juvenile
offenses;” restored by pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Independent board appointed by governor exercises pardon
power. Eligibility five years after completion of sentence for felonies, three years for
misdemeanors. Public hearing generally required, with board giving reasons for
denial. Process takes about one year. Relieves all legal disabilities, and is basis for court order
“erasing” conviction. Board of Pardons and Parole also offers “provisional” pardons and
certificates of rehabilitation/employability,
which remove mandatory automatic collateral
New in 2017
penalties (e.g., denial of employment or
Ban-the-box: As of Jan. 1, 2017, neither
license). Provisional pardons and certificates
public nor private employers may ask
may be sought any time after sentencing, and are
about criminal history on job applications
available to individuals with out-of-state and
unless required to do so by federal or state
federal convictions. The overall pardon grant
law or the position requires bonding.
rate has increased in recent years, from just
under 50% in 2013 to over 60% in 2016.
Judicial expungement & sealing: Several deferred adjudication programs may result in
“erasure” of record, with records destroyed after three years. Pardoned offenses erased three
years after final disposition of criminal case. After two to four-year waiting period, juvenile
offender at least 17 years of age may petition for erasure of police and court records if no
subsequent convictions. Non-conviction records erased.

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32

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Public employers and
licensing authorities, with limited exceptions, may not disqualify an applicant automatically on
the grounds of a prior conviction. Private employers may not deny employment solely on basis
of conviction if provisionally pardoned or granted certificate of rehabilitation. Inquiry into
erased convictions prohibited. State-wide ban-the-box in public and private employment, with
some exceptions (no inquiry into criminal history on initial application).
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DELAWARE
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon conviction of any felony and certain
misdemeanor election law violations; jury eligibility lost upon conviction of any felony; office
eligibility lost upon conviction of any “infamous crime” as determined by a court. Vote restored
upon completion of sentence for most felonies, ten years for election law violations, and by
pardon only for certain violent felonies. Jury eligibility restored by pardon. Pardon of limited
effect in restoring office eligibility.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction for crimes of violence, drug offenses,
and domestic violence crimes; restored only by pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides but may not act without affirmative
recommendation from clemency board composed of elected officials, chaired by lieutenant
governor. Eligible 3-5 years following completion of sentence. Public hearings held at regular
intervals, board recommendation and reasons announced at hearing. Process takes about 6
months. Pardon relieves all legal disabilities except constitutional provisions barring someone
convicted of “infamous crime” from holding state office. More than 200 pardons granted
annually in recent years, about 75% of filings.
Judicial expungement & sealing: Mandatory expungement upon request of non-conviction
records of first-time misdemeanors or violations if no subsequent convictions; mandatory
expungement of certain juvenile adjudications. Discretionary expungement for other nonconviction records, cases involving diversion or deferred adjudication (“Probation before
Judgment”), pardoned misdemeanors or violations, and juvenile adjudications.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Denial or revocation of
professional licenses based upon criminal conviction requires that the crime be “substantially
related” to the profession or occupation at issue. State-wide ban-the-box law for public
employment, with certain positions exempt (no inquiry into or consideration of criminal
history until conditional offer made).
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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

STATE
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote and office eligibility lost only during incarceration
following conviction of any felony and certain misdemeanor election law offenses; jury
eligibility lost upon conviction of any felony. Vote and office eligibility restored upon release;
jury eligibility may be restored one year after completion of sentence.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost for five years for drug offenses or crimes involving
threats of bodily harm and lost permanently for certain classes of sex offenders, crimes of
violence, and weapons offenses. Restored by pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Only the President can pardon D.C. Code criminal offenses. Fiveyear eligibility period (after completion of sentence or release from confinement). Applications
submitted to Justice Department Pardon Attorney, with no time limit on process. Pardon
relieves all legal disabilities, signifies good character. Pardons for D.C. Code offenders rare.
Judicial expungement & sealing: Sealing for selected misdemeanors and felony “failure to
appear” offense, after waiting period. Sealing of juvenile adjudications upon reaching age 18
after a two-year waiting period if no subsequent convictions. Court authorized to seal nonconviction records after waiting period.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Public and private employers
with more than ten employees are prohibited from inquiring into non-conviction records at
any time, and prohibited from inquiring into and considering conviction history until after
making conditional offer of employment (certain positions exempt). For conviction to form
basis of licensure denial, the crime must “bear[] directly upon the fitness” of the person to be
licensed.
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FLORIDA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony; restored
by pardon ten years after completion of sentence or by restoration of rights five years after
completion of sentence or seven years for serious offenses.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of any felony; restored by pardon
after eight-year waiting period.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor and three cabinet officials act as pardon board;
governor decides with concurrence of two cabinet officials. Governor must report pardons and
restorations to legislature. Pardon eligibility begins ten years following completion of
sentence; restoration of rights eligibility five to seven years after completion of sentence,
depending on seriousness of offense; firearms restoration eight years after completion of
sentence. Public hearing required for pardon, and for restoration of voting rights for some
offenders. Pardons sparingly granted.

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34

Judicial expungement & sealing: Expungement (physical destruction of records) available
after 10 years for first offenders granted deferred adjudication (“withholding adjudication of
guilt”); for juvenile nonviolent first offender misdemeanants upon successful completion of
diversion program; and for victims of human trafficking. Court may order sealing (limited
access) and/or expungement of non-conviction records for first offenders with certain
exceptions.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: In general, conviction may
be basis for disqualification from licensure or public employment only if their crime is one that
is “directly related” to the job as determined by each licensing agency. Bars to employment or
licensure in health and related professions may be waived.
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GEORGIA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony involving
moral turpitude. Vote restored upon completion of sentence; jury eligibility restored by pardon
or by restoration of civil rights ten years after completion of sentence if no subsequent
conviction; office eligibility restored by pardon or by restoration of civil rights.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of any felony. First offenders may
apply for license ten years after completion of sentence, five years after deferred adjudication,
or otherwise by pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Independent board appointed by governor exercises pardon
power, reporting annually to legislature, governor, and AG. Eligible five years after completion
of sentence. Paper review with no public hearing; board decides by majority vote and issues
written decision. Pardon relieves all legal disabilities except return to public office. The Board
also issues “restoration of civil and political rights” to felony offenders. More than 400 pardons
granted each year, with or without firearms restoration.

Judicial expungement & sealing: No provision for expungement of adult convictions or
arrests, but access to certain records may be restricted followed by sealing for first offender
drug possesson, youthful offender misdemeanors, “accountability courts,” and non-conviction
records. Deferred adjudication for first offenders leads to “complete exoneration” with all
rights restored but no expungement or sealing. Sealing of juvenile records after two years with
finding of rehabilitation.
Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Felony conviction that does
not directly relate to occupation at issue may not be grounds for refusing or revoking license.
Ban-the-box law for public employment, by executive order, with certain positions exempt
(eliminates criminal record question from application).
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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

HAWAII

HAWAII
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost following felony conviction only while actually
incarcerated; jury and office eligibility lost upon conviction of any felony. Vote restored upon
release from incarceration; jury eligibility restored upon completion of sentence; office
eligibility restored by pardon.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of any felony, drug crime, or crime
of violence; restoration by pardon only if express.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and may consult parole board. No eligibility
requirements. No public hearing; parole board interviews applicant and makes
recommendation to attorney general’s office, which conducts an independent investigation and
makes its own recommendation to the governor. Relieves all legal disabilities and prohibitions
but does not expunge record. Pardons infrequent.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Expungement after one year for nonviolent first offenders
who receive deferred adjudication and for certain first time minor drug offenders. Juveniles
may move court for expungement; records of adjudications are automatically sealed. Court
may expunge non-conviction records.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Discrimination based on
conviction barred under state fair employment practices law. Only crimes committed within
10 years may be considered if there is a rational relationship to job or occupation, with certain
exceptions; arrest records may not be considered at all. Ban-the-box for public and private
employment (no inquiry into criminal history until conditional offer made; may consider
conviction record within last 10 years but may withdraw offer only if conviction has “rational
relationship” to duties).
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IDAHO
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony; restored
upon completion of sentence.

Firearms rights: Firearms rights lost only during period of sentence except for certain
serious violent crimes, for which restoration is done through application to pardon board five
years after completion of sentence.

Pardon policy & practice: Independent board appointed by governor decides for all but
most serious offenses, which must be approved by the governor. Eligibility begins three years
after completion of sentence for non-violent offenses and five years for violent
offenses. Relieves legal disabilities, but does not restore firearms rights. Pardons issued
regularly and relatively frequently.

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Judicial expungement & sealing: Broad authority to reduce felonies to misdemeanors five
years after successful completion of probation (or earlier if prosecutor stipulates to
reduction). Also broad authority in court to defer adjudication and vacate plea but record not
expunged or sealed. Certain sex offenders may petition for removal from registry after 10
years. Juvenile convictions, except for serious offenses, may be expunged after a waiting
period. Idaho law makes no provision for limiting access to non-conviction records except for
unreturned arrest records.
Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: No general law limiting or
regulating consideration of conviction.
Read the Full Profile Online

ILLINOIS
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost while actually incarcerated following any felony
conviction; jury service not lost; office lost upon conviction of any felony. Vote restored upon
release from incarceration; office restored upon
completion of sentence for statewide offices and by
New in 2017
pardon only for other offices.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon any felony
conviction; restored by state police after 20 years under
certain conditions, or by pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and may
consult prisoner review board.
No eligibility
requirements. Public hearings held with confidential
recommendations forwarded to the governor. Relieves all
legal disabilities and expunges record if pardon expressly
authorizes. Board hears 500-600 applications each year,
30% from misdemeanants. Process regular but frequency
of grants varies with administration.

Sealing expansion: As of August
2017, nearly all felonies and
misdemeanors will be eligible
for sealing after a three-year
waiting period. Previously,
only misdemeanors and a small
handful of listed of felonies
were eligible.
Youth Opportunity & Fairness
Act: Effective 2018, juvenile
records will be automatically
sealed. Juvenile expungement
will also be available before
age 21, and juvenile criminal
history will not be a
disqualifier for public office,
employment, or licenses.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Sealing available for
most misdemeanors, felonies, and deferred adjudication
after three-year waiting period. Exceptions for a handful
of listed serious offenses. Sealing makes records unavailable without court order but does not
destroy. Pardon may authorize judicial expungement (physical destruction of records). Most
juvenile records expunged automatically after brief waiting period that varies based on offense;
non-expunged records are sealed (but may be shared with school authorities). Expungement
of non-conviction arrest records.
Courts also authorized to issue certificates to relief licensing restrictions (“certificate of relief
from disabilities”) and Certificates of Good Conduct. Out-of-state and federal offenders eligible
for former but not latter.

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

INDIANA

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Limits on consideration of
conviction in connection with occupational licensing only for certain employments and only
where a person has received a certificate of rehabilitation; certain occupational licenses use
“direct relationship” test; state law prohibits discrimination based on conviction only if
conviction is sealed or expunged; agency waiver of restrictions on hiring permits for certain
healthcare positions. Negligent hiring protection where employer relied on certificate of relief
from disabilities. Statutory ban-the-box for private employment (no inquiry into criminal
record until first interview or at point of offer); by executive order for public employment (no
inquiry into criminal history on employment application).
Read the Full Profile Online

INDIANA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote and jury service lost while actually incarcerated
following conviction of any “infamous crime;” office lost upon conviction of any felony, and
court may include 10-year ban from holding office or
New in 2017
position of trust for misdemeanor bribery, conflict of
interest, or official misconduct. Vote and jury service
Ban-the-box in executive
restored upon release from incarceration; office
employment: In June of 2017,
restored by pardon.
Governor Holcombe issued an
Firearms rights: Handgun rights lost upon conviction
of any felony or domestic battery conviction; can be
restored by state police 15 years after offense, or by
pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides with
parole board having authority to review applications
and make advisory recommendations; governor must
report to legislature at next scheduled meeting; recent
governors have required a five-year waiting period and
evidence of rehabilitation, with a 15-year waiting
period for firearms restoration; parole board notifies
victims, court, and prosecutor, and conducts an
investigation and hearing where petitioner and
interested parties are given an opportunity to be heard.
Pardon alleviates punishment and guilt, serving as basis
for expungement. Pardons infrequent.

executive order requiring removal
of questions about criminal
history from applications for
executive branch
employment unless “a particular
crime precludes the person from
employment in the particular job
to which she or he applied.” Two
months earlier, the Governor
signed legislation that prevents
localities from banning the box of
their own accord.

Negligent hiring: As of June 2017,
evidence of an employee’s
criminal history may not be
introduced in a negligence claim
against the employer if the offense
doesn’t relate to the basis for the
negligence claim, or was
pardoned, vacated, expunged, or
sealed.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Mandatory
judicial expungement of non-conviction records,
misdemeanors, and less-serious felonies, if eligibility criteria met; discretionary expungement
of more serious felonies. Expungement eligibility periods range from one to ten years, based
on severity of offense. After expungement, non-conviction records, and records of
misdemeanors and minor felonies are sealed; more serious felonies remain public but marked
as expunged. Administrative sealing of convictions from state police after 15 years. Pardon is
automatic basis for expungement.
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38

Deferral or continuance of prosecution for drug abusers and alcoholics charged with less
serious felonies, if they have no more than one prior conviction. Court may expunge juvenile
records at any time upon petition.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Broad nondiscrimination
protection for expunged and sealed offenses in employment process. Fair Credit Reporting Act
limits reporting by background checking companies where record has been expunged. Except
for serious drug offenses, conviction may not be basis for license denial, revocation, or
suspension if individual is required to obtain license to engage in a business, profession, or
occupation. Ban-the-box by executive order for executive branch employment (no inquiry into
criminal history on initial job applications, unless conviction precludes employment in
particular job); but 2017 law also prohibits local ban-the-box laws. Negligent hiring protection
for expunged and sealed offenses as well as criminal history that does not directly relate to
underlying civil action.
Read the Full Profile Online

IOWA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote and office lost upon conviction of any “infamous
crime,” which is one punishable by imprisonment; jury service not lost but conviction may
serve as basis for challenge. Vote and office restored by gubernatorial restoration of rights or
pardon.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of any felony; restored by pardon,
gubernatorial restoration of rights, or by expungement after a five-year waiting period; no
restoration for forcible felonies or firearms offenses.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and may consult parole board; governor must
report pardons and reasons to legislature every two years; application may be submitted any
time, but policy of governor’s office to require ten years after completion of sentence; five-year
waiting period for firearms restoration; no waiting period for restoration of rights; out-of-state
and federal offenders eligible for restoration of rights; pardon relieves all legal
disabilities. Pardons infrequent in recent years; restoration of rights granted more frequently.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Deferred adjudication followed by expungement for first
offenses. A person acquitted of all charges or whose charges have been dismissed is entitled to
have the record expunged after 180 days. Automatic expungement of juvenile records at age
21 if no subsequent offenses; sealing of juvenile records at age 18 upon petition after a twoyear waiting period with no subsequent offenses. Juvenile adjudication records are
presumptively confidential if they do not involve forcible felony.
Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: No general law regulating
consideration of conviction in employment or licensure, but state applies a “direct relationship”
test in connection with some licenses.
Read the Full Profile Online

39

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

KANSAS

KANSAS
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony; restored
upon completion of sentence.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of a “person felony” or drug offense
if a firearm was carried at time of offense; five-year or 10-year restrictions for other person
felonies; 10-year restrictions for non-person felonies only if committed with a firearm.
Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides with mandatory, but non-binding, consultation
of parole board; governor must report pardons, but not reasons, to legislature each year; no
eligibility requirements; paper review with applicant required to publish application in a
newspaper in the county of conviction and to provide notice to prosecutor, judge, and victims;
pardon removes legal disabilities but does not expunge conviction. Pardons rare
(expungement preferred relief).

Judicial expungement & sealing: Expungement available for most convictions, excluding
serious violent and sex offenses, following a 3–5 year waiting period; no expungement for
registrants under offender registration act; presumption in favor of expungement if court
makes certain findings. Juvenile expungement, except for most serious offenses, after hearing
after offender reaches age 23 and after a two-year waiting period with no subsequent
offenses. Nonconviction records may be expunged on petition to court, subject to certain courtordered grounds for disclosure.
Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: It is a misdemeanor criminal
offense for an employer to inquire into an applicant’s criminal record without the applicant’s
consent. Conviction may be considered in licensure & certification but may not operate as a bar.
Read the Full Profile Online

KENTUCKY
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote and jury service lost upon conviction of any felony;
office lost upon conviction of any felony or “high misdemeanor.” All civil rights restored by
pardon or gubernatorial restoration of rights.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of any felony after 1994 (handguns
only for felony convictions between 1975 and 1994); restored by pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and may consult parole board; governor may
also restore rights; governor must publicly file with legislature a list of pardons with reasons;
restoration of rights eligible after expiration of sentence or discharge with no pending charges;
pardon eligible seven years after completion of sentence; federal and out-of-state offenders
only eligible for restoration of rights; no public hearing; pardon applications sent directly to
governor’s office; full pardon relieves all legal disabilities. Pardons rare during term,
restoration of rights more frequent.

http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

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Judicial expungement & sealing: Mandatory expungement of single misdemeanor or
violation (or series of misdemeanors/violations arising from same incident) after five
conviction-free years. Discretionary expungement for series of misdemeanors/violations not
arising from same incident after five conviction-free years. Under a 2016 law, pardoned
convictions, and certain class D felonies may be
New in 2017
vacated and the record expunged five years after
completion of sentence, if no intervening conviction
Expanded availability of juvenile
or pending charges. Court must hold hearing and
adjudication expungement: As of
there is a $500 filing fee. Expungement available for
June 2017, expungement is now
all juvenile offenses, including sex offenses and violent
available for all juvenile offenses,
excluding sex crimes and those that
offenses, after a two-year waiting period.
Upon petition, court may expunge records of
misdemeanor or felony cases resulting in dismissal or
acquittal, or if no indictment after 12 months;
automatic expungement of juvenile records not
resulting in adjudication.

would result in “violent offender”
classification. Previously, those that
would have been felonies if
committed by an adult were
ineligible.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: A conviction may not be sole
basis for denying public employment or an occupational license unless the offense “directly
relates” to position or occupation sought. Scope of agency discretion defined by various factors.
Ban-the-box by executive order for public hiring (no inquiries into criminal history until
contacted for interview).
Read the Full Profile Online

LOUISIANA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights
lost upon conviction of any felony. Vote restored upon
completion of sentence; jury service lost permanently;
office restored upon completion of sentence.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon
conviction of any crime of violence, felony drug
offense, or sex offense; restored by pardon or
automatically 10 years after completion of sentence if
no intervening felony.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor may not act
without affirmative pardon board recommendation;
eligibility begins after completion of sentence, plus
payment of costs; public hearings held at regular
intervals; approval of four out of five board members
required; prosecutor and victims must be notified by
board and applicant through publication in
newspaper; full pardon restores “status of
innocence.” Pardons infrequent.

41

New in 2017
Licensing non-discrimination: The
Licensing of Ex-Offenders Act of
2017 generally requires licensing
boards to issue a license to any
qualified applicant, irrespective of
criminal history, and provides for
revocation upon a “new” felony
conviction. Licenses may be denied
for crimes of violence, sex offenses,
and certain fraud offenses and for
crimes that “directly relate” to the
licensed field. Exceptions apply for
certain fields.
Public employment ban-the-box:
2017 amendments to the state Civil
Service Rules ban the box for
“classified” state service positions.
Previously,
only
unclassified
positions were covered.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

MAINE
Judicial expungement & sealing: Mandatory expungement of certain felony offenses ten
years after completion of sentence, if eligibility requirements met (violent offenses, sex
offenses, crimes against minors, and drug trafficking offenses ineligible). Expungement
following deferred adjudication for certain noncapital felonies. Most juvenile adjudications may
be expunged immediately upon termination of juvenile court jurisdiction; 5 year waiting period
for serious offenses. Expunged records not publicly available, except to law enforcement and
certain licensing agencies, but may be used as predicates. Non-conviction records may be
expunged at any time but remain available for certain licensing purposes.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: A licensing entity “shall
issue” an occupational or professional license to an “otherwise qualified” convicted person
unless the conviction involves a felony that “directly relates to the position of employment
sought, or to the specific occupation, trade or profession for which the license, permit or
certificate is sought.” Exemptions for violent and sex offenses, and for specified professions,
including health, education, finance, and law enforcement. Reasons required, APA
enforcement. Exempt licensing entities required to record and report any actions involving
convicted individuals to legislature.
Ban-the-box for unclassified state service positions (no inquiry until after interview or
conditional offer made). Protection from negligent hiring.
Read the Full Profile Online

MAINE
Loss & restoration of civil rights: No civil rights lost, even upon incarceration.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost for any felony; restored by pardon; may apply to
carry a black powder gun five years after completion of sentence

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides with a non-statutory advisory scheme;
eligibility begins five years after completion of sentence; public hearings held at regular
intervals, and board makes confidential recommendations to governor after conducting an
investigation; applicant must notify prosecutor and post a notice in the newspaper in county of
conviction; pardon relieves all legal disabilities. Pardon frequency varies with administration.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Class E offenses committed between age 18 and 21 must
be sealed after four years if no other offenses and other requirements met; otherwise, no
general sealing or expungement laws. Non-conviction records generally not publicly available.
Information regarding pardoned convictions is considered “non-conviction” data with limited
availability and can be deleted from FBI database after 10 years. Juvenile sealing upon petition
after a three-year crime-free waiting period.
Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Convictions more than three
years old or which call for less than a year in prison may not be considered in licensing
decisions; certain professions (medical, nursing) have a 10-year debarment.
Read the Full Profile Online

http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

42

MARYLAND
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon conviction of any felony only if serving a
sentence of imprisonment; jury service lost upon conviction with any prison sentence
exceeding six months; office eligibility lost if convicted while in office. Vote restored upon
completion of sentence, except for convictions of
buying or selling votes, which is restored only by
New in 2017
pardon; jury service restored by pardon; office
Misdemeanor expungement:
eligibility regained when restored to the franchise.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon
conviction of any felony or violent crime or
misdemeanor carrying a penalty of more than two
years imprisonment; restored by pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides, and
Parole Commission may be consulted; state
constitution requires governor to publish notice of
pardon in newspaper and to report each pardon, with
reasons, to legislature; felony convictions must have
10 crime-free years to be eligible or seven years if
Parole
Commission
waiver
is
granted;
misdemeanants must have five crime-free years; 20year wait for crimes of violence and for controlled
substances violations; paper review by parole board,
but recommendation to governor is non-binding;
pardon lifts all legal disabilities and penalties imposed
by conviction; firearms restoration must be express in
pardon. Pardoning varies with administration, rare
under current governor.

Effective Oct. 1, 2017, courts will
have authority to expunge over 100
enumerated misdemeanors.
“Expungement” provides greater
protection than pre-existing
“shielding” authority that applies to
only a handful of minor
misdemeanors
Marijuana possession
expungement: Also effective Oct. 1,
2017, courts will have authority to
expunge marijuana possession
convictions that occurred prior to
October 1, 2014.

Administrative Certificate of
Rehabilitation: Also effective Oct. 1,
2017, the Department of
Corrections will be required to issue
a CoR to individuals convicted of
non-violent, non-sexual offenses
who successfully complete
conditions of parole, probation, or
mandatory release supervision. A
CoR prevents licensing boards from
discriminating based on a
conviction that is unrelated to the
field of licensure so long as issuance
would not pose a risk to persons or
property.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Effective Oct. 1,
2017, expungement for over 100 enumerated
misdemeanor convictions after a 10- to 15-year
waiting period, and is automatic unless prosecutor or
victim objects. “Shielding” (sealing) available for 12
enumerated non-violent misdemeanors after a 3-year
waiting period. Expungement confers greater benefits
than shielding: expunged records may be opened only
by court order and are destroyed after three years. Expungement for specified nuisance
convictions after three years; deferred adjudication (“probation before judgment”) after three
years; pardoned nonviolent first offenders. Arrest records not leading to charges automatically
expunged; other non-conviction records expunged upon petition after a waiting
period. Expungement available for charges transferred to juvenile court; sealing of juvenile
records.

43

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

MASSACHUSETTS

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: State-wide ban-the-box in
public employment (no inquiry into criminal history until opportunity for
interview). Licensing board may not deny license or certificate based on a criminal conviction
unless conviction directly related to license sought or issuance would involve unreasonable risk
to property or safety. DOC must issue Certificate of Rehabilitation to nonviolent and non-sexual
felony and misdemeanor offenders who have completed conditions of supervision.
Read the Full Profile Online

MASSACHUSETTS
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon conviction of any felony or misdemeanor
if actually incarcerated; jury service lost upon conviction for felony or for misdemeanors while
incarcerated; imprisonment during term in office results in forfeiture of office, but office is not
lost otherwise. Vote restored upon release; jury service restored seven years after completion
of sentence or upon release for misdemeanors.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of felony or serious misdemeanor;
right to possess shotgun or rifle restored to all but drug and violent offenders five years after
conviction or release from prison, whichever is later; rights otherwise restored by pardon.
Pardon policy & practice: Governor may not act without affirmative recommendation of
Governor’s Council; governor required to report to legislature annually a list of pardons, but
not reasons; eligibility begins 15 years after conviction or release from prison for felonies and
10 years for misdemeanors; petitions must be filed with Parole Board, which holds a public
hearing and solicits recommendations from attorney general, prosecutor, and sentencing
court; Board provides notice to victim and forwards recommendation to governor; records
sealed upon pardon. Pardons infrequent since 1990; none granted by Govs. Romney and
Patrick.

Judicial expungement & sealing: No general expungement, but felonies may be sealed after
10 years if no subsequent convictions; five years for misdemeanors; pardon automatically
seals; non-conviction records may be sealed on court order. Upon discharge from commitment,
juvenile rights are restored and past commitment cannot be received in evidence.
Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Employers may not inquire
into non-conviction records, certain misdemeanor convictions or any misdemeanor
convictions more than five years old. Licensing agencies may not disqualify based solely on
conviction in certain specific professions; licensing authorities are prohibited from
disqualifying the applicant based on a felony conviction only if the conviction has been
pardoned. State-wide ban-the-box for public and private employment and licensing (no inquiry
into criminal history on initial application); City of Boston has broader ban-the-box protection.
Read the Full Profile Online

http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

44

MICHIGAN
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon conviction of any felony or misdemeanor
if actually incarcerated; jury service lost upon conviction of any felony; office lost upon
conviction of offenses involving public corruption. Vote restored upon release; jury service lost
permanently unless conviction is pardoned or expunged; office restoration depends upon the
offense.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost for any felony until three years after completion of
sentence, except for certain violent or drug offenders who must wait five years and have their
privileges restored by a concealed weapons licensing board; earlier restoration with pardon or
expungement.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides after mandatory, but non-binding, consultation
with parole board; governor required to report annually to legislature a list of pardons with
reasons; no eligibility criteria; all applications referred to the board; if board holds a hearing,
relevant officials must be notified; board’s recommendation is public record; pardon restores
offender to same position as if the offense had never been committed. Post-sentence pardons
rare in recent years.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Set-aside of felony conviction after 5-year waiting period
if not more than one felony conviction and not more than two misdemeanor convictions; setaside of one or both misdemeanor convictions after 5-year waiting period if not more than two
misdemeanor offenses and no other offenses. Set-aside limits public access to the record, but
remains available to law enforcement and counts as predicate. Probation before judgment for
first-time drug offenders with nonpublic records kept by law enforcement. For first offenders
found not guilty, or charges dismissed or not prosecuted, records “shall be destroyed.” With
certain exceptions, up to three juvenile adjudications (one felony) may be set aside one year
after adjudication or release from detention, or upon reaching age 18, whichever is later. Most
juvenile diversion records must be destroyed at age 17, and most juvenile adjudication records
must be destroyed upon reaching age 30.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Conviction alone may not be
basis for licensing authority to find that a person lacks good moral character, but it may be used
as evidence in that determination; non-conviction records, convictions that did not result in
incarceration, and convictions unrelated to capacity to serve the public cannot be considered
by licensing agency. Employers prohibited from inquiring about non-conviction misdemeanor
arrests on employment application. Employer may introduce “certificate of employability”
from Department of Corrections as evidence of due care in engaging in activity/business with
certificate holder.
Read the Full Profile Online

45

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

MINNESOTA

MINNESOTA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony; restored
upon completion of sentence.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of any felony; restored upon
completion of sentence except for crimes of violence; also restored by court or pardon.
Pardon policy & practice: Governor and high officials (attorney general, chief justice) act as
pardon board, which is required to report to the legislature annually; for a “pardon
extraordinary,” which restores all rights and effectively nullifies a conviction, eligibility
requires five crime-free years from final discharge for nonviolent crimes or 10 crime-free years
for violent offenses; commissioner of corrections screens applications and decides which cases
should be heard by the board; public hearing with notice to officials and victim and decision
announced at end of hearing; pardon extraordinary does not expunge or seal
conviction. Pardon process regular, but grants issued sparingly.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Effective January 2015, all misdemeanors and many
minor nonviolent felonies may be expunged (sealed) after a two- to five-year waiting period;
sealing also available for cases resolved in an individual’s favor or resulting in diversion or stay
of adjudication, juvenile delinquency adjudications, and juveniles tried as adults after
discharge; balancing test applies with presumption in favor of sealing non-conviction
records. Common law expungement available for most records not eligible for statutory
expungement; balancing test applies. Deferred sentencing for certain felony convictions which
may be knocked down to misdemeanors following probation (does not make them eligible for
sealing).

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Conviction may not be basis
to deny public employment or license unless a “direct relationship” between
occupation/license and conviction history, and the individual has not shown “sufficient
rehabilitation and present fitness to perform” the job duties or licensed occupation;
rehabilitation is established by one year without an arrest after release or by successful
completion of probation or parole. Records of arrest not leading to conviction, convictions that
have been expunged, or misdemeanors for which a prison sentence could not be imposed, may
not be considered in connection with public employment or licensing decision. State-wide banthe-box for public and private employment (no inquiries until interview or conditional offer
made); protection from negligent hiring liability regarding certain records.
Read the Full Profile Online

MISSISSIPPI
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon conviction of any crime listed as
disqualifying in state constitution; jury service lost upon conviction of “infamous crimes,” which
are defined as any crime punishable by death or imprisonment; office lost for conviction of
certain specified offenses. Vote and office restored only by pardon; jury service restored five
years after conviction.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost for any felony conviction; restored by pardon or by
petition to the court.
http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

46

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides, and parole board may be consulted; informal
policy holds that eligibility begins seven years after completion of sentence; applicants must
publish notice prior to making application to the governor’s office; parole board investigates
and holds hearing on facially meritorious cases; pardon restores civil rights and removes
employment disabilities, but does not result in expungement. Pardons infrequent, process
irregular.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Expungement of first offender misdemeanors, some
enumerated minor felonies and a single more serious felony committed before age 21, all after
a five-year waiting period. Deferred adjudication followed by dismissal for misdemeanors and
certain felonies, but no expungement unless otherwise provided by law. Court may seal
juvenile records for certain dispositions after reaching age 20. Non-conviction records may be
expunged.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: No general law regulating
consideration of conviction in employment or licensure.
Read the Full Profile Online

MISSOURI
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote and jury service lost upon conviction of any felony;
office lost upon conviction of any felony or conviction of misconduct in office. Vote and office
restored upon completion of sentence; jury service restored only by pardon.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights, excluding antique weapons, lost upon conviction of any
felony; restored only by pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides, and parole board may be consulted for nonbinding advice; eligibility begins three years after discharge; pardon applications forwarded to
parole board for investigation; no public hearing; pardon relieves all legal disabilities but does
not expunge. Pardons infrequent.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Effective January 1, 2018, felonies and misdemeanors
may be expunged, subject to a lengthy list of exceptions for violent offenses, sex offenses, and
other more serious offenses; waiting period of 3 years after completion of sentence for
misdemeanors and 7 years for felonies; only one felony and two misdemeanors may be
expunged in a lifetime; presumption in favor of expungement if eligibility criteria
met. Expungement of non-conviction records subject to same eligibility rules and procedures
as convictions, with a 3-year waiting period (eff. January 1, 2018). Arrest records not eligible
for expungement under new law eligible to be “closed” under old law (which authorizes sealing
for suspended and probationary sentences, and for all cases disposed of favorably to the
defendant). Court may seal and destroy juvenile records after person reaches age 17; juvenile
driving records may be expunged after two years or upon reaching age 21. Expunged records
unavailable to public, with some exceptions.

47

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

MONTANA

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: No disqualification from
public employment on basis of conviction unless conviction “is reasonably related to the
competency of the individual to exercise the right or privilege of which he is deprived.” No
denial of licenses “primarily” because of conviction history where sentence is fully discharged;
conviction may be “some evidence of an absence of good moral character,” but licensing board
also considers the nature and date of the crime and evidence of good character. Ban-the-box by
executive order in public employment (questions relating to criminal history removed from
initial employment applications).
Read the Full Profile Online

MONTANA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon conviction of any felony if actually
incarcerated; jury service and office lost upon conviction of any felony. Vote restored upon
release; jury service and office restored upon completion of sentence.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost if conviction involves use of dangerous weapons;
restored by pardon or petition to the court.
Pardon policy & practice: Board of pardons is now advisory, permitting Governor to grant
clemency petitions over Board’s recommendation for denial; governor must report pardons,
with reasons, to legislature; no eligibility criteria; board may hold a hearing in meritorious
cases where all sides are heard and a record made, but not required; pardon removes “all legal
consequences” of conviction and is grounds for expungement. Pardons infrequent.
Judicial expungement & sealing: Under a new law
New in 2017
effective October 1, 2017, all misdemeanors eligible for
Misdemeanor expungement:
expungement; expungement presumed for all but
Effective Oct. 1, 2017, courts will
certain serious offenses, after a 5-year waiting period,
have authority to expunge any
and
expungement
discretionary
for
other
misdemeanor conviction.
misdemeanors. Pardon is also grounds for judicial
Although expungement may be
expungement. Upon request, non-conviction records
granted only once in a person’s
must be returned to defendant or destroyed. Only one
lifetime, multiple misdemeanors
expungement order in a lifetime. Deferred sentencing
from different counties may be
for first felony offenders and misdemeanants, after
expunged in a single order.
which charges are dismissed and access to records is
limited; automatic sealing of youth court and probation
records upon reaching age 18, but no process for sealing or expunging juvenile arrest
records. Upon request, non-conviction records must be returned to defendant or destroyed.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Conviction shall not operate as
a bar to licensure for any profession, but it may be considered. No law regulates public or
private employment.
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http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

48

STATE

STATE

NEBRASKA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony. Vote
restored two years after completion of sentence; jury service and office restored only by
“warrant of discharge” issued by Board of Pardons.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of any felony; restored only by
pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor and high officials (secretary of state and attorney
general) act as pardon board; eligibility begins 10 years following completion of sentence for
felonies and three years for misdemeanors; public hearings held at regular intervals; reasons
for approval or denial not given; pardon restores civil rights other than vote; gun rights
restored separately. An average of 80 pardons granted each year, about 25% with firearms
privileges. 60% of applications are granted,

Judicial expungement & sealing: Set-aside for probationers “nullifies” conviction and
removes “all civil disabilities and disqualifications” but does not expunge or seal record;
juvenile expungement only for arrests due to police error; limited sealing of juvenile records
upon showing of rehabilitation. Criminal history information from cases not resulting in
conviction is automatically removed from the public record and available only to law
enforcement; waiting periods apply depending on type of record. Upon petition, expungement
of arrest records resulting from law enforcement error.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: No general law regulating
consideration of conviction in employment or licensure. Ban-the-box for public employment
(no inquiry into criminal history until determined that applicant meets minimum employment
qualification).
Read the Full Profile Online

NEVADA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony. For first
felony offenders convicted of less serious offenses, vote is restored upon completion of
sentence, jury service is restored six years after completion of sentence, and office is restored
four years after completion of sentence; others seeking rights restoration must do so from
convicting court or Board of Pardons Commissioners.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of any felony; restored by pardon.

49

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

Judicial expungement & sealing: Petition to
seal available after 2-10 years for felonies and 1-7
years for misdemeanors, if no subsequent
convictions; presumption in favor of sealing if
criteria met. Deferred sentencing for persons
adjudged an addict or alcoholic; upon successful
completion of a treatment program the conviction
may be set aside and the record sealed. Automatic
sealing for probationers upon honorable
discharge, other minor offenses under various
statutes. Automatic juvenile sealing for most
offenses at age 21, or earlier upon petition after a
three-year waiting period. Non-conviction records
may be sealed at any time after completion of case.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

STATE

Pardon policy & practice: Governor and high
officials (justices of supreme court and attorney
general) act as pardon board; governor must
report every clemency action, without reasons, at
the beginning of each legislative session; no formal
eligibility requirements, but typically required to
wait “a significant period of time;” public hearings
held at regular intervals, except for non-violent
first offenders; pardon removes all disabilities,
including firearms and licensing bars; does not
erase conviction. May serve as predicate (except
federal gun prosecutions). Process takes about
one year. About 20 grants each year since 2005,
about half of those that apply.

New in 2017
Expungement waiting periods: Effective
Oct. 2017, the waiting period for
conviction expungement will be reduced
to 2-10 years for felonies and 1-7 years for
misdemeanors. The new law also creates
a presumption in favor of expungement if
all statutory eligibility criteria are satisfied.
It also permits expungement for
probationers that were not honorably
and
streamlines
the
discharged,
expungement process by permitting
grants without a hearing (with
prosecutor’s stipulation) and reducing the
breadth of records that must be submitted
with a petition.

Public employment non-discrimination:
Effective Jan. 1, 2018, a 2017 enactment
will prevent public employers from
automatically disqualifying applicants
based on conviction. Before denial, the
employer must consider enumerated
factors, including the nature and age of the
offense. Exceptions apply for certain
The law also prohibits
offenses.
consideration of non-conviction records
more than 6 months old, expunged &
sealed records, and convictions for
infractions and misdemeanors where no
term of imprisonment in a county jail was
imposed.
Civil rights restoration: Per a June 2017

Consideration of conviction in employment
law, civil rights restoration will be
available for Class B felonies that did not
and licensing: Prohibits discrimination based on
result in injury to a person. Automatic
criminal record in public employment, bans the
restoration will be extended to
box, sets standards, and provides for
dishonorably discharged probationers.
enforcement. No general law regulating
consideration of conviction in licensure, but
applies a direct relationship test in connection with some licenses.
Read the Full Profile Online

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon conviction of any felony if actually
incarcerated; jury eligibility not lost; office eligibility lost upon conviction of any felony. Vote
restored upon release; office eligibility restored upon completion of sentence.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost for felonies “against the person or property of
another” or a felony drug offense; restored by pardon or judicial annulment of nonviolent
offenses.
http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

50

Pardon policy & practice: Governor may not act without affirmative recommendation of
Executive Council. Persons eligible for “annulment” under state law generally are not
considered for a pardon. No public hearing; notice to prosecutor. Pardon eliminates all
consequences of conviction but does not expunge. Pardons infrequent.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Less serious, nonviolent offenses may be “annulled” after
1–10 year waiting period, with recidivists waiting longer. Juvenile records sealed upon
reaching age 21. Non-conviction data may be annulled by court subject to “public welfare”
standard. Annulment results in being treated as if having “never been arrested, convicted or
sentenced;” Effective 2013, annulled records not publicly available except to law enforcement.
Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: License may not be denied,
suspended or revoked solely because of prior conviction; may be denied or impaired based on
conviction if direct relationship. Inquiry into annulled offenses is limited.
Read the Full Profile Online

NEW JERSEY
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote and jury eligibility lost upon conviction of any crime
that is not a petty offense; office eligibility is forfeited upon conviction of a serious crime or one
involving dishonesty while in office. Vote restored upon completion of sentence; jury eligibility
restored only by pardon; office eligibility is lost permanently if the offense is one “involving or
touching on” the office.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction for specific violent crimes and may
be denied a handgun permit or FID card for any crime or domestic violence offense. Restored
by pardon or gubernatorial restoration of rights.
Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and may consult parole board; governor must
report pardons, with reasons, to legislature. No eligibility criteria. No public hearing
required. Pardon restores rights and makes eligible for expungement. Pardons infrequent.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Expungement of “indictable” offenses (felonies),
“disorderly persons” offenses (misdemeanors), “petty disorderly persons” offenses, and
municipal offenses, with different waiting periods depending on offense (most serious and
violent offenses ineligible). Petition for expungement of indictable offense may include up to
two petitions for expungement of disorderly person/petty disorderly person offenses; up to
three disorderly person/petty disorderly person offenses may be expunged at same time, if no
indictable offense conviction. Expungement of most drug offenses upon successful completion
of drug court. Juvenile records may be expunged after a five-year waiting period with no
subsequent convictions. Deferred adjudication for minor drug offenses and expungement after
six-month waiting period; expungement of arrest and other non-conviction records at time of
disposition.

Sentencing court or supervisory authority may issue certificate evidencing rehabilitation that
“suspends certain disabilities, forfeitures or bars to employment or professional
licensure.” Only state offenders eligible.

51

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

NEW MEXICO

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: 2014 Opportunity to
Compete Law imposes ban-the-box rule in public and private employment (no inquiry into
criminal history until after first interview). Licensing authorities may not discriminate on
grounds of conviction unless reasonably related to occupation. Pardon, expungement, or
certificate of rehabilitation precludes licensing authorities from discriminating against or
disqualifying an applicant. A certificate of rehabilitation issued by sentencing court or
supervisory agency is effective to remove bars to public employment, with certain exceptions.
Read the Full Profile Online

NEW MEXICO
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony. Vote
and jury eligibility restored upon completion of sentence; office eligibility restored by pardon.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of any felony for 10 years after
completion of sentence; may be restored earlier by pardon.
Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and may consult parole board. Eligibility
begins after completion of sentence with current policy requiring longer waiting periods and
non-consideration for certain serious offenses. No public hearing required; victim
notified. Restores rights and removes disabilities but does not expunge. Pardons infrequent.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Deferred sentencing available for all but first-degree
felony cases; civil rights restoration but no expungement. Expungement available for first
offender drug possession if under age 18 at time of offense; court may seal juvenile delinquency
records. Expungement of arrest records for misdemeanors.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: In public employment and
licensing decisions, agencies may consider conviction, but conviction may not be an automatic
bar to employment/licensure. There exists a presumption of rehabilitation three years after
release or completion of parole/probation. Reasons for denial must be stated in writing. Statewide ban-the-box for public employment (no inquiry into criminal history on initial application
and no consideration until applicant is finalist).
Read the Full Profile Online

http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

52

NEW YORK
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon
conviction of any felony if sentenced to a term of actual
imprisonment; jury eligibility lost upon conviction of
any felony; office forfeiture and disqualification
depends upon offense and office. Vote restored upon
completion of sentence, including parole; jury
eligibility restored by pardon.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon
conviction of any felony or serious offense; restored by
pardon or by Certificate of Good Conduct.

New in 2017
Adult conviction sealing: NY’s first
general adult conviction sealing
authority will take effect in Oct.
2017. Sealing will be available for up
to 2 convictions, only one of which
may be a felony, after a 10 year
waiting period. Violent felonies, class
A felonies, and most sex offenses are
ineligible.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and
may consult parole board; governor must report pardons, with reasons, to legislature
annually. No eligibility criteria; applicants generally not considered if alternative
administrative remedies are available. No public hearing required. Pardon “exempts from
further punishment” based on the conviction. Special pardon program under Gov. Cuomo that
applies to people convicted of misdemeanors or nonviolent felonies at age 16 or 17;
recommended if 10 crime-free years. Pardons infrequent and process irregular.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Under a new law effective October 2017, sealing of up to
two convictions (only one felony) after 10-year waiting period for all crimes except sex
offenses, class A and violent felonies. Automatic sealing of records following deferred
adjudication. Conditional sealing of certain drug and other felony offenses and up to three
misdemeanor convictions upon completion of diversion program; sealing also applicable to
juvenile offender adjudications and proceedings. Automatic sealing of non-conviction records
upon termination of the action in favor of the accused unless DA demonstrates “that the
interests of justice require otherwise.”

A Certificate of Relief from Disabilities (CRD) or a Certificate of Good Conduct (CGC) may be
obtained to restore certain rights, may be limited to one or more specific rights. CRD available
to individuals with no more than one felony, as early as sentencing; CGC available to individuals
with multiple felonies after 1-5 year waiting period. Persons residing in New York with
convictions from other states or with federal convictions may qualify for certificates.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: General non-discrimination
law prohibits discrimination in employment and licensing based on conviction; to form basis of
denial, there must be a direct relationship and unreasonable risk to property or safety;
applicant is entitled to reasons for denial. Persons with CRD or CGC entitled to presumption of
rehabilitation in “direct relationship” determination. Protection from negligent hiring liability.
Ban-the-box by executive order in public employment (no inquiry into prior convictions until
initial hiring decision made); broader ban-the-box in New York City under Fair Chance Act for
public and private employment (no inquiry until initial offer made).
Read the Full Profile Online

53

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

NORTH CAROLINA

NORTH CAROLINA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony; restored
upon completion of sentence.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of any felony, with certain
exceptions; restored by pardon or by court for nonviolent first offenders 20 years after
completion of sentence.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and may consult parole board. Eligibility
begins five years after completion of sentence. No public hearing required; DA and victim must
be notified, with victim allowed to offer written statement. Depending on type of pardon,
effects range from assistance in securing employment to full restoration of rights, including
firearms rights. Pardons rare.
Judicial expungement & sealing: Nonviolent
misdemeanors may be expunged after 5 years and
minor nonviolent felonies after 10 years. (Waiting
period is 15 years for all offense levels until December
1, 2017). Must have no other convictions or
expunctions. Deferred adjudication for first-time minor
drug offenders; expungement only if under age
21. First offender felonies, misdemeanors, and certain
juvenile offenses committed under age 18 or 21 may be
expunged following a waiting period. Non-conviction
records may be expunged only if no prior felony
convictions.

Certificate of Relief available from sentencing court one
year after completion of sentence; for individuals with
no more than two class G, H, or I felonies or
misdemeanors in one court session, and no other
felony or misdemeanor convictions. Relieves
mandatory collateral consequences, certifies no public
safety risk, provides negligent hiring protection.

New in 2017

Reduced expungement waiting
periods: Effective Dec. 2017, the
waiting period for expungement
of eligible non-violent
misdemeanor and felony
convictions will be significantly
reduced—from 15 years for both
to 5 years for misdemeanors and
10 years for felonies.

Predicate effect of expunged
convictions: The same law
explicitly states that expunged
convictions shall count as
predicates when calculating
“prior record level” in
subsequent prosecution and
sentencing.

Non-conviction partial
expungement: The law also
authorizes partial expungement
of any dismissed charges in cases
where not all charges were
dismissed. Previously,
expungement was only available
if all charges in a case were
dismissed.

Consideration of conviction in employment and
licensing: Occupational licensing boards prohibited
from discrimination on basis of criminal record, unless
authorized by governing laws; if authorized, must
consider whether denial of license warranted given a
number of factors. No general restriction on
consideration of conviction in employment, except
agency may consider Certificate of Relief favorably in determining whether a conviction should
result in disqualification. Certificate of Relief evidence of due care in negligent hiring
proceedings.
Read the Full Profile Online

http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

54

NORTH DAKOTA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony while
actually incarcerated, with certain offenses excepted for jury eligibility. Restored upon release.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost for 10-year period upon conviction of a felony
involving violence or intimidation, and for a five-year period for nonviolent felonies and Class
A misdemeanors. Restored by pardon only.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and may consult pardons board. No formal
eligibility criteria, but applicant must demonstrate “compelling need.” No public hearing; DA
notified. Relieves collateral penalties but no expungement. Pardons infrequent.
Judicial expungement & sealing: Minor felony convictions may be set aside and knocked
down to misdemeanors after successful probation, but no expungement except for
nonconviction records. First offender marijuana possession may be sealed by court if no
subsequent conviction for two years. Deferred adjudication and deferred imposition of
sentence available, with expungement after successful completion. Juvenile records
generally confidential, and may be destroyed upon petition and showing of good cause.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Licenses for most
professions and occupations may be denied only if offense has direct bearing or if there is
insufficient rehabilitation. Applicant is entitled to written statement of reasons for denial.
Read the Full Profile Online

OHIO
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon conviction of any felony while actually
incarcerated; jury and office eligibility lost upon conviction of any felony, with certain offenses
involving malfeasance in office resulting in a seven-year or permanent disqualification from
office. Vote restored upon release; jury eligibility restored upon completion of sentence.
Firearms rights: Firearms rights lost only for felony crimes of violence and drug offenses;
restored by court upon application after completion of sentence.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides but must consult parole board for non-binding
advice; governor must report pardons to legislature. Eligibility at any time. Public hearings; no
reasons given. Pardon “erases” conviction and entitles recipient to sealing. Pardon policy
varies with administration. Though process regular, pardons granted sparingly by present
governor (Kasich).

Judicial expungement & sealing: Sealing for up to one felony, up to two misdemeanors, or
up to one felony and one misdemeanor, after a 1–3 year waiting period upon finding of
rehabilitation (excluding certain serious offenses). Sealing available for out-of-state and
federal offenses. Intervention in lieu of conviction available for certain non-serious first
offenses. Delinquency records may be sealed six months following discharge, except murder
or rape. Sealing of non-conviction records.

55

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

OKLAHOMA

Court-issued Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE) removes specified mandatory
occupational and licensing consequences; 1-year waiting period for felonies, 6 months for
misdemeanors

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: May be questioned about
sealed conviction only if it bears direct and substantial relationship to the position sought. CQE
evidence of due care in negligent hiring proceeding. Ban-the-box in public employment (no
question about criminal history on application).
Read the Full Profile Online

OKLAHOMA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote and jury eligibility lost upon conviction of any felony;
office eligibility lost upon conviction of any felony and misdemeanors involving
embezzlement. Vote restored upon completion of sentence; jury eligibility restored by pardon;
office eligibility restored 15 years after completion of sentence or by pardon.

Firearms rights: Loss of concealed weapons privileges upon conviction of any felony;
restoration for nonviolent felony convictions by full pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor may not act without affirmative recommendation of
Board of Pardons and Parole; governor must report pardons, but not reasons, to
legislature. Eligibility begins after completion of sentence. Public hearings with favorable
recommendations made public but no reasons given. Applicant not required to appear.
Relieves legal disabilities, except firearms; grounds for expungement for nonviolent
offenders. About 100 grants per year (80% of applications). Process takes about 6 months.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Misdemeanors with sentence of $500 fine or less and no
prison term may be expunged (sealed) upon satisfaction of fine; otherwise, misdemeanors may
be expunged after 5 years if no prior felonies and no charges pending. Nonviolent felonies that
have been pardoned may be expunged after 10 years if no prior felonies/charges pending and
no prior misdemeanor within last 15 years; up to two nonviolent felonies that have been
pardoned may be expunged after 20 years, if no other felonies/no charges pending. Pardoned
offenses committed under age 18 may be expunged, no waiting period.
Deferred adjudication and probation leading to expungement for first-time minor felony
offenders and misdemeanants, after waiting period (10 years for felonies, 2 years for
misdemeanors); deferred adjudication leading to automatic expungement for first-time drug
offenders. Records of juvenile adjudications may be expunged upon reaching age 21 with no
subsequent convictions. Non-conviction records may be expunged in case of acquittal or if no
charges filed, and in case of dismissed charges only if no other felony convictions and statute of
limitation has passed.

http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

56

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: No public or private
employer may ask about or consider a sealed conviction. Most specialized licensing boards may
not deny/revoke license based on conviction unless substantial relationship or threat to public
safety. Juvenile adjudications not considered arrest or conviction for any public or private
purpose (e.g., employment, civil rights). Ban-the-box by executive order for public employment
(no question about criminal history on employment application, unless felony would
automatically disqualify, but may ask during interview process).
Read the Full Profile Online

OREGON
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony while
actually incarcerated; restored upon release.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of any felony. Automatically
restored 15 years after completion of sentence for felony first offenders except those convicted
of homicide or weapons offenses; otherwise restored by pardon or expungement.
Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides; must report pardons, with reasons, to
legislature. Eligibility generally extends only to misdemeanors and minor felonies for which
set-aside is available. No public hearing required. Relieves all legal disabilities. Pardons
infrequent.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Less serious, nonviolent misdemeanor and felony
offenses may be set aside after a 1–20 year waiting period if there are no other convictions in
the past 10 years or arrests within the past 3 years; expanded availability for set-aside of
marijuana offenses after 2015 legislation. Set-aside restores all rights, relieves all disabilities,
and seals the record of the conviction. Juvenile expungement and sealing upon reaching age 18
after a 5-year waiting period. Set-aside of non-conviction records one year after arrest if no
charges filed, or any time after an acquittal or dismissal.
Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: May consider conviction, but
may not bar licensure solely on those grounds; teachers licenses excepted. Ban-the-box in
public and private employment, with some exceptions (no inquiry into criminal history before
initial interview or, if no interview, before conditional offer made).
Read the Full Profile Online

57

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

PENNSYLVANIA

PENNSYLVANIA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon
conviction of any offense while actually incarcerated;
jury eligibility lost upon conviction of any crime
punishable by more than one-year imprisonment; office
eligibility lost upon conviction of any felony. Vote
restored upon release; jury and office eligibility restored
by pardon only.
Firearms rights: Firearms rights lost for specified
felony offenses, drug crimes, three or more DUI offenses
within a five-year period, domestic violence offenses,
and additional specified criminal conduct. Restored
upon application to a court, generally 10 years after
completion of sentence.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor may not act
without affirmative pardon board recommendation. No
eligibility requirements. Public hearings with favorable
recommendations announced publicly; no reasons
given. Relieves all legal disabilities; grounds for
expungement. Process regular and about 100-150
pardons per year (fewer under present governor).

New in 2017
Non-discrimination in public
employment: A new
administrative hiring policy
issued by Governor Tom Wolf in
July 2017 prevents public
employers from considering nonconviction records, and
convictions expunged, annulled,
pardoned, and that do not relate
to “suitability for Commonwealth
employment.” It also generally
prohibits inquires about criminal
histories on applications, and
requires employers to “consider
the public interest of ensuring
access to employment for
individuals with criminal records.”
Exceptions apply for certain
positions.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Sealing (“order for limited access”) for 2nd and 3rd degree
misdemeanors and ungraded offenses after 10-year waiting period; ineligible if convicted of
certain offenses, offenses punishable by more than 2 years imprisonment, or four or more
offenses punishable by one or more years. Sealed records not available to public, private
employers, or landlords, but remain available to licensing agencies and other state and criminal
justice agencies.

Expungement available for “summary” offenses after five years; “violations”
(submisdemeanors); and for those aged 70 if no arrests for 10 years. Mandatory expungement
for pardoned offenses; underage drinking offenses if over 21. Juvenile expungement available
if: charges dropped; six months after discharge of consent decree/supervision; upon reaching
age 18; or five years after delinquency adjudication.

Mandatory expungement for non-conviction records if no disposition indicated after 18
months, or by court order; expungement available for “probation before judgment” cases for
nonviolent, first-time drug offenses. Authority to redact conviction records to expunge
dismissed charges.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Felony and misdemeanor
convictions may be considered only to the extent they “relate to” an applicant’s suitability for
employment/licensure in the position sought. Ban-the-box in public employment by executive
policy (no inquiries into criminal history on application and limits on consideration in hiring
process).
Read the Full Profile Online

http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

58

STATE

PUERTO RICO
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony; restored
upon completion of sentence. Since the 1980s, gubernatorial policy has allowed prisoners to
vote.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost for any felony conviction; restored by pardon or
expungement.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and may consult parole board. No formal
eligibility requirements, but recent policy has imposed a five-year waiting period after
completion of sentence. No public hearing. “Eliminates” conviction from police and court
records.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Broad expungement authority for all offenses, including
violent felonies, after waiting period of six months to five years if applicant demonstrates “good
moral reputation in the community.” Certificate of rehabilitation available for persons who
have not completed prison term if deemed totally rehabilitated; conviction may not then be
included in criminal record. Revoked verdicts may be expunged.
Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: No general law regulating
consideration of conviction.
Read the Full Profile Online

RHODE ISLAND
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon conviction of any felony while actually
incarcerated; jury eligibility lost upon conviction of any felony; office eligibility lost upon
conviction of any felony or misdemeanor resulting in a jail sentence of six months or more. Vote
restored upon release; jury eligibility restored upon completion of sentence; office eligibility
restored three years after completion of sentence or earlier by pardon.
Firearms rights: Firearms rights lost for “crime of violence” convictions; restoration to felony
domestic violence offenders after two years, otherwise by pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides but may not act without affirmative
recommendation of state senate. No eligibility requirements. No process specified. Restores
right to hold public office and lifts occupational and licensing bars. Pardons rare (none since
2000).

Judicial expungement & sealing: Expungement for nonviolent first offenders 5–10 years
after completion of sentence. Sealing following deferred adjudication and successful
completion of five-year probationary period. Automatic sealing of juvenile records with limited
exceptions. Sealing of records of acquittals or other exonerations, if no prior conviction.

59

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

SOUTH CAROLINA

A person with no more than one nonviolent felony conviction may apply to the Parole Board
for a “certificate of recovery & re-entry” which may serve to relieve some collateral
consequences. Persons with federal or out-of-state convictions are eligible to apply.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: State-wide ban-the-box for
public and private employment (no inquiry into criminal history until first interview).
Read the Full Profile Online

SOUTH CAROLINA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote and office eligibility lost upon conviction of any
felony, violation of election laws, or misdemeanor if sentenced to prison; jury eligibility lost
upon conviction of any felony. Vote and office eligibility restored upon completion of sentence;
jury eligibility restored by pardon.

Firearms rights: Handgun rights lost upon conviction for a “crime of violence,” including
serious drug trafficking; restored by pardon.
Pardon policy & practice: Independent board appointed by governor exercises pardon
power, except in capital cases. Eligibility following completion of sentence or after five years
under supervision and payment of restitution in full. Public hearings. Pardon erases all legal
effects of conviction, including sex offender registration and predicate effect. About 300 pardon
grants each year.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Expungement for first-offender misdemeanants if no
other conviction within three years, for first-time minor drug offenders whose adjudication
deferred, and for various other minor first-offenders. Juvenile expungement at age 18 for
nonviolent first offenders, with exceptions for serious crimes. Non-conviction records
destroyed if charges dismissed or person acquitted.
Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Conviction may be
considered, but applicant may not be denied a license solely due to a conviction unless the
criminal conviction is directly related to the profession/occupation.
Read the Full Profile Online

SOUTH DAKOTA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon conviction of any felony; jury eligibility
lost upon conviction of any felony only if actually incarcerated, including a suspended
sentence. By statute, office eligibility is same as jury eligibility; by state constitution, office
eligibility is same as voting. All civil rights restored upon completion of sentence.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction for any “crime of violence” and
certain drug felonies; restored after 15 years if no other such convictions or by pardon.

http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

60

STATE

Pardon policy & practice: Governor refers applications to Board of Pardons and Paroles,
which must recommend pardon in order to have record sealed. In general, must wait five years
to apply. Public hearings; notice to DA and judge with publication in newspaper in county
where crime committed. Relieves legal disabilities, no predicate effect. Process takes about six
months. In 2014, the Board of Pardons and Paroles implemented a policy that expedites the
pardon process for certain nonviolent misdemeanors, with waiting periods of 5 and 10
years. About 30-40 grants annually, 60% of applications.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Records of petty offenses, class 2 misdemeanors, and
municipal ordinance violations automatically sealed (removed from public record) after 10
years. Sealing following deferred adjudication for first felony offenders, except for serious
offenses (restores person to pre-arrest status). Records of misdemeanor offenses may be
destroyed after 10 years. Pardon automatically seals record. Sealing of juvenile records upon
petition after a waiting period with finding of rehabilitation. Non-conviction records may be
expunged one year after arrest if no charges filed; at any time after acquittal, or after dismissal
with consent of prosecutor.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: No general law regulating
consideration of conviction.
Read the Full Profile Online

TENNESSEE
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights
lost upon conviction of any felony. Vote restored
upon completion of sentence; jury and office
eligibility restored by application to the court.

Firearms rights: Handgun rights lost upon
conviction of felony; violent or drug convictions
(including misdemeanors) forfeit all firearms
rights. Restoration for nonviolent non-drug felony
offenders by pardon, judicial order, expungement,
set-aside, or certificate of restoration; restoration for
violent or drug crimes by expungement only.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and
may consult parole board; governor must report
reasons to legislature “when requested.” Eligibility
after completion of sentence and additional period of
good conduct, demonstrated rehabilitation, and
need. Public hearing with notice to prosecutor; prior
to a grant being made public, governor must notify AG
and DA, who notify the victim. Limited legal effect;
restores firearms rights for nonviolent non-drug
offenses, but does not restore civil or other rights.
Pardons infrequent.

61

New in 2017
Expanded adult conviction
expungement availability: As of July
2017, individuals with no more than
two eligible convictions may seek
expungement. Previously, only firstoffenders were eligible.
Expungement fee reduction: As of
May 2017, the total cost of
expungement has been significantly
reduced—from $450 to $280.

Mandatory expungement of juvenile
“misdemeanors”: As of July 1, 2017,
courts must, upon application,
expunge the records in “any case in
which a child’s juvenile record
contains convictions solely for unruly
adjudications or delinquency
adjudications for offenses that would
be misdemeanors if committed by an
adult.” A 1 year waiting period
applies.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

TEXAS

STATE

Judicial expungement & sealing: Expungement for certain less-serious, nonviolent offenses
5 years after completion of sentence if no more than two convictions, both of which must be
eligible (multiple contemporaneous convictions treated as single offense). Expungement in
first-offender deferred adjudication & pretrial diversion cases for misdemeanors and Class D
felonies. Expungement of pardoned offenses. Mandatory expungement of juvenile record after
one year if solely “misdemeanors”; discretionary expungement for other juvenile records at age
17 or earlier after a one-year waiting period with certain eligibility requirements. Expunged
convictions treated as if they never occurred, public records destroyed. Court must destroy
public records in cases of acquittal or where charges have been dismissed. Courts may also
redact conviction records to expunge dismissed charges.

Judicial restoration of rights available upon petition after expiration of sentence if petitioner
“merits having full rights of citizenship restored.” Individuals who have had or sought to have
had rights restored may also petition court for a Certificate of Employability. Persons with
qualifying convictions from other states or with federal convictions may apply for restoration
of rights and certificates.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Certificates of Employability
lift certain licensing disqualifications and protect employers from negligent hiring liability.
Licensing standards for some agencies relaxed. Ban-the-Box in public employment (no inquiry
into criminal history on initial application, but may inquire after initial screening and must
allow applicant to explain; employer must consider certain factors if applicant has criminal
record); Memphis ban-the-box ordinance in municipal hiring prevents inquiry into criminal
history until conditional offer made.
Read the Full Profile Online

TEXAS
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote and jury eligibility
lost upon conviction of any felony; office eligibility lost upon
conviction for bribery, among other offenses. Vote restored
upon completion of sentence; jury and office eligibility
restored by pardon or gubernatorial restoration of rights.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of
any felony; restored five years after completion of sentence
only for the premises in which the individual lives.

New in 2017
Expanded OND eligibility:
New 2017 legislation
authorizes courts to issue an
Order of Non-disclosure for
certain first-offender driving
while intoxicated offenses
that do not result in a motor
vehicle accidents involving
another person.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor may not act without
affirmative recommendation of Board of Pardons and
Paroles. Eligibility upon completion of sentence;
misdemeanants may apply. No public hearing. Restores civil rights and removes some legal
barriers to employment and licensing; basis for expungement. Process regular but pardons
granted sparingly.

http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

62

Judicial expungement & sealing: Sealing (“Order of Nondisclosure”) for most first-offender
misdemeanors, upon completion of sentence or after a two-year waiting period for more
serious misdemeanors; effective September 1, 2017, sealing available for first-offender DWI
offenses (bac < .15) after 2-5 year waiting period (offenses that result in accident involving
another person ineligible). Deferred adjudication may result in sealing for most offenses, with
a five-year waiting period for felonies; automatic sealing for many first-offender nonviolent
misdemeanors. “Expunction” available for deferred adjudication of class C misdemeanors;
non-conviction records, pardoned convictions. Automatic sealing at age 19 for misdemeanor
juvenile adjudications; discretionary sealing upon petition at age 18 or two years after
discharge.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Licensing authority may
deny, suspend, or revoke license if conviction “directly relates to the duties and responsibilities
of the licensed occupation”; if the offense is less than five years old; or if the offense is a specified
violent or sexual offense (does not apply to class C misdemeanors). In most cases, deferred
adjudication guilty pleas may not be treated as conviction for licensing purposes (excluding law
enforcement, education, health, safety, or financial services); only registrable sex offenses,
offenses where less than five years have passed since completion of supervision, or offenses
that would trigger mandatory licensing bar may be treated as conviction and only if they do not
pass the “fitness/risk” assessment. Protection from negligent hiring liability.
Read the Full Profile Online

UTAH
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote lost upon conviction of any felony or election-related
misdemeanor, unless sentenced to probation; jury and office eligibility lost upon conviction of
any felony. Vote restored upon completion of sentence or by pardon; jury eligibility restored
by expungement; office eligibility restored by expungement or after passage of 10 years since
conviction and completion of sentence, including any period of supervision.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon
conviction of any felony; restored by expungement
(except violent offenses) or pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Independent board
appointed by the governor; majority vote required
with reasons given. Eligibility five years after
expiration of sentence, restricted to offenses ineligible
for expungement. Public hearings; notice to DA and
victim. Restores civil rights. Pardons infrequent.

New in 2017

Ban-the-box in public employment: As
of May 2017, public employers may

not require an applicant to disclose
convictions on an employment
application or before an initial
interview (or after a conditional
offer of employment is made if no
interview takes place). Exceptions
apply for a number of positions.

Judicial expungement & sealing: All but serious
and violent offenses may be expunged after a 3–10 year waiting period, and order must issue
unless court finds this would be “contrary to public interest.” Pardon entitles person to
expungement. Juvenile records may be expunged after reaching age 18 following a one-year
waiting period if no adult criminal record. Expungement of non-conviction records available if
acquittal or charges dismissed 30 days after arrest took place; Class C misdemeanors receiving
deferred adjudication also may qualify.

63

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

VERMONT

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Ban-the-box in public
employment (no inquiry into criminal history until interview or conditional offer made).
Persons with expunged convictions may respond to inquiry as if conviction never occurred, but
licensing agency, state office of education and peace officer standards training may receive
information on expunged records upon request.
Read the Full Profile Online

VERMONT
Loss & restoration of civil rights: Vote and office
eligibility not lost. Jury eligibility lost upon conviction
of any felony; restored only by pardon.
Firearms rights: No firearms rights lost under state
law, but court may prohibit possession of firearms as a
condition of probation.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and
may consult parole board. Eligibility generally 10 years
after conviction; must show rehabilitation, benefit to
society, and employment-related need.
No
hearing. Restores rights and relieves disabilities,
including firearms. Pardons infrequent.

New in 2017
Ban-the-box in public & private
employment: Per a 2016 statutory
enactment effective July 1, 2017, no

public or private employer may
inquire about an applicant’s criminal
history on an initial employment
application. Inquiries into criminal
history may only be made during an
interview or after the employee has
been deemed otherwise qualified for
the position. Exceptions apply for a
number of positions.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Uniform Collateral Consequences of Conviction Act
(UCCCA) authorizes targeted relief from court at sentencing (Order of Limited Relief), and more
thorough relief after five years (Certificate of Restoration of Rights). Persons with convictions
from other states or with federal convictions are eligible for relief under these provisions.

Expungement or sealing available for nonviolent non-sexual misdemeanors and two minor
felonies (grand larceny, criminal mischief) after a 10-year waiting period if no further
convictions (if subsequently convicted, must wait 20 years if no felonies and no misdemeanor
convictions within past 15 years); and if convicted under age 25, after 5 years or after 1 year if
convicted of conduct no longer a crime. Deferred sentencing and diversion may result in
expungement; sealing available under first-offender diversion program two years after
successful completion. Youthful crimes committed under age 21 may be sealed two years after
discharge if rehabilitated and no further criminal involvement. Expungement or sealing of nonconviction records if charges not brought or dismissed before trial.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: In over 40 professions,
conviction of any felony or a crime “related to” the profession is grounds for denial of license.
Ban-the-box in public and private employment (no inquiries into criminal history until
interview or otherwise deemed qualified; inquiry on initial application only into convictions
that would trigger disqualification). UCCCA includes negligent hiring protections.
Read the Full Profile Online

http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

64

VIRGIN ISLANDS
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any crime for which
a prison sentence of more than a year is imposed; restored by pardon.

Firearms rights: A person convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term
exceeding one year is ineligible for a license to carry a firearm; restored by pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor has power to pardon offenses of local laws. No
information on process.
Judicial expungement & sealing: Expungement of misdemeanor convictions upon petition
to court, and of any offense after 5-year waiting period if under age 21 when offense
committed. Deferred adjudication for nonviolent first offenders and first-time drug possessors,
with expungement if under age 21 when offense committed. Mandatory expungement of nonconviction records.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: No general law regulating
consideration of conviction.
Read the Full Profile Online

VIRGINIA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony; restored
by gubernatorial restoration of rights (case-by-case restoration of voting rights by Gov.
McAuliffe).
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of any felony and certain juvenile
adjudications; restored by court order or pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and may consult parole board; governor must
report pardons, with reasons, to legislature annually. Three kinds of pardon: “conditional”
(commutation), “absolute” (innocence); and “simple” (forgiveness). “Simple” pardon does not
expunge but serves as official forgiveness and removes some employment and education
barriers; Governor may also grant restoration of rights. Five-year eligibility waiting period for
simple pardon; no hearing. Pardons more frequent under Gov. McAuliffe; rights restorations
freely available upon determination of eligibility.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Deferred adjudication, but no expungement, for certain
first-time drug offenders. Absolute pardon entitles person to expungement. Automatic
destruction of most juvenile records if person is at least age 19 and five years have elapsed since
any juvenile hearing in any case, with several exceptions. Non-conviction records may be
expunged where case results in acquittal, nolle prosequi, or dismissal.

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COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

WASHINGTON

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: May not be denied a license
“solely because of” a conviction unless directly related to the occupation/profession for which
a license is sought, with factors specified. Conviction may be considered in determining
applicant’s fitness for the occupation/profession. Ban-the-box in public employment by
executive order (criminal record question removed from initial application; no background
checks until candidate has signed waiver and is being considered for specific position).
Read the Full Profile Online

WASHINGTON
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony. Vote
provisionally restored if an individual is no longer in custody; fully restored upon completion
of sentence by court order or gubernatorial restoration of rights. Jury and office eligibility
restored upon completion of sentence by court order or certificate of restoration issued by
State Clemency and Pardons Board.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of violent, drug, or sex offenses;
restored by pardon or by court order after waiting period based on a finding of rehabilitation.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and may consult Clemency and Pardons Board;
governor must report pardons, with reasons, to legislature. No eligibility criteria. Public
hearing; DA and victim notified. Relieves all legal disabilities and vacates conviction. Process
regular but pardons granted sparingly.

Judicial expungement & sealing: All but the most serious offenses may be “vacated” after
5–10 year waiting period; most misdemeanors eligible after 3–5 year waiting period. Pardon
automatically vacates conviction. Automatic sealing of juvenile records of adjudication (except
serious, sex, and drug offense) upon satisfaction of terms and conditions of disposition
(contested hearing if state objects or court finds compelling reasons not to seal); juvenile
offenses ineligible for automatic sealing may be sealed after a crime-free 2-5 year waiting
period. Juvenile diversion records may be destroyed by court, or automatically in some
situations. Administrative sealing of non-conviction records two years after disposition
favorable to defendant.
Court-issued Certificates of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP) prohibit licensing agencies
from disqualifying individuals based on criminal conviction, and protect against negligent
hiring liability.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: May consider a conviction
only if within the last 10 years and the crime “directly relates” to the employment or license
sought; several exceptions apply. See above on court-issued Certificates of Restoration of
Opportunity.
Read the Full Profile Online

http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

66

WEST VIRGINIA
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights
lost upon conviction of any felony or bribery in an
election. Vote restored upon completion of sentence;
jury eligibility restored by pardon; office eligibility
restored upon completion of sentence for felonies and
only by pardon for bribery of state officials.

New in 2017
Felony offense reduction: As of July 2017,

courts will have discretionary
authority to reduce many nonviolent felony offenses to “reduced
misdemeanors” after a 10 year
waiting period.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon
conviction for crimes punishable by imprisonment of
at least one year and domestic violence
misdemeanors. Restored by petition to court, expungement, set-aside, or unconditional
pardon; pardon necessary for felonies involving violence, drugs, or sexual offenses.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and may consult parole board; governor must
report pardons, with reasons, to legislature. No eligibility criteria. No public hearing; board
must notify DA and judge before making recommendation. Lifts most legal barriers; does not
restore firearms rights. Pardons rare.
Judicial expungement & sealing: Youthful (age 18-26) first misdemeanor convictions may
be expunged after one year; violent crimes, DUI, and crimes against children offenses
excluded. Effective July 2017, many nonviolent non-sexual felony offenses may be reduced to
misdemeanors after 10 years, but ineligible for expungement. Pardon is basis for expungement
after one year and at least five years after discharge of sentence. Automatic juvenile sealing
after a one-year waiting period or upon reaching age 18 unless the case is transferred to adult
court.

Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: No general law regulating
consideration of conviction, but some professions require the conviction to be “directly related”
to the activity for which a license is sought. Reduced misdemeanor need not be disclosed as
felony on any type of application. Protection against negligent hiring liability regarding reduced
misdemeanors.
Read the Full Profile Online

WISCONSIN
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony or
bribery. Vote and jury eligibility restored upon completion of sentence; office eligibility
restored by pardon.
Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost upon conviction of any felony; restored by pardon.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and must communicate pardons, with reasons,
to legislature annually. Five-year eligibility waiting period; misdemeanants ineligible unless
waiver granted. Public hearing; notice to DA, judge, and victim and published in county
newspaper. Relieves legal disabilities but does not expunge or seal conviction. Past practice
varied according to incumbent governor; no pardons under present governor (Walker).
67

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

WYOMING
STATE

Judicial expungement & sealing: Misdemeanor and minor felony convictions may be
expunged only if committed before age 25, and only if the court authorizes at the time of
sentencing. Deferred prosecution in domestic violence and some sex offense cases may lead to
dismissal of charges, no conviction. Juvenile expungement upon reaching age 17 with finding
of offender benefit and no harm to society.
Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: Fair employment law bars
discrimination by public and private employers and licensing boards unless the crime
“substantially relates” to the specific job or licensed activity. Ban-the-box for civil service
employment (no inquiries into criminal history until applicant “certified” for position).
Read the Full Profile Online

WYOMING
Loss & restoration of civil rights: All civil rights lost upon conviction of any felony; restored
by pardon or gubernatorial restoration of rights. Vote restored for first-time nonviolent felony
offenders whose sentence was completed after Jan. 1, 2016, by certificate of restoration of
voting rights, which department of corrections is required to issue.

Firearms rights: All firearms rights lost for any “violent felony” or drug offense; restored only
through pardon. Handgun rights lost for violent misdemeanors within three years or drug
misdemeanors within one year; restored only through expungement.

Pardon policy & practice: Governor decides and must report pardons, with reasons, to
legislature every two years. Eligibility for pardon 10 years after sentence; 5 years for
restoration of rights. Sex offenses ineligible for either form of relief. No public hearing. Relieves
legal disabilities but does not expunge. Pardons granted regularly but sparingly.

Judicial expungement & sealing: Certain felony convictions may be expunged 10 years
after completion of sentence if no other felony convictions; court must find applicant is not a
danger; certain misdemeanors may be expunged after five years if offense did not involve use
of a firearm. Deferred sentencing for first felony offenders and misdemeanants, excluding
certain serious crimes, but expungement is specifically prohibited. Juvenile expungement upon
petition after reaching age 18, with showing of rehabilitation. Expungement of non-conviction
records 180 days after dismissal of proceedings if no charges pending.
Consideration of conviction in employment and licensing: No general law regulating
consideration of conviction.
Read the Full Profile Online

http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

68

APPENDIX A: 50-STATE COMPARISON OF
EXPUNGEMENT, SEALING & SET-ASIDE AUTHORITIES
State

AL

AK

69

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications
Most delinquency
adjudications sealed
after final discharge or
court order if no pending
criminal proceedings.
May petition to have
records destroyed five
years after age of
majority. Ala. Code §§
12-15-136, 12-15-137.

Court may suspend
imposition of sentence
and "set aside"
conviction after
successful completion of
probation for certain
offenses. Alaska Stat. §
12.55.085. May not be
used as predicate, but
limited use for
enhancement of
sentence. Similar
suspended entry of
judgement and dismissal
also available, with
exceptions for certain
serious offenses. §
12.55.078. No conviction
results and court records
may not be published
online, § 22.35.030, but
no sealing.

Records of juvenile
adjudications are
generally confidential
and unavailable to the
public. Court seals most
juvenile records at age
18 or release of
jurisdiction if later.
Alaska Stat. §
47.12.300(c), (e).

If charged as adult, most
juvenile records sealed
five years after
completed sentence or
after records made
public. § 47.12.300(f).

Non-Conviction
Records
Courts may expunge
nonconviction records of
nonviolent felonies and
misdemeanors, including
cases where charges
dismissed. Records
remain available to
government regulatory
or licensing agencies,
utilities, banks and
financial institutions.
Ala. Code §§ 15-27-1, -2.

State record repository
must remove arrest
record must be removed
from rap sheet after 30
days if not charged or if
cleared of the offense.
Ala. Code § 41-9-625.
Nonconviction records
generally unavailable to
the public. Alaska Stat. §
12.62.160(b)(8).
Additional sealing of
nonconviction records in
the case of mistaken
identity or false
accusation if proven
beyond reasonable
doubt. § 12.62.180(b).
Courts may not publish
online records of cases
resulting in acquittal or
dismissal. § 22.35.030.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

AZ

AR

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders

"Set-aside" upon
discharge for all but
violent and sex offenses.
Relieves collateral
consequences, but does
not seal record and
conviction must be
disclosed. Predicate.
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13907.
Minor felonies and drug
convictions eligible for
sealing after 5 yrs. (if no
more than one prior
felony), misdemeanors
immediately after
completion of sentence;
Serious violent and
sexual offenses
ineligible. Sealed
conviction "shall be
deemed as a matter of
law never to have
occurred, and the person
may state that the
underlying conduct did
not occur and that a
record of the person that
was sealed does not
exist." Predicate effect.
Ark Code Ann. § 16-901401 et seq.

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Deferred adjudication
for first-time offenders
may lead to sealing
(serious violent felonies
and certain sex offenses
ineligible). Ark. Code
Ann. §§ 16-93-303, 1693-314 (b).

APPX. A

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)

Misdemeanors Only

Expungement of in
human trafficking cases.
Ark. Code Ann. § 16-901412.

Pardoned Offenses

If ineligible for sealing
may seek pardon, which
results in automatic
sealing for all but a few
serious offenses. Ark
Code Ann. § 16-90-1411.

Juvenile Adjudications
If 18 years or older, may
apply to set aside
juvenile adjudication
upon discharge from
probation or absolute
discharge for certain
offenses. Predicate
effect. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§
8-348; 8-207, 13-501.

For most offenses, may
apply to set aside
adjudications upon
majority if discharged
from probation or
absolute discharge and
no subsequent
conviction or pending
charge. Ark. Rev. Stat. §
8-348. Set-aside relieves
penalties and
disabilities, with
exceptions for those
imposed by Dept. of
Transportation.

Non-Conviction
Records
Non-conviction records
may not be sealed or
expunged but may be
amended to note person
cleared of any arrests or
indictments. Ariz. Rev.
Stat. § 13-4051.
Arrest records may be
sealed if no charges are
filed within one year, §
16-90-1409, if charges
dismissed, or if no
conviction obtained. §
16-90-1410.

70

APPENDIX A

State

CA

CO

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)
Courts may issue
certificates of
rehabilitation, which
affect consideration for
employment, operate as
first step in pardon
process. See Cal. Bus. &
Prof. § 480(b) and chart
#5.

Set-aside or dismissal for
probationers,
misdemeanants, and
minor felony offenders'
rights restored and
disabilities removed,
may be used as predicate
offense and disclosed in
certain contexts. Setaside does not seal or
otherwise limit access to
records.
Court imposing a nonprison sentence may
relieve any collateral
consequence. Colo. Rev.
Stat. §§ 18-1.3-107; 181.3-213; and 18-1.3-303.

Sealing available for
select controlled
substance offenses
committed after 2008.
Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-72704 (convictions
between 2008 and 2011
- 10 yr. waiting period), §
24-72-705 (convictions
after July 1, 2011 - 1 to
10 yr. waiting period).
May deny conviction in
most situations. § 24-72703(4)(d).

First Offenders

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Deferred sentencing for
felony convictions,
treated as
misdemeanors following
successful completion of
probation. No sealing
except for certain underage misdemeanants.
Predicate effect. Cal.
Penal §§ 17(b), 1203.4,
1203.4a, 1203.41.
Post-plea deferred entry
of judgement &
probation available for
first minor drug offense.
See Cal. Penal § 1000, et
seq. Successful
completion results in
dismissal of charges, and
plea may be withdrawn
upon application to
court. § 1203.43.
Deferred adjudication,
sentencing, and
diversion may lead to
sealing. Colo. Rev. Stat.
§§ 24-72-308(1)(a)
(deferred adjudication);
§§ 18-1.3-101, 24-72702 (pretrial diversion);
18-1.3-102 (deferred
sentencing); § 18-13122(a) (deferred
adjudication/diversion
for underage alcohol
offenses).

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Non-Conviction
Records

Misdemeanors under
age 18 when crime
committed and who are
otherwise eligible may
apply to have record
sealed. Cal. Penal §
1203.45(a).

Records generally
confidential, with
exceptions for serious
offenses. Cal Rules of
Court, Rule 5.552. Most
adjudications may be
sealed, subject to the
court's discretion, either
5 years after termination
of jurisdiction or
immediately upon
reaching age 18. Cal.
Welf. & Inst. § 781.
Records are confidential
and destroyed after 5
years.

In any case where a
person has been
arrested and an
accusatory pleading has
been filed, but where no
conviction has occurred,
the court may, with the
concurrence of the
prosecuting attorney,
order that the records be
sealed and destroyed.
Cal. Penal § 851.8(d).
Pre-trial diversion
records sealed after 2
years. § 851.87.

Petty offenses and
municipal violations
(except for traffic
offenses). See Colo. Rev.
Stat. § 24-72-708.

Expungement available
for all but serious violent
offenses. Colo. Rev. Stat.
§ 19-1-306. Court must
advise at time of
sentencing. Automatic
for minor offenses, and
no significant waiting
period otherwise, except
for repeat/mandatory
sentence offenders. The
person and court may
indicate that no record
exists. .

Courts must seal, upon
petition, or request at
time of disposition, a
criminal record in cases
that were not charged,
that were resolved
through diversion,
completely dismissed, or
resulted in acquittal.
Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-72702. May deny
conviction in most cases.
§ 24-72-702(f)(I).

Decriminalized
misdemeanor marijuana
possession/use, § 24-72710 (effective August
2017); Victims of human
trafficking, § 24-72-706;
posting a private image
for harassment or
pecuniary gain, § 24-72709; theft of public
transportation services
by fare evasion, § 24-72707; underage
possession or
consumption of alcohol
or marijuana, § 18-13122(13).

Arrests resulting from
mistaken identity may
be expunged if no
charges were filed. § 2472-701.5

May deny conviction in
most situations. § 24-72703(4)(d).

71

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

CT

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders

See entry for pardoned
convictions.

DE

DC

Sealing for actual
innocence, see D.C. Code
§ 16-802; decriminalized
conduct, see § 16803.02.

72
http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

APPX. A

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Six programs for
deferred adjudication
may result in "erasure"
of record. May deny
conviction; predicate
unless records
destroyed. Conn. Gen.
Stat. § 54-142a. Erasure
prohibits disclosure by
government, bars
reliance in any
subsequent criminal
proceeding, and permits
the person to swear
under oath that the
crime never occurred.
Expungement in
"Probation Before
Judgment" under Del.
Code tit.11 § 4218, and
for the first offenders
controlled substances
diversion program, tit.
16 § 4767. See Del. Code
Ann. tit. 11 §§ 4372-74
(see non-conviction
records). Expungement
mandatory for
misdemeanors,
discretionary for
felonies.

Misdemeanors Only
Erasure available for
those convicted as
"youthful offenders"
upon reaching age 21 if
no subsequent felony
conviction. Conn. Gen.
Stat. § 54-76o. May deny
conviction. § 31-51i(c) (f).

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Pardoned conviction
automatically "erased"
after 3 years; records
destroyed; may deny
conviction. Conn. Gen.
Stat. § 54-142a(d).
Pardons routinely
available from Board of
Pardons and Parole.

Erasure of police and
court records available
at age 17 and after 2-4
years have elapsed,
depending on
seriousness of offense.
Must have no
subsequent convictions
or pending charges.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b146. Employers may not
require disclosure of
erased record or
discriminate based on
such a record. § 3151i(c) - (f).
Mandatory &
discretionary
expungement for
juvenile delinquency
records. Del. Code Ann.
tit.10, § 1014, et seq.
Must have no
subsequent convictions
or pending charges.

Expungement may be
available if
unconditionally
pardoned of some
misdemeanor &
violation convictions.
Del. Code Ann. tit 11, §
4375.

Sealing for selected
misdemeanors and one
felony (failure to appear)
after waiting period. May
deny conviction in most
situations; certain law
enforcement, court,
employer/licensing
access. D.C. Code §§ 16803, 16-806.

Upon majority, sealing
after a two-year waiting
period with no
subsequent convictions.
D.C. Code § 16-2335(a).

Non-Conviction
Records
Erasure of criminal
records where charges
have been dismissed or
nolled, or where person
has been acquitted; may
deny arrest under oath.
Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 54142a; 31-51i(d).

Expungement where
case results in acquittal
or other termination of
action in favor of the
accused, including in
probation before
judgement cases, but
prior conviction may
disqualify. Del. Code Ann.
tit. 11 §
4372. Expungement
mandatory where
charges involve
misdemeanor,
discretionary in felony
cases. §§ 4373, 437.
Court authorized to seal
non-conviction records
after waiting period;
may deny conviction in
most situations; certain
law enforcement, court,
& employer/licensing
access. D.C. Code §§ 16803, 16-806. Fugitive
from justice arrests may
be sealed under § 16803.01

72

APPENDIX A

State

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders

FL

GA

73

First offender drug
possession convictions
may be restricted
pursuant to Ga. Code
Ann. § 35-3-37(h)(2)(B),
making them unavailable
to public or licensing
boards.

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Adjudication may be
withheld and defendant
placed on probation for
second and third degree
felonies if requested by
prosecutor or if court
makes findings of
mitigating
circumstances; no
conviction results and
sealing for certain first
offenders (no prior
record) after 10 years.
Fla. Stat. Ann. §§
948.01(2),
943.0585(2)(h),
775.08435; Fla. Crim. P.
Rule 3.670. Sealing
defined in § 943045(14);
record remains available
to law enforcement,
certain employment. .
Discharge without
adjudication after
completion of probation
"completely exonerate[s]
the defendant of any
criminal purpose and
shall not affect any of his
or her civil rights or
liberties." Ga. Code Ann.
§§ 42-8-60, 42-8-62.
Restores firearms
privileges. 1974 Ga. Op.
Att'y Gen. 48 (1974); Ga.
Code Ann. § 16-11131(f). No sealing but
certain restrictions on
employer access to
records. § 35-3-34.

Misdemeanors Only

Records of youthful
(under 21) misdemeanor
convictions may be
"restricted" after five
years, making them
unavailable to public or
licensing boards. § 35-337(j)(4)(A).

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Non-Conviction
Records

Records of juvenile
adjudications are
generally confidential
except for serious
offenses. See Fla. Stat. §
985.04(2). Expungement
for nonjudicial record of
minor's arrest (nonviolent misdemeanor,
first offense) upon
successful completion of
diversion program. Fla.
Stat. Ann. §
943.0582. Expungement
defined as destruction of
record. § 943045(13).

Court may order
sealing/expungement of
non-conviction records,
with certain exceptions.
Prior or subsequent
felony & certain
misdemeanor
convictions are
disqualifying.
Expungement results in
destruction of record;
sealing permits limited
law enforcement,
employment, licensing
access. Fla. Stat. Ann. §§
943.0585, 943.059.

Sealing upon motion to
the court after a twoyear waiting period and
finding of rehabilitation.
Ga. Code Ann. § 15-11701(b).

If released before
indictment or acquitted,
record may be restricted
after waiting period
depending on
seriousness of charges..
Ga. Code Ann. § 35-337(h)(1).

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders

HI

ID

Reduction of felony to
misdemeanor after
completion of probation,
with concurrence of
prosecutor if earlier than
five years or if crime of
violence; offenses
requiring sex offender
registration not eligible.
Idaho Code Ann. § 192604(3). No sealing or
expungement of
record. Certain sex
offenders may petition
for "expungement" from
registry after 10 years.
Idaho Code Ann. § 188310.

74
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Set-aside of
plea where sentence
deferred or suspended
upon successful
completion of probation,
or reduction of felony to
misdemeanor
conviction; restores
rights but does not
expunge or seal (not
applicable to sex
offenses). Idaho Code
Ann. §§ 19-2601, 192604(1), (2).

APPX. A

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Deferred adjudication
for nonviolent first
offenders, expungement
after one year. First-time
minor drug offenders on
probation.
Yes predicate. Haw. Rev.
Stat.§§ 712-1255, 7121256, 853-1, 853-4.,

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications
Court may expunge
juvenile adjudication
records. Haw. Rev. Stat.
§§ 571-88(a). Juvenile
records confidential and
per se sealed. Id. § 57184(e).

Juvenile convictions may
be expunged after
waiting period (except
for serious offenses).
Idaho Code Ann. § 20525A

Non-Conviction
Records
Only criminal justice
agencies and agencies
authorized by Hawaii's
laws may access nonconviction information.
In addition, upon
application by the
affected individual, the
Attorney General "shall
issue an expungement
order annulling" record
of arrest if no conviction
results." Person "shall be
treated as having not
been arrested." Haw.
Rev. Stat. § 831-3.2.
No provision except for
unreturned arrest
warrants. ICAR R. 32.

74

APPENDIX A

State

IL

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)
Sealing for most
misdemeanors and
felonies after 3 year
waiting period.
Exceptions for limited
number of serious
offenses. 20 Ill. Comp.
Stat. Ann. 2630/5.2.

Courts authorized to
remove employment and
licensing bars through
certificate of good
conduct. 730 Ill. Comp.
Stat. Ann. 5/5-5.5-55. In
addition, consideration
of conviction limited for
certain licenses where
court issues certificate of
relief from disabilities.
Id. at 5/5-5-5.

IN

75

Expungement of most
felony and misdemeanor
offenses after waiting
periods ranging from
five to ten years. Ind.
Code § 35-38-9-2 et
seq. Expunged records
"remain public,"
although must be
"clearly and visibly
marked" as being
expunged. §35-38-9-7.
Records of
misdemeanors and
minor felonies are
automatically "sealed"
upon expungement,
which limits public
access without a court
order even to a
prosecutor. § 35-38-9-6.
Admin. Sealing from
state police after 15 yrs.
§ 35-38-5-5.

First Offenders

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Deferred adjudication
for first-time non-violent
offenders; expungement
five years after
successful completion of
probation. Predicate
offense if within five
years. 20 Ill. Comp. Stat.
Ann. 2630/5.2; 720 Ill.
Comp. Stat. Ann.
570/410, 550/10,5/5-63.4. Record destroyed.
§2630/5.2(a)(1)(E).

2014 "Second Chance
Probation" leading to
expungement available
to first time felony
offenders charged with
minor non-violent drug,
fraud or theft felony
offenses, 730 Ill. Comp.
Stat. Ann. 5/5-6-3.4. Yes
predicate.
Deferred adjudication
for drug abusers and
alcoholics charged with
less serious felonies, if
one prior and no charges
pending. Ind. Code §§
12-23-5-1 et seq., 12-236-1, 12-23-7-1 et seq.

Misdemeanors Only

Non-Conviction
Records

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Pardon instrument may
authorize expungement.
20 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann.
2630/5.2(e);2630/5.2(a
)(1)(E).

Automatic expungement
of all but the most
serious offenses after 0
to 2 year waiting period.
705 Ill. Comp. Stat.
405/5-915. Otherwise,
expungement upon
petition after 2 years,
except for first degree
murder and sex offenses.
Id. Automatic sealing of
non-expunged records.
Id.

Records of
arrest/charges that
resulted in acquittal or
dismissal may be
expunged upon petition
to the court. 20 Ill. Comp.
Stat. Ann. 2630/5.2(b).
Record destroyed.
§2630/5.2(a)(1)(E).

Pardon "wipes out guilt"
and automatically
becomes basis for
judicial expungement.
State v. Bergman, 558
N.E.2d 1111 (Ind. Ct.
App. 1990).

Court may expunge
juvenile records at any
time upon petition. Ind.
Code § 31-39-82. Records are
destroyed.

Nonconviction records
and convictions vacated
on appeal may be
expunged and sealed
after one year § 35-38-91. Once records are
sealed "only a criminal
justice agency may
access the records
without the order of a
court." § 35-38-9-1(d).

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders

IA

KS

Waiting period of 3-5
years; serious violent
and sex offenses
excluded. Also no
expungement if required
to register under KS
offender registration act.
Presumption in favor of
expungement if court
makes certain findings.
May deny conviction
except for certain law
enforcement,
employment and
licensing contexts. No
guns, predicate offense.
Kan. Stat. Ann. § 216614.

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APPX. A

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Deferred adjudication
followed by
expungement for first
offenders. Predicate
offense. Iowa Code §§
907.3, 907.9.

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications
Non-forcible felony
records are
preemptively non-public.
Iowa Code Ann. §§
232.147(3),
232.149B(1). Forcible
felony records may be
made non-public upon
application. § 232.149A.
Sealing at majority upon
application to the court
after a two-year waiting
period if no subsequent
offenses. § 232.150(1).
Not reported on criminal
history from age 21 on if
no serious offenses
between age 18 and 21. §
692.17(1).
Expungement of juvenile
adjudications, except for
serious or violent
offenses, following a
two-year waiting period
if the person is at least
age 23 and has no
subsequent offenses.
Kan. Stat. Ann. § 382312(a) - (c).

Non-Conviction
Records
Expungement of records
of acquittals and
dismissed charges
(excluding deferred
adjudication) after 180
days. § 901C.1. See also
Iowa Code Ann. §
692.17(1) (records of
acquittal/dismissal may
not be stored in
computer data system).

May be expunged on
petition to court where
no conviction results
from arrest (including
where charges
dismissed), subject to
certain court-ordered
grounds for disclosure.
May deny arrest. Kan.
Stat. Ann. § 22-2410.

76

APPENDIX A

State

KY

LA

77

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)
Specified Class D felonies
may be vacated 5 years
after completion of
sentence, and the record
expunged. Filing fee of
$500. Effect of
expungement
destruction of record,
except for index kept by
court. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann.
§ 431.073.
Expungement of most
misdemeanors/violation
s after five years with no
felony or misdemeanor
convictions. Mandatory
for single offense
history; discretionary for
multiple offense history.
May deny existence of
record. Ky. Rev. Stat.
Ann. § 431.078. Sex
offenses or offenses
against a child are
ineligible.
Most misdemeanors
(after five clean years),
many felonies (after 10
clean years), and
nonconviction records
may be expunged. La.
Code Crim. Proc. Art. 971
et seq. Record closed to
public but remains
available for law
enforcement and certain
licensing purposes.
Predicate offense.

First Offenders

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Deferred adjudication
for Class D felonies; no
conviction results, and
expungement available if
charges dismissed. Ky.
Rev. Stat. Ann. §§
431.076, 533.250533.262.

Deferred sentencing
resulting in set-aside and
dismissal for first felony
convictions sentenced to
probation. La. C.Cr.P. Art.
893(E). Expungement
under Art. 978 upon
successful completion.

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses
Pardoned convictions
may be set aside and
expunged. Ky. Rev. Stat.
Ann. § 431.078.

Juvenile Adjudications

Non-Conviction
Records

Vacatur and
expungement available,
upon petition after a
two-year waiting period.
Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §
610.330.

Court has discretion to
expunge records of
misdemeanor or felony
cases that result in
dismissals or acquittals
and charges not
resulting in indictment
after 12 months. Ky. Rev.
Stat. Ann. §§ 431.076,
510.300.

Expungement available
immediately upon
termination of juvenile
court jurisdiction for
most adjudications. 5
year waiting period for
certain serious offenses.
La. Ch.C. Art. 918.

Both felony and
misdemeanor nonconviction records may
be expunged, but remain
available to law
enforcement and for
certain licensing
purposes. La. Code Crim.
Proc. Art. 976.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

ME

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders

APPX. A

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)

Misdemeanors Only

Records of convictions
for Class E
(misdemeanor) crimes
committed between 18
and 21 may be sealed
after 4 years if the
person has not been
convicted of any other
offenses and has no
charges pending. Me.
Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 15, §§
2251, et seq.

MD

Deferred adjudication
available for certain
crimes, record may be
expunged, destroyed
after 3 years. No
predicate effect. Md.
Code Ann., Crim. Proc. §
6-220; Md. Rule Crim.
Proc. 4-511 and 4-512.
Jones v. Baltimore City
Police Dep't, 606 A.2d
214.

Expunged record may be
opened only upon court
order, with notice to the
person concerned and a
hearing, or upon ex parte
application by the State's
attorney and a showing
of good cause (including
that the record is needed
by law enforcement).
Md. Code Ann., Crim.
Proc. §§ 10-108(a)
through (c). Violation a
misdemeanor. § 10108(d). Destruction after
three years. See §§ 4511, 4-512.

78
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Under Second Chance
Act of 2015 a handful of
minor misdemeanor
convictions are eligible
for "shielding." Md. Code
Ann., Crim. Proc. § 10301 et seq.,

Effective Oct. 1, 2017,
enumerated
misdemeanors may be
"expunged" after 10
crime-free years (15 for
2nd degree
assault/"domestically
related crime"). SB-1005
(2016) (to be codified at
Md. Code Ann., Crim.
Proc. § 10-110).
Expungement for
specified nuisance
convictions. Md. Code
Ann., Crim. Proc. § 10105(a)(9), (c)(6).
Destruction after 3
years. Md. Rule Crim.
Proc. 4-511 and 4-512.

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Information re:
pardoned convictions
considered "nonconviction" data, though
may be available to
public upon request. Me.
Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 16, §§
703(2), 705. Can delete
from FBI record after 10
years per tit. 15, § 2167;
and no sex offender
registration if pardoned
under tit. 34A, § 1125A(6)(c).
Non-violent first
offenders pardoned may
petition for judicial
expungement. Md. Code
Ann., Crim. Proc. § 10105(a)(8). DNA records
may be expunged under
Md. Code Ann., Public
Safety § 2-511 (through
2013) or Crim. Proc. § 6232(a) (beginning in
2014). Destruction after
3 years. Md. Rule Crim.
Proc. 4-511 and 4-512.

Sealing, upon petition,
for all adjudication
records after a threeyear, crime-free waiting
period. Me. Rev. Stat.
Ann. tit. 15 § 3308.

Expungement for
charges transferred to
juvenile court per Md.
Code Ann., Crim. Proc. §§
10-105(a)(7), 10-106.
Destruction after 3
years. Md. Rule Crim.
Proc. 4-511 and 4-512.
Juvenile court records
are generally unavailable
to the public. Md. Code
Ann., Courts & Judic.
Proc. § 3-8A-27. Records
may be completely
sealed at any time for
good cause, and must be
sealed at age 21. Md.
Code Ann., Courts &
Judic. Proc. § 3-8A-27(c)

Non-Conviction
Records
Non-conviction records
may not be publicly
disseminated after one
year, but disclosure may
be made to "[a]ny person
who makes a specific
inquiry . . . as to whether
a named individual was
summonsed, arrested or
detained or had formal
criminal charges
initiated on a specific
date." Me. Rev. Stat. Ann.
tit. 16, §§ 703, 705.
Arrest records not
leading to charges are
automatically expunged,
and other nonconviction records
(including probation
before judgment) may
also be expunged upon
petition after a waiting
period; records may be
opened only upon court
order. Md. Code Ann.,
Crim. Proc. §§ 10-103;
10-105(a)(1)-(4), (c)(1)(2). Destruction after 3
years. Md. Rule Crim.
Proc. 4-511 and 4-512.

78

APPENDIX A

State

MA

MI

79

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)
Felonies may be sealed
after 10 years if no
subsequent conviction
(misdemeanors 5 years),
but no expungement.
May deny conviction in
employment application,
but no guns, predicate
offense. Mass. Gen. Laws
ch. 276, § 100A; ch. 140,
§ 122. See also Mass.
Gen. Laws ch. 151B, §
4(9) (employers may not
inquire into
misdemeanor
convictions more than 5
years old or arrest
records).
Set-aside for first felony
offenders with no more
than two prior
misdemeanors; also for
two misdemeanors if no
felonies. (Traffic & sex
offenses excluded). 5year eligibility period.
Record unavailable to
public. May be used by
law enforcement and
certain employmentrelated uses. Predicate
effect. Mich. Comp. Laws
§ 780.621

First Offenders

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Per Mass. Gen. Laws ch.
278, § 18 (2011)
("Continuance Without a
Finding"), sealing after
10 years for felonies and
five for misdemeanors
(Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 6, §
172).

Mich. Comp. Laws §
333.7411 (probation
before judgment for drug
first offenders):
nonpublic records kept
by state police, available
only to law enforcement
(including law
enforcement
employment) and court.

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses
Pardon seals
automatically, recipient
may deny conviction.
May be used as
predicate. Mass. Gen.
Laws ch. 127, § 152.

Juvenile Adjudications

Non-Conviction
Records

Records of adjudication
may be sealed after 3year crime-free waiting
period. Mass. Gen. Laws
ch. 276, § 100B. Upon
discharge of person
committed to
department, civil rights
restored & past
commitment cannot be
received in evidence or
used in subsequent
proceedings except as
against same person.
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 120,
§ 21.

Non-conviction records
may be sealed on order
of court; may not be used
to disqualify a person
from public employment.
May deny sealed arrest
on private employment
application. Mass. Gen.
Laws ch. 276, § 100C.

Subject to exceptions,
mandatory destruction
of diversion records
after reaching age 17; all
other records at age 30.
MCR 3.925(E)(2), (3).
Sealing upon petition
and finding of good
cause. MCR. 8.119(F).
Set-aside of up to 3
delinquency
adjudications upon
meeting certain criteria.
Mich. Comp. Law. Ann. §
712A.18e.

Where first offenders
found not guilty or
charges dismissed "the
fingerprints and arrest
card shall be destroyed
by the official holding
those items" after notice
by court. Mich. Comp.
Laws § 28.243(8), (12)

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

MN

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders

Trial court has common
law expungement
authority; balancing test
applied. State v. S.L.H.,
755 N.W.2d 271 (Minn.
2008).

Expungement (sealing)
available for all
misdemeanors and many
minor non-violent
felonies. Minn. Stat. §§
609A.02, subd. 3. Applies
to both court and
executive branch
records.

APPX. A

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Deferred sentencing for
felony convictions,
treated as
misdemeanors following
probation. Minn. Stat. §
609.13. Deferred
prosecution and
expungement for minor
drug offenses per Minn.
Stat. §§ 152.18, 609A.03.

Misdemeanors Only

Juvenile Adjudications

"Pardon extraordinary"
has effect of "setting
aside and nullifying"
conviction, but does not
expunge or seal record.
Recipient may deny
conviction.

Adjudication records
(other than for felony
offense at age 16 or
older) generally
available only to victim,
schools, and government
agencies for specified
purposes and only until
age 28. Minn. Stat. §
260B.171. Expungement
of juvenile delinquency
adjudications available
for certain offenses and
case dispositions. §
260B.198, subd. 6.

Records must be
destroyed upon request
if no felony/gross
misdemeanor conviction
in 10 years prior to
dismissal of charge prior
to probable cause
determination.
Immediate destruction if
no charges filed, or no
indictment returned.
Minn. Stat. § 299C.11.
Alternatively,
discretionary
expungement available
under same authority as
conviction records;
remain available for
certain law enforcement
and background check
purposes. §§ 609A.02,
subd. 3; 609A.03, subd.
7.

Sealing upon reaching
age 20 if case dismissed
or set aside; judge has
discretion to seal and
unseal. Miss. Code Ann. §
43-21-263(2).

Expungement of
misdemeanor records
not resulting in
conviction. Miss. Code
Ann. §§ 99-15-59.

Sealing of conviction
records available for
juveniles tried as adults
once finally discharged
or probation successfully
completed (some law
enforcement
exceptions). Minn. Stat.
§§ 609A.02, subd. 2;
609A.03, subd. 7.

MS

Minn. Stat. § 13.87
subdiv. 1(b) conviction
data maintained by
executive branch is
accessible to public for
15 years following
discharge.

Expungement of first
offender misdemeanors,
some minor felonies, and
less-serious youthful
felonies. Miss. Code Ann.
§ 99-19-71. Restores the
person's legal status, but
employer may inquire
about existence of
expunction. Id. .Law
enforcement retains.

80
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Deferred adjudication
followed by dismissal for
misdemeanors and
certain felonies. § 99-1926. Expungement "shall"
follow successful
completion. § 99-1926(5).

Non-Conviction
Records

Pardoned Offenses

80

APPENDIX A

State

MO

MT

NE

81

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)
Effective 1/2018,
expungement will be
available for
misdemeanors and all
non-Class A felonies,
with exceptions for
violent, sex and other
serious crimes. Mo. Rev.
Stat. § 610.140(2)
Waiting period for
misdemeanors will be
reduced from 10 to 3
years, 7 for felonies. §
610.140(5)(1).

First Offenders
First time alcoholrelated misdemeanors,
after 10 yrs. Mo. Rev.
Stat. § 577.054.

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Sealing for suspended &
probationary sentences,
becomes "nonconviction" record, need
not be reported; sealed
records remain available
for law enforcement &
certain licensing. Mo.
Rev. Stat. §§ 557.011,
610.105-610.110.

Deferred sentencing for
first felony offenders and
misdemeanants, after
which charges dismissed
and access to records
limited (but not
"expunged" or
destroyed). Mont. Code
Ann. §§ 46-18-201, 4618-204.
Court may set aside
conviction for those
sentenced to probation,
which "nullifies"
conviction and removes
"all civil disabilities and
disqualifications" but
does not expunge or seal
record. Neb. Rev. Stat. §
29-2264.

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Bad check felonies and a
few public order
misdemeanors may be
expunged, but limited
effect. § 610.140. See
expansion effective
1/2018.

Records generally
unavailable to the public.
Mo. Rev. Stat. §
211.321.1. Court motion
may seal and destroy
records after age 17. §
211.321.5. Juvenile
driving records may be
expunged after two
years or upon reaching
age 21. § 302.545.

Effective Oct. 2017,
expungement available
for all misdemeanors
once in a person's
lifetime. HB0168 (2017)
(to be codified at tit. 6,
ch. 18). Record
permanently
destroyed/deleted/erase
d.

Automatic sealing of
youth court and
probation records upon
reaching majority. Mont.
Code Ann. § 41-5215'216. May seek court
order limiting
availability prior to
majority. Mont. Privacy
Rules § 4.60.
Expungement only
where an arrest is due to
police error. Neb. Rev.
Stat. § 29-3523(3).
Limited availability of
sealing (no charge,
completion of
diversion/probation
program) upon showing
of rehabilitation. § 432,108.03; 43-2,108.4.
Adjudication treated as if
it never occurred.

Non-Conviction
Records
Immediate expungement
for nolle pros. if arrest
based on false
information, most
misdemeanor motor
vehicle offenses if nolle
pros., dismissal,
acquittal. § 610.122.
Effective 2018,
expungement available
after 3 years for any
misdemeanor, non-Class
A felony arrest, with
exception for violent,
sex, other serious
offenses. § 610.140(6).
Upon request of
individual or order of
court, all records in cases
not resulting in
conviction, or where
conviction invalidated
must be returned to the
subject. Mont. Code Ann.
§ 44-5-202.
Automatic sealing of
criminal history
information. Records not
resulting in prosecution
may not be disseminated
to the public after a
period of one year;
records where charges
were not filed because of
completed diversion are
not available to the
public after two years;
and records where
charges were filed but
later dismissed by the
court are removed from
the public record
immediately. Neb. Rev.
Stat. § 29-3523(3).
Expungement also
available for arrest
records resulting from
law enforcement error.
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 293523(6).

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

NV

NH

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders

Sealing available after 7to-15-year waiting
period for felonies
(depending on offense)
and 2-7-year waiting
period for
misdemeanors, if no
subsequent conviction
during waiting period.
Conviction may be
denied (with law
enforcement and
firearms exceptions). No
predicate effect. Nev.
Rev. Stat. §§ 179.245,
179.285, 179.301.
Sealing available for
more minor offenses
(misdemeanors & lesser
felonies) under various
statutes (e.g., drug
offenses per Nev. Rev.
Stat. § 453.3365).
Convictions for most
non-violent offenses may
be "annulled" after
waiting periods of 1 to
10 yrs., if consistent with
rehabilitation and public
welfare. Annulled
records unavailable to
the public, and inquiries
must be limited;
however, record may be
given predicate effect.
N.H. Rev. Stat. § 651:5.

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Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §
458.300 authorizes
deferred sentencing for
persons adjudged an
addict or alcoholic; upon
successful completion of
a treatment program, the
conviction may be setaside and the record
sealed.

APPX. A

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Sealing available for
those honorably
discharged from
probation without
waiting period per Nev.
Rev. Stat. § 176A.850.

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Non-Conviction
Records

Automatic sealing upon
reaching age 21 for most
offenses. Nev. Rev. Stat. §
62H.140. Earlier sealing
upon petition and a
hearing after a threeyear waiting period. Id.
Sealing for certain
violent/sex offenses
available at age 30. §
62H.150.

Non-conviction records
may be sealed at any
time after completion of
case, may deny arrest.
Nev. Rev. Stat. §§
179.255, 179.285.

Records closed and
placed into an inactive
file upon reaching age
21, with access
remaining for law
enforcement. N.H. Rev.
Stat. Ann. § 169-B: 35.

Non-conviction data may
be expunged by court
subject to "public
welfare" standard that
applies to convictions;
arrest deemed never to
have occurred. N.H. Rev.
Stat. Ann. § 651:5(II).

82

APPENDIX A

State

NJ

NM

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)
Expungement for certain
first indictable offense
after 10 years (waiting
period may be reduced
to 5 years if "in the
public interest"). May
deny record except in
connection with judicial
and law enforcement
jobs. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§
2C:52-2.

Sentencing court may
issue certificate
evidencing rehabilitation
that "suspends certain
disabilities, forfeitures
or bars to employment
or professional
licensure." N.J. Stat. Ann.
§ 2A:168A-7.

First Offenders
Expungement of lowlevel 1st offender drug
offense committed
before age 21 after 1
year. § 2C:52-5.

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Deferred adjudication
and sealing for minor
drug offenses after 6month waiting period. §
2C:36A-1. Drug court
records may be
expunged under N.J. Stat.
§ 2C:35-14.

Deferred sentencing
(following plea resulting
in conviction) available
except in first degree
felony cases; rights
restored but conviction
remains. No
expungement, and
conviction has predicate
effect. Does not qualify
as "set-aside" for
purposes of avoiding
federal firearms
restrictions. N.M. Stat.
Ann. § 31-20-3.

Conditional discharge
without finding of guilt
available once in lifetime
except in first degree
felony case. § 31-20-13.
Record not expunged,
but rights are not lost.
Predicate effect.

83

Distinct conditional
discharge authority for
first offender drug
possession. § 30-31-28.
Expungement available if
offense committed while
age 18 or younger.

Non-Conviction
Records

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Expungement of up to 3
disorderly persons
offenses after 5 years
(may be reduced to 3
years if "in public
interest"). N.J. Stat. Ann.
§ 2C:52-3. 10-year
minimum waiting period
if person also has a
conviction for an
indictable offense. §
2C:52-2. May deny
record except in
connection with judicial
and law enforcement
jobs. § 2C:52-2.

Pardon makes eligible
for expungement. In re
L.B., 848 A.2d 899 (N.J.
Super. Ct. 2004). May
deny record except in
connection with judicial
and law enforcement
jobs.

Expungement available
after 2-10 year waiting
period, depending on
seriousness of
offense. N.J. Stat. Ann. §
2C:52-4.1. Sealing
available after 2 years if
no subsequent
conviction/adjudication,
or immediately upon
military enlistment. §
2A:4A-62.

Arrest and other nonconviction data may be
expunged upon
application at the time of
disposition; episode
deemed never to have
occurred. N.J. Stat. Ann. §
2C:52-6. § 2C:52-1

Records generally
confidential. N.M. Stat.
Ann. § 32A-2-32. Court
must seal records
relating to juvenile
delinquency petitions
after both reaching age
18 (with exceptions) and
after 2 year waiting
period if no subsequent
felony or misdemeanor
involving moral
turpitude. § 32A-2-26.
Treated as though
proceeding never took
place.

Department of public
safety authorized to
expunge arrest
information relating to
misdemeanor or petty
misdemeanor offense
unless crime of moral
turpitude. If final
disposition cannot be
located, the department
"shall expunge the arrest
information." N.M. Stat.
Ann. § 29-38.1(a). Question
whether courts have
inherent authority to
direct expungement is
now before the New
Mexico Supreme Court.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

NY

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders

Effective October 2017,
all offenses other than
sex offenses and class A
felonies and violent
felonies may be sealed
after 10 years. Available
for up to two offenses,
only one of which may
be a felony. N.Y. Crim.
Proc. § 160.59.

Certificate of Relief from
Disabilities, N.Y. Correct.
Law §§ 700-706, or a
Certificate of Good
Conduct, §§ 703-a, 703b, may be obtained to
restore rights, at
sentencing for first
felony offenders not
sentenced to prison, or
thereafter for all from
Parole Board.

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APPX. A

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Deferred adjudication
includes automatic
expungement upon
completion unless DA
demonstrates "that the
interests of justice
require otherwise." N.Y.
Crim. Proc. Law §§
160.58, 216.00 et seq.
Conditional sealing of
certain drug and other
specified felony
convictions upon
completion of a judicially
sanctioned "diversion"
or drug treatment
program.

Misdemeanors Only
Up to three prior
misdemeanors may be
sealed pursuant to
conditional sealing
authority described in
column to left.

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Youthful offender
pardons: Cuomo
program to pardon for
crimes committed at age
16 or 17, limits access to
criminal history by
private employers,
landlords, other
companies.

Youthful offender
adjudication records are
generally unavailable to
the public. N.Y. Crim.
Proc. Law § 720.35(2).
Delinquency
adjudications for nonfelony offenses may be
sealed once reaching age
16 upon petition. NY CLS
Family Ct Act § 375.2.
Delinquency
proceedings resolved in
juvenile's favor are
automatically sealed. §
375.1.

Non-Conviction
Records
Sealing automatic upon
termination of the action
in favor of a person
(including deferred
adjudication), unless the
district attorney
demonstrates "that the
interests of justice
require otherwise." N.Y.
Crim. Proc. Law §§
160.50, 160.55.

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APPENDIX A

State

NC

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)
Minor felonies and
misdemeanors eligible
for judicial Certificate of
Relief to remove
collateral sanctions;
Certificate may be
considered favorably in
determining whether to
disqualify from public
employment or
licensure. N.C. Gen. Stat.§
15A-173.2(d).

First Offenders
First offender minor
nonviolent felonies &
most non-violent
misdemeanors eligible
for expungement after
15 years. N.C. Gen. Stat.§
15A-145.5. Waiting
period reduced to 5
years for misdemeanors,
10 years felonies,
effective Dec. 1, 2017.
May deny for most
purposes.
Youthful offenses: First
offender nonviolent
felonies and
misdemeanors
committed under age 18
or 21 may be expunged
(4 yrs waiting period for
felonies, 2 years under
18 misdemeanors &
under 21 alcohol
misdemeanors). N.C.
Gen. Stat. §§ 15A-145,
15A-145.4.

ND

85

Minor felony conviction
(less than one year
prison) may be reduced
to a misdemeanor after
service of sentence. N.D.
Cent. Code §§ 12.1-3202(9) No authority to
expunge or seal
conviction records.

Certain gang offenses
committed by first
offender under age 18
may be expunged. N.C.
Gen. Stat. §§ 15A-145.1,
14-458.1(c).
First offender marijuana
possession may be
sealed if not
subsequently convicted
within 2 years. N.D. Cent.
Code 19-03.1-23(9).

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Deferred adjudication
for first-time minor drug
offenders. No conviction
results if probation
successfully completed.
No predicate effect.
Expungement of records
only if under 22. N.C.
Gen. Stat. §§ 90-96(a),
90-113.14(a).
Deferred adjudication
for cyberbullying
offenses committed
under age 18. May be
expunged. N.C. Gen. Stat.
§§ 15A-145.1, 14458.1(c).

Deferred imposition of
sentence available per
N.D. Cent. Code § 12.132-02, but no
expungement/sealing.

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Non-Conviction
Records

Juvenile records
generally unavailable to
the public. N.C. Gen. St. §
7B-3200(b). May be
sealed by court order. §
7B-3200(c). Sealed
records may be disclosed
by court order.
Expungement available
upon reaching majority
after an 18-month
waiting period after
demonstrating good
behavior and no
subsequent convictions.

Where charges are
dismissed or the person
found not guilty, may
apply to the court for
expungement if no prior
felony convictions, and
thereafter may deny
conviction. N.C. Gen. Stat.
§ 15A-146(a).

Records generally
unavailable to the
public. N.D. Cent. Code, §
27-20-51(1); N.D.R. Juv.
P. Rule 19(a). May
petition for destruction
at any time so long as no
charges are
pending. N.D.R. Juv. P.
Rule 19(d). Good cause
showing required.
Destroyed record
treated as if it never
existed. N.D. Cent. Code
§ 27-20-54(2).

Courts have inherent
authority to expunge
non-conviction records
for unlawful arrests,
State v. Howe, 308
N.W.2d 743, 749 (N.D.
1981), and to limit
public Internet access to
electronic nonconviction records if
charges dismissed or
defendant acquitted, N.D.
Sup. Ct. Admin. R. 41(6).

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

OH

OK

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders

Records sealed for one
felony and/or up to 2
misdemeanors, after 1-3
yr. waiting period
depending on offense if
court finds
rehabilitation. Certain
serious offenses
excluded. Applies to
federal and out-of-state
convictions. May deny
conviction w/ some
exceptions. Access in law
enforcement and
licensing contexts.
Predicate offense. Ohio
Rev, Code Ann. §§
2953.31 et seq.
Ohio judges may also
issue a "certificate of
qualification for
employment" that
removes automatic
sanctions and allows
consideration on the
merits. Ohio Rev. Code
Ann. § 2953.25.

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Deferred adjudication
and probation leading to
expungement (sealing)
for misdemeanants and
minor felony offenders.
22 Okla. Stat. Ann. §
991c. Misdemeanants
also eligible one year
after completion of
deferred judgment, id. §
18(8). First drug
offenders eligible for
deferred sentencing and
expungement under 63
Okla. Stat. Ann. § 2410(A). Sealed record
may be ordered
"obliterated or
destroyed" after an
additional 10 years.

APPX. A

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Intervention in lieu of
conviction available for
certain non-serious first
offenses; successful
completion and
abstinence results in not
being treated as a
conviction. Ohio Rev.
Code Ann. §2951.041.
Sealing available under
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §
2953.52.

Misdemeanors Only

Misdemeanor with fine
under $500 and no
prison or suspended
sentence may be
expunged immediately.
22 Okla. Stat. Ann. §
18(A)(10) (eff. Nov.
2016). Otherwise,
misdemeanors expunged
after 5 years if no
charges pending and no
prior felonies. 22 Okla.
Stat. Ann. § 18(A)(11).

Non-Conviction
Records

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Courts have no inherent
authority to seal record
of pardoned
conviction. State v.
Radcliff (Ohio, 2015).

Sealing of records for
delinquency
adjudications, except for
murder or rape offenses,
after 6 months from
discharge. Ohio Rev.
Code Ann. § 2151.356.
Proceedings deemed
never to have occurred.

Sealing for records that
did not lead to a
conviction, or in which
conviction was
overturned. Ohio Rev.
Code Ann. §§ 2953.52,
2953.55. May deny for
most purposes. §
2953.55(A).

Non-violent first
offenders who have been
pardoned may petition
for expungement after
10 yrs. No more than
two pardoned felonies
may be expunged after
20 yrs. (eff. Nov. 2016).
Those convicted under
age 18 may also petition
for expungement after
pardon. 22 Okla. Stat.
Ann. §§ 18(A)(6),
(A)(12), (A)(13).

Expungement eligibility
upon reaching age 21 if
no subsequent criminal
behavior. Record sealed,
and destroyed after 10
years if not unsealed.
May deny existence of
record. Okla. Stat. tit.
10A, § 2-6-109.

Expungement (sealing)
of records of acquittals,
reversals, innocence, or
where charges never
filed under 22 Okla. Stat.
Ann. § 18(A)(1)-(5). Also
available for cases in
which charges dismissed
under § 18(A)(7), if no
prior felonies and time
has expired for
recharging.

86

APPENDIX A

State

OR

PA

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)
Less serious non-violent
offenses may be "set
aside" after waiting
period of 1 to 20 years if
no other conviction in
past 10 years (or ever, if
setting aside Class B
felony) or arrest within 3
yrs. Order must issue
unless court finds it
would not be "in the best
interests of justice."
Record sealed from
public view. May deny
conviction, but counts as
predicate. Or. Rev. Stat. §
137.225.
Expungement with
complete destruction of
records available for
those over 70 if no
arrests for 10 yrs, and 3
yrs after death. 18 Pa.
Cons. Stat. § 9122; 234
Pa. Code chs. 4, 7.

First Offenders

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)

Expungement for
probation without
verdict (ARD) for nonviolent first time drug
offenses. 35 Pa. Cons.
Stat. §§ 780-117, 780119.

Misdemeanors Only

2nd & 3rd degree
misdemeanors and
ungraded offenses may
be sealed under "order
of limited access" after
10 years. Records are
unavailable to the public,
but remain available to
certain state agencies,
including licensing
boards. 18 Pa.C.S. §
9122.1.
Expungement available
for "summary" offenses
after 5 yrs; also for
underage drinking. 18
Pa. Cons. Stat. § 9122;
234 Pa. Code chs. 4, 7.

87

Pardoned Offenses

Pardon basis for judicial
expungement.
Commonwealth v. C.S.,
534 A.2d 1053 (Pa.
1987).

Juvenile Adjudications

Non-Conviction
Records

Expungement and
sealing eligibility for
most offenses upon
reaching majority. Or.
Rev. Stat. § 419A.262(2).
5-year waiting period
with no subsequent
felony or Class A
misdemeanor
convictions. §
419A.262(2)(a)-(e). Setaside available for some
offenses not eligible for
expungement. §
419C.610.

One year from the date
of any arrest, if no
accusatory instrument
was filed, or at any time
after an acquittal or a
dismissal of the charge,
the arrested person may
apply to the court for
entry of an order setting
aside and sealing the
record of such arrest. Or.
Rev. Stat. §
137.225(1)(b).

Upon reaching majority,
expungement with
complete destruction of
records available after a
five-year waiting period
for delinquency
adjudications. 18 Pa.
Cons. Stat. Ann. § 9123.

May not be disclosed to
public after three years
with no subsequent
conviction. 18 Cons. Stat.
§ 9121(b)(2)(i).
Expungement available
for non-conviction
records where no
disposition indicated
after 18 months or by
court order (includes
pre-plea diversion cases
after successful
completion of
probation). 18 Pa. Cons.
Stat. § 9122.
Constitutional right to
seek judicial
expungement of an
arrest record, based on
balancing test. Comm. v.
Armstrong, 434 A.2d
1205 (Pa. 1981). Partial
expungement of charges
nol prossed also
available. Comm. v.
Hanna,964 A.2d 923 (Pa.
Super. 2009).

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

PR

Broad expungement
authority for all offenses,
including violent
felonies, after waiting
period of six months to 5
years (felony offenders
also must provide DNA
sample), if applicant
demonstrates "good
moral reputation in the
community." P.R. Laws
Ann. tit. 34, §§ 1725a-1
et seq.

RI

"Certificate of recovery &
re-entry" if no more than
one non-violent felony
conviction relieves
petitioner of some
collateral consequences.
R.I. Gen. Laws § 13-8.2-1.

First Offenders

Nonviolent first
offenders only, after 510 yrs. Allows denial
except for certain jobs
and licenses. Predicate
offense. R.I. Gen. Laws §§
12-1.3-1 et seq.

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APPX. A

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Certificate of
rehabilitation available
to persons who have not
completed prison term if
deemed totally
rehabilitated,
psychological
recommendation
required, court orders
conviction not be
included in criminal
record certificate but
may be used for
recidivism purposes. P.R.
Laws Ann. tit. 4, § 1611
et seq.
Deferred sentencing
cases may be sealed after
successful completion of
five (5) year probation
period, if no prior felony
convictions. R.I. Gen.
Laws §§ 12-19-19(c), 121-12.1. "Filing"
complaints must be
sealed upon successful
completion of one-year
probation, three years
for domestic violence
cases. R.I. Gen. Laws §
12-10-12.

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Non-Conviction
Records
Revoked verdicts may be
expunged. P.R. Laws. Tit.
34, § 1725b

Automatic sealing, with
limited exceptions, upon
final disposition of
juvenile case. R.I. Gen.
Laws §§ 14-1-6.1, 14-164(b). Juvenile
adjudication can be used
for sentencing purposes
in adult court and does
constitute a conviction
for impeachment
purposes.

Court sealing of records
of persons acquitted or
otherwise exonerated
(including charges
dismissed pursuant to
deferred sentencing) if
no prior felony
convictions. R.I. Gen.
Laws § 12-1-12.1.

88

APPENDIX A

State

SC

SD

89

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders
First offense
misdemeanors (except
traffic offenses) may be
expunged if no other
conviction within 3 years
(5 years for domestic
violence cases). S.C. Code
Ann. § 22-5910(A). Expungement
requires destruction of
record.
Expungement also
available for first
fraudulent check offense,
first offense resulting in
alcohol education
program, and first failure
to stop for law
enforcement signal. §§
34-11-90(e), 17-22530(A), 56-5-750(F).

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Deferred adjudication
for first-time minor drug
offenders. No conviction
results and record
expunged. S.C. Code Ann.
§ 44-53-450.

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses

Non-violent first
offenders eligible for
pretrial intervention,
non-criminal disposition,
and expungement. §§ 1722-10 et seq. No
predicate effect.
Certain non-violent
offenses committed
between 17 & 25 years
of age resulting in
probation & treatment
may be expunged after 5
years if no subsequent
conviction. § 22-5-920.
Suspended imposition of
sentence for first
offenders charged with
non-serious felony and
misdemeanor offenses;
results in no conviction,
records sealed. S.D.
Codified Laws §§ 23A27-12.2 through 17.

Effective 2016, arrest
and conviction for Class
2 misdemeanors,
municipal violations,
petty offenses
automatically removed
from public record after
10 years. S.D. Codified
Laws § 23A-3-34.

Director of the Bureau of
Criminal Statistics may
authorize destruction of
records of
misdemeanors ten years
after discharge, and
records of persons
seventy-five years of age
or older who have been
crime-free for at least
ten years. S.D. Codified
Laws § 23-6-8.1.

Pardon seals record
automatically where
statutory process
followed. S.D. Codified
Laws § 24-14-11

Juvenile Adjudications

Non-Conviction
Records

Expungement available
upon majority for status
and nonviolent offenses,
with certain exceptions
for serious crimes and
repeat offenders. S.C.
Code Ann. § 63-192050(A).

If charges dismissed or
person found not guilty,
all records must be
destroyed and "no
evidence of such record
pertaining to such
charge shall be retained
by any municipal, county
or State law enforcement
agency." S.C. Code Ann. §
17-1-40(A)

Sealing upon petition
after a waiting period
and finding of no
subsequent convictions
and rehabilitation. S.D.
Codified Laws § 26-7A115.

Records may be
expunged upon
application after one
year if no prosecution; or
where no adjudication of
guilt, including deferred
adjudication, if
prosecutor consents. S.D.
Codified Laws §§ 23A27-14 to 23A-27-17.
Restores person to prearrest status and seals
record, but does not
destroy record.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

TN

TX

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders

Certain less serious nonviolent felonies and
misdemeanors eligible
for expungement 5 years
after discharge, if no
more than 2 convictions,
both of which must be
eligible; may deny
conviction but record
remains available to law
enforcement. Tenn. Code
Ann. § 40-32-101(g), (k).

Judicial restoration of
rights and "certificate of
employability" available
to all residents,
wherever the conviction
obtained. §§ 40-29-101,
40-29-107. Certificate
limits licensing denials,
protects against
negligent hiring liability.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-29107. (See Chart #5)

First-offender
misdemeanor sealing
available upon petition
for "order of nondisclosure." No waiting
period applies for fineonly misdemeanors;
otherwise 2 years. See
Tex. Gov't Code §§
411.073,
411.0735. First-offender
DWI convictions also
eligible, 2-5 year waiting
period. Tex. Gov’t Code
§§ 411.0731, 411.0736.
Order of nondisclosure
limits public access, but
records may be disclosed
to law enforcement and
certain licensing
purposes.

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Deferred adjudication
available (certain
offenses, such as sex and
violent offenses,
excluded), results in
dismissal of charges and
no conviction. For first
misdemeanors, court
must seal records under
"order of nondisclosure" upon
discharge. Tex. Gov't
Code § 411.072; Tex.
Code Crim. Proc. art.
42.12. May otherwise be
sealed upon petition.
Waiting period may
apply (2 years for
serious misdemeanor; 5
years for felony). Tex.
Gov't Code § 411.0725.

APPX. A

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Deferred adjudication
for misdemeanor/lowlevel felony if no prior
felony/class A
misdemeanor resulting
in confinement; results
in no conviction, no
predicate effect (except
subsequent related civil
actions), records
expunged. Tenn. Code
Ann. §§ 40-35-313, 4032-101(b).
Misdemeanants and
Class D felons who
successfully complete
diversion probation
eligible for expungement
under Tenn. Code Ann. §
40-15-102 to 40-15-106.

Misdemeanors Only

Non-Conviction
Records

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Pardon may serve as
grounds for
expungement and thus
restoration of firearms
privileges. See Tenn.
Code Ann. § 40-29105(h).

Effective July 2017,
mandatory expungement
of "misdemeanor"-only
records upon petition
after one-year waiting
period. Tenn. Code Ann.
§ 37-1-153(f).

Court must order
"destruction" of records
in case of acquittal, or
where charges
dismissed. Tenn. Code
Ann. § 40-32-101(a), (b).

Pardon entitles recipient
to judicial expungement.
Tex. Code Crim. Proc.
Ann. art. 55.01(a).

Automatic sealing at age
19 for misdemeanor
juvenile adjudications.
Tex. Fam. Code §
58.253(b). Discretionary
sealing upon petition at
age 18 or two years after
discharge. § 58.256.
Treated as if never
occurred and may not be
used against person in
any manner. §§
58.261(b), 58.258(c).

"Expunction" of all
records may be ordered
in cases where an arrest
does not result in a
conviction, except that
only Class C
misdemeanants eligible
in case of deferred
adjudication. Tex. Code
Crim. Proc. Ann. art.
55.01(a), art.
55.01(2)(B).

Otherwise, discretionary
expungement available
at age 17 if one year has
passed since most recent
adjudication and certain
criteria are met. Tenn.
Code Ann. § 37-153(f).
Records destroyed.

Partial expungement:
Conviction records may
be redacted to expunge
charges not resulting in
conviction. See State v.
L.W., 350 S.W.3d 911
(2011)

90

APPENDIX A

State

UT

91

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)
All except serious violent
offenses may be
"expunged" after 3-10 yr
waiting period. Order
must issue unless court
finds it would be
"contrary to public
interest." May deny
conviction but otherwise
of uncertain effect.
Predicate offense. Utah
Code Ann. §§ 77-40-101
et seq.

First Offenders

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Pardon entitles person
to expungement. Utah
Code Ann. § 77-40105(5).

Expungement after a
one-year waiting period
upon reaching majority
and filing a petition with
the court if no adult
criminal record. Record
available only to court
thereafter. Utah Code
Ann.§§ 78A-61105(1)(a)(i) & (ii), (e).

Non-Conviction
Records
Person arrested may, at
least 30 days after
arrest, petition for
expungement if no
charges filed or charges
dismissed, or if
acquitted. Utah Code
Ann. 77-40-104.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

VT

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)
Misdemeanors and two
minor felonies eligible
for expungement after
10 yrs (5 yrs for youthful
offenders) if no further
conviction, or for sealing
if "better serves the
interest of
justice." Either available
after 20 yrs if no
conviction within past
15 yrs. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit.
13, §§ 7601 et
seq. Primary difference
in two forms of relief is
that sealed conviction
may be used as
predicate; in both cases
same official response
"no record exists."

First Offenders
Sealing available under
first offender diversion
program 2 years after
completion of program.
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, §
164.

APPX. A

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Deferred sentencing may
result in expungement of
record, may deny
conviction. No predicate
effect. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit.
13, § 7041. The only
crime specifically
excluded by statute is
aggravated sexual
assault of a child, see §
7041(c), though many
are excluded as a matter
of policy.

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications
Records generally
unavailable to the public.
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 33, §
5117. Sealing 2 yrs after
discharge unless
additional charges
pending & rehabilitation
not attained. § 5119(a).

Non-Conviction
Records
Expungement or sealing
of non-conviction
records if charges not
brought or dismissed
before trial. Vt. Stat. Ann.
tit. 13, § 7603.

Upon application, court
must seal records of
crimes committed prior
to age 21 two years after
final discharge, if the
person has had no
further criminal
involvement and "the
person's rehabilitation
has been attained to the
satisfaction of the
court." Vt. Stat. Ann. tit.
33, §§ 5119(g), 5287(d).

Courts may relieve
collateral sanctions at
and after sentencing for
all but the most serious
offenders. 13 V.S.A. §
8001 et seq. (Vermont
Uniform Collateral
Consequences of
Conviction Act.)

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92

APPENDIX A

State

VI

VA

93

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Deferred adjudication
and expungement for
non-violent first
offenders, and for
youthful drug
possession. V.I. Code
Ann. tit. 19, § 607(b)(1);
tit. 5, § 3711(c).
Probation and
expungement for
youthful offenders after
5 yr waiting period. V.I.
Code Ann. tit. 5, § 3712.
Deferred Adjudication
for certain first time
drug offenders, but no
expungement. Va. Code
Ann. § 18.2-251.

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses

Expungement of
misdemeanor
convictions upon
petition to court. V.I.
Code Ann. tit. 5, § 3734.

Absolute pardon
(granted only for
innocence) entitles
person to judicial
expungement. Simple
pardon (for forgiveness)
does not.

Juvenile Adjudications
Court may vacate and
seal juvenile records 2
years after final
discharge if no
intervening convictions
or pending charges. 5
V.I.C. §
2531. Proceedings
treated as if they never
occurred. Subsequent
adjudication or
conviction nullifies
sealing order.
Records generally
unavailable to the public.
Automatic destruction of
records annually if
juvenile is at least age 19
and five years have
passed since last hearing
in any juvenile case, with
several exceptions. Va.
Code Ann. §§ 16.1306(A) & 307.

Non-Conviction
Records
Records of arrest that do
not result in conviction
"must be expunged"
where case dismissed,
acquittal, nolle prossed.
Non-conviction records
may be expunged by
petition in most other
cases. V.I. Code Ann. tit.
5, §§ 3732-3733.
Non-conviction records
may be expunged in case
of acquittal or where
charges nolle prossed or
dismissed (except in
deferred adjudication
cases). Va. Code Ann. §
19.2-392.2. Record may
be denied and employers
cannot inquire. § 19.2392.4.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

WA

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)

First Offenders

All but most serious
felonies and
misdemeanors may be
"vacated" after waiting
period of 3 to 10 yrs,
depending on offense.
"Releases" person "all
penalties and disabilities
resulting from the
offense." May deny
conviction. Limited
predicate effect. Wash.
Rev. Code § 9.94A.640.

APPX. A

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
After conviction of "any
crime," court may
suspend or defer
sentence, and place
defendant on probation;
may petition to have
record vacated and
sealed after probation
expired. Wash. Rev. Code
§§ 3.66.067, 9.95.200.

Misdemeanors Only

Juvenile Adjudications

Pardon vacates
conviction automatically,
and seals record. Wash.
Rev. Code § 9.94A.030
(11)(b).

Sealing automatic after
age 18 (or after release
from confinement or
supervision) for most
offenses if terms of
disposition satisfied,
unless state objects.
Wash. Rev. Code §
13.50.260. Otherwise,
available by court order
for most offenses after a
crime-free waiting
period of two to five
years depending on the
seriousness of the
offense. Id.

Non-conviction records
in criminal justice
agency files may be
sealed administratively
two years after
disposition favorable to
defendant. Wash. Rev.
Code § 10.97.060.

Judicial expungement 1
yr. after pardon and 5
years after discharge if
good cause (certain
exceptions for violent
crimes); may not be
considered for licensing
and teaching. W. Va.
Code § 5-1-16a.

Automatic sealing after
later of age 19 or one
year after termination of
jurisdiction unless case
is transferred to adult
court. W. Va. Code § 495-18(a), (f). Treated as
though proceedings
never occurred.

Court may expunge
records (except those
held by the DMV) of
acquittals, dismissals if
person has not
previously been
convicted of a
felony. W.Va. Code § 6111-25.

Vacated record may be
sealed under General
Court Rule 15 if the court
determines the need for
privacy or safety
outweighs the public
interest in access.

WV

Certificate of Restoration
of Opportunity after 1 to
5 years. Relieves
licensing bars; provides
protection from
negligent hiring/renting.
§§ 9.97.010, .020
Effective July 2017,
qualifying non-violent
felony may be reduced to
"reduced misdemeanor"
at court's discretion after
10 years. W. Va. Code §§
61-11B-1 to 61-11B-5.

Youthful (18-26) first
offender misdemeanor
convictions may be
expunged after 1 year
(violent, domestic
violence, DUI, crimes
against children
excluded). Records
sealed, may be opened
only on court order to
subject or prosecutor. W.
Va. Code § 61-11-26.

94
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See first offender
column.

Non-Conviction
Records

Pardoned Offenses

94

APPENDIX A

State

WI

WY

FED

95

General Authority
(incl. some felonies)
In sentencing youthful
offenders (under 25),
court may order
misdemeanor and minor
first felony convictions
expunged upon
successful completion of
sentence. Wis. Stat. §
973.015. Court records
destroyed, but
prosecutor may ask that
offense conduct be
considered in context of
new crime. See State v.
Leitner, 646 N.W.2d 341,
352 (Wis. 2002)

Certain less serious
felony and misdemeanor
convictions may be
expunged 10 years after
sentence expires if no
other felony convictions,
and if court finds
applicant is not a danger.
Violent and sexual
offenses, and those
involving firearms,
ineligible. Wyo. Stat.
Ann. §§ 7-13-1501, 1502.
Records sealed but not
destroyed. §§ 7-131401(j)(1). .

First Offenders

See deferred sentencing
column.

Probationary Sentences
(incl. deferred
adjudication)
Deferred prosecution in
domestic violence &
some sex offense cases
authorized by Wis. Stat. §
971.37; upon successful
completion of deferral,
charges dismissed and
no conviction results. No
provision for
expungement of records.

Deferred sentencing for
first felony offenders and
misdemeanants (certain
serious crimes
excluded); avoids
conviction but
expungement
specifically prohibited.
Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 7-13301 et seq.

Deferred adjudication
for first misdemeanor
drug possession under
18 U.S.C. § 3607(a). See
also id. at (c)
(expungement available
if under 21 years old at
time of offense).

Misdemeanors Only

Pardoned Offenses

Juvenile Adjudications

Non-Conviction
Records

Expungement upon
petition after reaching
age 17 and a finding that
sentencing requirements
have been completed
and expungement will
benefit offender without
harming society. Wis.
Stat. § 938.355(4m).

No provision for sealing
or expunging nonconviction records.
However, fingerprint
records returned by law
enforcement if person
arrested is subsequently
released without charge
or "cleared of the offense
through court
proceedings." Wis. Stat. §
165.84(1).

Juvenile records are
generally unavailable to
the public. Wyo. Stat. §
14-6-203. May apply for
expungement after
reaching majority and
presenting evidence of
rehabilitation and no
subsequent offenses.
Violent felonies
ineligible. § 14-6-241(a).
Proceedings deemed
never to have occurred.

Courts may expunge
non-conviction records if
no charges pending, 180
days after dismissal of
proceedings. Wyo. Stat.
Ann. § 7-13-1401.
Records sealed but not
destroyed. Wyo. Stat.
Ann. §§ 7-13-1501

Some federal courts
assert inherent ancillary
authority to expunge if
arrest or conviction is
invalid or subject of
clerical error. United
States v. Sumner, 226
F.3d 1005 (9th Cir.
2000). Also DNA
expunged if conviction
overturned. 10 U.S.C. §
1565(e); 42 U.S.C. §
14132(d).

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

APPX. B

APPENDIX B: 50-STATE COMPARISON OF LAWS LIMITING
CONSIDERATION OF CRIMINAL RECORDS IN EMPLOYMENT & LICENSING
State

AL
AK
AZ

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

AR

96
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Regulation of licensing only

Regulation of public
employment only

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

No regulation of licensing
or employment
None

Conviction may be
considered but may not bar
from licensure; 5 years of
law-abiding conduct is
"prima facie evidence of
rehabilitation." Reasons for
rejection must be in writing.
Ark Code Ann. § 17-1-103.

If civil rights restored cannot
be barred from licensure or
public employment "solely
because of" conviction;
offense must have
"reasonable relationship" to
employment or occupation.
Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-904(E).

None

96

APPENDIX A

State

CA

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)
Employment: It is unlawful
for a public or private
employer to inquire into or
seek information about a
conviction that has been setaside and dismissed. Cal.
Labor Code§ 432.7(a);
Cal.Code Regs. tit. 2 §
7287.4(d)(1).

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

Regulation of licensing only

Regulation of public
employment only

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

No regulation of licensing
or employment

Ban-the-box: A state or local
agency may not inquire into
criminal history "until the
agency has determined the
applicant meets the
minimum employment
qualifications. "Cal. Labor§
432.9.

Licensing: "[N]o person shall
be denied a license solely on
the basis that he or she has
been convicted of a felony if
he or she has obtained a
certificate of rehabilitation . . .
or that he or she has been
convicted of a misdemeanor
if he or she has met all
applicable requirements of
the criteria of rehabilitation
developed by the board to
evaluate the rehabilitation of
a person when considering
the denial of a license. . . .".
Cal. Bus. & Prof. § 480(b).
Suspension or revocation of
license allowed only if crime
"substantially related" to
qualifications. Id. § 490.
Legislation making
discrimination based on
criminal history an unlawful
employment practice under
state fair employment
practices law, absent “direct
and adverse relationship
with the specific duties of the
job,” awaiting signature by
governor as of October 11,
2017. See AB1008 (2017).

97

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

CO

Negligent hiring protection
for convictions not "directly
related" to employment, or
that have been sealed or
pardoned. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 82-201(b).

CT

Ban-the-box in public and
private employment.
Effective Jan. 2017, no
employer may ask about
charges or convictions on
initial application unless
required by law or the
position requires fidelity
bond. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 3151i(b)

Additional requirements for
public employment: § 46a80(b) ("no [state employer]
shall inquire about a
prospective employee's past
convictions until such
prospective employee has
been deemed otherwise
qualified for the position").

APPX. B

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)
Court imposing a non-prison
sentence may enter order
relieving defendant of any
collateral consequence. Colo.
Rev. Stat. §§ 18-1.3-107
(sentencing alternatives), 181.3-213 (probation), and 181.3-303 (community
corrections).

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

Regulation of licensing only

Regulation of public
employment only

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

Ban-the-box in public
employment. Conn. Gen.
Stat.§ 46a-80(b) ("no [state
employer] shall inquire about
a prospective employee's
past convictions until such
prospective employee has
been deemed otherwise
qualified for the position").

May not deny employment or
licensure based on pardoned
offense. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§
46a-80(a) and (c).

No regulation of licensing
or employment

Conviction alone may not be
basis for refusing
employment or licensure
unless law specifically
authorizes. Colo. Rev. Stat. §
24-5-101(1).

Ban-the-box: State agencies
and licensing boards may not
conduct background check
until applicant is a finalist for
the position or receives a
conditional offer. In
determining disqualification,
agency must consider (1) the
nature of the conviction; (2)
the relationship of the
conviction to the job; (3) the
applicant's rehabilitation and
good conduct; and (4) time
elapsed since conviction. §
24-5-101(4). Arrest records
not leading to conviction may
not be used.
With limited exceptions
relating to law enforcement
and certain mortgage-related
licenses, public employers
and licensing authorities may
not disqualify a person
automatically on the grounds
of a prior conviction but must
consider: 1) the nature of
crime and its relationship to
the job; 2) information
pertaining to rehabilitation;
and 3) time elapsed since
conviction. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§
46a-80(a) and (c). If
conviction used as a basis for
rejection of an applicant, it
must be in writing and
specifically state the evidence
presented and reasons for
rejection. § 46a-80(d).

98
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98

APPENDIX A

State

DE

DC

FL

99

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)

D.C. Code § 1-601.01

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

Regulation of licensing only

Regulation of public
employment only

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

No regulation of licensing
or employment

Ban-the-box: public
employers and contractors
prohibited from inquiring
into criminal records prior
the making an offer of
employment. Del. Code Ann.
tit. 19, § 711(g); tit.29, §
6909B(a). Uniform licensing
policy that crimes must be
"substantially related" to the
profession or occupation at
issue. 74 Del. Laws 262
(2004) (codified in scattered
sections of Del. Code. Ann., tit.
24).
Licensing: Crimes must
"bears directly upon the
fitness" of the person to be
licensed. D.C. Code §§ 472853.17(a), 3-1205.03.

Public employment: Limits
pre-employment inquiries for
most government positions
until after the initial
screening. Must consider:
duties and responsibilities of
the position, bearing on
performance of duties, time
elapsed, age at time of the
offense, the frequency and
seriousness of the offense,
rehabilitation and good
conduct, and public policy
interest. D.C. Code § 1-620.42
- .43.
Crime may be basis of
disqualification from public
employment only if a felony
or first-degree misdemeanor
that is "directly related" to
the employment, or from
licensure only if their crime is
among those identified by the
licensing agency as "directly
related." Fla. Stat.
§112.011(1)(a) and (b).
Additional treatment
requirements for drug
offenders. Fla. Stat. ch.
775.16.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

GA

HI

ID
IL

APPX. B

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)
State-wide ban-the-box in
public employment by
executive order (2/23/15).
"Program and Treatment
Completion Certificate"
issued by the Board of
Corrections, or pardon,
protect against liability for
negligence. Ga. Code Ann. §
51-1-54.

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

"Ban-the-box plus:" General
FEP law prohibits inquiry
into arrest and conviction
before a conditional offer of
employment, which may be
withdrawn if a conviction
within the previous 10 years
"bears a rational relationship
to the duties and
responsibilities of the
position." Haw. Rev. Stat. §§
378-2.5(b), (c). In addition,
crime w/in 10 years may be
considered only if rational
relationship to job or
occupation. Haw. Rev. Stat. §
831-3.1(a). Exceptions for
healthcare, corrections, and
law enforcement. Haw. Rev.
Stat. § 831-3.1(f). Arrest
records may not be
considered at all. See Haw.
Rev. Stat. § 378-2.5(b), (c).
Negligent hiring protection
where employer relied on
certificate of certificate of
relief from disabilities. 730
ILCS 5/5-5.5-15(f).

Ban-the-box policy in private
employment by statute, 30
ILCS 105/5.855, and in public
employment by
administrative order.

100
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Regulation of licensing only

Regulation of public
employment only

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

Professional license may not
be denied or revoked in
whole or in part because of a
felony conviction that does
not "directly relate" to the
license. See Ga. Code Ann. §
43-1-19(p).

In general, Illinois limits
consideration of conviction in
connection with occupational
licensing only for certain
employments, and only
where a person has received
a certificate of relief from
disabilities. ILCS 5/5-5-5.
Certain occupational
licensing boards use "direct
relationship" test. See, e.g.,
ILCS 450/20.1 (accountant);
§ 335./9.1(b) (roofer).

No regulation of licensing
or employment
Conviction of any crime
involving moral turpitude
may be grounds for
revocation or refusal of a
license, without regard to
whether it is related to the
practice of the licensed
business or profession. See
Ga. Code Ann. § 43-119(a)(3).]

Human Rights Act prohibits
discrimination based on
conviction only if expunged
or sealed. ILCS § 5/2-103(A).
Waiver by agency permits for
certain health-care positions.
See § 46/40.

None

100

APPENDIX A

State

IN

·

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

Regulation of licensing only
Except for serious drug
offenses, "a license or
certificate of registration that
an individual is required by
law to hold to engage in a
business, profession, or
occupation may not be
denied, revoked, or
suspended because the
applicant or holder has been
convicted of a crime." Ind.
Code § 25-1-1.1-1.

IA

KS

101

"Notwithstanding any other
provision of law, any person,
board, commission or similar
body who determines the
qualifications of individuals
for licensure, certification or
registration may consider
any felony conviction of the
applicant, but such a
conviction shall not operate
as a bar to licensure,
certification or registration."
Kan. Stat. Ann. § 74-120.

Regulation of public
employment only

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

Job applications for state
Executive Branch
employment may not contain
questions about criminal
history. Criminal background
checks "typically will be
conducted at a later point in
the application and hiring
process." E.O. 17-15.

It is "unlawful
discrimination" for any
person to refuse to
employ or license a person
because of a record that has
been
expunged or sealed. Ind. Code
§ 35-38-9-10(a). Inquiry into
expunged convictions
prohibited. §35-38-9-10(c).In
negligence action an
expungement order may be
introduced as evidence of
due care. § 35-38-9-10(f) and
(g). Non-conviction records
and records that have been
expunged may not be
reported by credit reporting
companies. §24-4-18-6(a).

Negligent hiring protection
for nonconviction, acquittal,
dismissal, sealing, pardon,
vacatur, and offense not
related to civil suit. SB-312
(2017).

No regulation of licensing
or employment

Iowa has no general law
regulating consideration of
conviction in employment or
licensure, but applies a direct
relationship test in
connection with some
licenses. See, e.g., Iowa Code§
147.3 (health-related
professions licensing)
No nondiscrimination rule,
but it is a misdemeanor for
an employer to inquire into
an applicant's criminal
history record without the
applicant's consent. See Kan.
Stat. Ann. § 22-4710(a)-(c).

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

KY

LA

APPX. B

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)

Regulation of licensing and
public employment
"No person shall be
disqualified from public
employment, [or from] . . .
any occupation for which a
license is required, solely
because of a prior conviction
of a crime, unless the crime
for which convicted is [a
felony or misdemeanor
punishable by imprisonment]
or otherwise directly relates
to the position of
employment sought or the
occupation for which the
license is sought." Factors
include nature and
seriousness of the crime; the
relationship of the crime to
duties and responsibilities of
the position sought. Ky. Rev.
Stat. Ann § 335B.020(1) - (3).

102
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Regulation of licensing only

Regulation of public
employment only

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

No regulation of licensing
or employment

Executive Order 2017-064
prohibits state agencies from
including questions about
criminal history on job
applications. Additionally
prohibits agency inquiry into
criminal history until an
interview is offered, unless
the agency is "required by
law to do so."

An "otherwise qualified"
person may not be denied an
occupational or professional
license based on conviction
unless it involves a felony
that "directly relates to the
position of employment
sought, or to the specific
occupation, trade or
profession for which the
license, permit or certificate
is sought." Exemptions for
violent and sex offenses, and
for specified professions,
including health, education,
finance, and law
enforcement. Reasons
required, APA enforcement.
Exempt licensing entities
required to record and report
any actions involving
convicted individuals to
legislature. La. Rev. Stat. §§
37:32, 37:36.

Ban-the-box for
"unclassified" state
employment positions: May
not inquire into criminal
history until after initial
interview or after a
conditional offer of
employment. HB 266 (2016).
"Classified" positions covered
by Civil Service Rule 22.4.1

102

APPENDIX A

State

ME

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)

MD

MA

Ban-the-box: Public and
private employers may not
inquire into criminal records
on an initial job application,
unless the job is one for
which a convicted person is
presumptively disqualified
by law. Mass. Gen. Laws ch.
151B, § 4(9 ½).

Restriction on access to
criminal records for
licensing, employment,
housing, etc by "authorized
requestor." Only available for
5 years for misdemeanor, 10
for felony. Exceptions apply.
ch. 6, § 172. Stricter
limitations for access by
general public. Id.

103

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

Regulation of licensing only
May not consider convictions
more than 3 years old, or
which call for less than a year
in prison. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann.
tit. 5, § 5303. Certain
professions (medical,
nursing) have 10-year
debarment. Id.
May not deny occupational
license solely on basis of
conviction unless "direct
relationship," or "would pose
unreasonable risk." Md. Crim.
Proc. Code Ann. § 1-209.
Standards for licensing in
COMAR 09.01.10.02 include
nature of offense,
relationship to licensed
activity, length of time since
conviction, conduct before
and after conviction. Drug
offenses specifically subject
to similar analysis. Md. State
Gov't Code § 10-1405.
Effective Oct. 2017,
Certificate of Rehabilitation
prohibits denial of license
solely on the basis of
previous conviction, with
exceptions. Md. Code Ann.,
Corr. Servs. § 7-104.

Regulation of public
employment only

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

Ban-the-box: State
government employers may
not inquire about criminal
history until after interview.
Md. Code Ann., State Pers. &
Pens. § 2-203

No regulation of licensing
or employment

No general law, but a
consumer reporting agency
cannot report conviction
information that is older than
seven years for purposes of
employment, if the job about
which information sought is
expected to pay an annual
salary less than $20,000. Md.
Code Ann., Com. Law § 141203(a)(5).

Licensing authorities may not
disqualify applicant based on
pardoned felony conviction.
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 127, §
152 (2011).

Licensing agency may not
disqualify based on
conviction alone in certain
professions. See, e.g., Mass.
Gen. Laws ch. 112 § 52D
(dentistry); ch.112, § 61
(medical license); ch. 112, §
189 (real estate appraiser).
Limits on inquiry. E.g.,
employers may not inquire
into misdemeanor
convictions more than 5
years old or arrest records.
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151B, §
4(9).

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

MI

MN

Negligent hiring protections.
Minn. Stat. §181.981.
Ban-the-box for public and
private employers. §
364.021(a).

MS

APPX. B

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

Must be "direct relationship"
between occupation or
license and conviction
history and individual must
not have shown "sufficient
rehabilitation and present
fitness to perform" the duties
of the public employment or
licensed occupation. Minn.
Stat § 364.03. Factors to be
considered set out.
Rehabilitation established by
1 yr. w/o arrest after release,
or successful completion of
probation or parole. See id.

MO

MT

104
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Regulation of licensing only

Regulation of public
employment only

Conviction "shall not be used,
in and of itself, by a licensing
board or agency as proof of a
person's lack of good moral
character," but it may be used
as evidence in the
determination. Mich. Comp.
Laws § 338.42. Cannot
consider non-conviction
records, convictions that did
not result in incarceration, or
convictions unrelated to
capacity to serve the public. §
338.43(1).

No denial of license
"primarily" because of
conviction where sentence
fully discharged. Mo. Rev.
Stat. § 324.029. Conviction
may be considered as "some
evidence of an absence of
good moral character" but
licensing board shall also
consider the nature and date
of crime, evidence of good
character. Mo. Rev. Stat. §
314.200.
Conviction shall not operate
as bar to licensure for any
profession, but may be
considered. Mont. Code Ann.
§ 37-1-201. 203.

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

No regulation of licensing
or employment

Data mining companies: if
they know that a criminal
record has been sealed,
expunged, or is the subject of
a pardon, the screening
service shall promptly delete
the record. Minn. Stat. 332.70
subd 3a.

Ban-the-box: State agencies,
departments, commissions,
and boards overseen by the
Executive Branch may not
ask about criminal history in
applications "unless a
criminal history would
render an applicant ineligible
for the position." Executive
Order 16-04.

None

104

APPENDIX A

State

NE

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

Regulation of licensing only

NV

NH

NJ

105

2014 Opportunity to
Compete Law (A1999)
imposes ban-the-box rule for
public and private
employment. Sentencing
court or thereafter a
supervisory agency may
issue certificate of
rehabilitation suspending
disabilities, forfeitures or
bars to employment or
professional licensure. N.J.
Stat. Ann. § 2A:168A-7.

No license may be denied or
impaired on the basis of
conviction unless the
licensing entity determines
the crime is substantially and
directly related to the
licensed activity. N.H. Rev.
Stat. Ann. § 332-G:10.
Licensing authorities may not
"discriminate" on grounds of
conviction unless reasonably
related to occupation. N.J.
Stat, Ann. § 2A:168A-1.
Reasons in writing. §
2A:168A-2.

Regulation of public
employment only
Ban-the-box: Public
employers may not ask about
criminal history until
determination that applicant
meets minimum
qualifications for position.
R.R.S. Neb. § 48-202.
Nondiscrimination in public
employment, prohibiting
initial inquiry, setting
standards for decision, and
providing for enforcement.
(Enacted in 2017, effective in
2018.)

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

Inquiry into annulled
offenses limited. N.H. Rev.
Stat. Ann. § 651:5(X)(c).

No regulation of licensing
or employment

Nevada has no general law
but applies a direct
relationship test in
connection with some
licenses. See, e.g., Nev. Rev.
Stat.§ 625.410(4)
(engineering and land
surveying).

Pardon or expungement, or
certificate of rehabilitation,
"shall preclude a licensing
authority from disqualifying
or discriminating against the
applicant." N.J. Stat, Ann. §
2A:168A-3.

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

NM

APPX. B

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

Regulation of licensing only

Regulation of public
employment only

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

No regulation of licensing
or employment

A person may be disqualified
for public employment or
licensure based on prior
conviction if: 1) conviction
relates directly to the
position sought; 2) agency
determines after
investigation that the person
so convicted has not been
sufficiently rehabilitated to
warrant the public trust; or
3) an applicant for a teaching
certificate or employment at
child-care facility has been
convicted of drug trafficking
or sex offenses, regardless of
rehabilitation. N.M. Stat. Ann.
§ 28-2-4(A). Completion of
parole or probation or a
three-year period following
release from incarceration
creates a presumption of
rehabilitation. N.M. Stat. Ann.
§ 28-2-4(B). Must state
reasons in writing.

Ban-the-box: Public employer
may not inquire into
conviction until individual
selected as finalist for
position. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 282-3(A). Records of arrest not
resulting in conviction, and
misdemeanor convictions not
involving "moral turpitude,"
may not be considered in any
application for public
employment or licensure. §
28-2-3(B).

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106

APPENDIX A

State

NY

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)
Prohibits discrimination in
employment and licensing
based on conviction. N.Y.
Correct. Law §§ 750-755.
Must be direct relationship
and unreasonable risk to
property or safety. § 752.
Individual is entitled to
reasons. § 754. N.Y.S. Human
Rights Law, N.Y. Exec. Law §
296(16), prohibits public and
private employers and
occupational licensing
agencies from denying any
individual employment or a
license (or otherwise
discriminating against that
person) because of any arrest
that did NOT result in a
conviction.
Negligent hiring: N.Y. Exec.
Law § 296(15) excludes
evidence in suit for negligent
hiring where employer
complied with
antidiscrimination law.

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

Regulation of licensing only

Regulation of public
employment only

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

No regulation of licensing
or employment

Per executive order of Gov.
Cuomo, applicants for
competitive positions in state
agencies may not be required
to disclose prior convictions
until an initial hiring decision
is made.

Certificate of Relief from
Disabilities, N.Y. Correct. Law
§§ 700-706, or a Certificate of
Good Conduct, §§ 703-a, 703b, may be obtained to restore
rights, at sentencing for first
felony offenders or thereafter
for all.
NYC Fair Chance Act: No
employer may ask about an
applicant's criminal history
until a conditional offer is
made.

107

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

NC

APPX. B

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)
Reliance on Certificate of
Relief provides protection in
negligent hiring action, N.C.
§15A.173.5

Regulation of licensing and
public employment
Certificate of Relief relieve
collateral sanctions, and
agency may consider a
Certificate favorably in
determining whether a
conviction should result in
disqualification from public
employment or licensure.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A173.2(d).

ND

OH

OK

Certificate of qualification for
employment "immunity"
from negligent hiring
liability. Ohio Rev. Code Ann.
§ 2953.25-G(2).

An individual barred from a
particular occupation or
license may apply to the
court for a "certificate of
qualification for
employment" that allows
consideration on the merits.
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §
2953.25.

108
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Regulation of licensing only
Occupational licensing board
may not automatically
disqualify based on
conviction unless authorized
to do so by law governing
board. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 93B8.1(b). Boards authorized to
disqualify based on
conviction must first
consider enumerated factors.
Certain law enforcementrelated boards excluded.
Licenses for most professions
and occupations may be
denied only if offense has
direct bearing, or if
insufficient rehabilitation;
factors to be considered
include nature of offense,
evidence of rehabilitation,
and date of offense (5 yrs.
deemed prima facie evidence
of rehabilitation). N.D. Cent.
Code § 12.1-33-02.1. Written
statement of reasons if
denied in whole or in part
because of conviction. Id.
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §
4743.06 (each agency
authorized to deny licensure
without a hearing based on
specified criminal offenses
may not add disqualifying
offenses without specifying
by rule their "substantial
relationship" to a person's
fitness for the occupation.
Most specialized licensing
boards may not
deny/suspend/revoke a
license unless conviction was
for a felony that
"substantially relates to the
practice" or "poses a
reasonable threat to public
safety." 2015 HB 2168

Regulation of public
employment only

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

"No public employer shall
include on any form for
application for employment
with the public employer any
question concerning the
criminal background of the
applicant." Ohio Rev. Code
Ann. § 9.73.

May be questioned about
sealed conviction only if it
bears if direct and substantial
relationship to the position.
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§
2953.33(B).

Ban-the-box: State agencies
may not ask about criminal
history on application "unless
a felony conviction would
automatically render an
applicant not qualified."
Executive Order 2016-03.
Does not apply to "sensitive
governmental positions in
which a criminal history
would be an immediate
disqualification."

No public or private
employer may ask about or
consider a sealed conviction.
22 Okla. Stat. Ann. § 19(F).

No regulation of licensing
or employment

108

APPENDIX A

State

OR

PA

PR

RI

109

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)
Ban-the-box: Neither pubic
nor private employers may
require an applicant to
disclose conviction
information before an initial
interview or, if no interview
is conducted, before making a
conditional offer. 2015 HB
3025.
Felony and misdemeanor
convictions may be
considered only to the extent
they "relate to" the
applicant's suitability for
employment or licensure in
the position for which he has
applied. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§
9124 (licensure) 9125
(employment).

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

Regulation of licensing only
May not bar from licensure
solely on grounds of
conviction; may consider
facts of conviction and all
intervening circumstances in
determining the fitness of the
person. Or. Rev. Stat.
670.280(2), (3). Teacher
licenses excepted. Id.

"Certificate of recovery & reentry" if no more than one
non-violent felony conviction
relieves petitioner of some
collateral consequences. R.I.
Gen. Laws § 13-8.2-1.
Ban-the-box: Oral or written
inquiries about arrests to
applicants for public or
private employment
prohibited as an unlawful
employment practice; and
(effective January 1, 2014)
convictions until the first
interview. R.I. Gen. Laws §
28-5-7(7).

May not be denied a license
solely due to conviction
unless the criminal
conviction is directly related
to the profession or
occupation. S.C. Code. Ann. §
40-1-140. But, board may
refuse "if . . . it finds the
applicant is unfit or unsuited
to engage in the profession or
occupation." Id.

Regulation of public
employment only

Commonwealth hiring policy
of Gov. Tom Wolf generally
prohibits consideration of
summary convictions,
expunged/pardoned/anulled
convictions, and "convictions
that do not relate to an
applicant's suitability for
Commonwealth
employment." Criminal
history inquiries prohibited
on employment applications.
See http://www.oa.pa.gov/
Policies/hr/Documents/TM0
01.pdf

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

No regulation of licensing
or employment

Prohibits inquiries about
arrests as unlawful
employment practice, but
specifically permits inquiries
about convictions. See R.I.
Gen. Laws § 28-5-7(7) ,

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

SC
SD

TN

APPX. B

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

Regulation of licensing only

Judicial restoration of rights
and "Certificate of
Employability" limits
licensing denials, protects
against negligent hiring
liability. Tenn. Code Ann. §
40-29-107.
Limitation on negligent
hiring suits based solely on
conviction. Tex. Civil Practice
and Remedies Code §
142.002.

TX

110
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Licensing authority may
deny/suspend/revoke
license if conviction "directly
relates" to the licensed
occupation," if offense does
not directly relate but is less
than 5 years old, or if
specified violent and sexual
offenses. Tex. Occupations
Code§ 53.021(a). §§ 53.022
and 53.023 require licensing
agencies to consider a
number of factors in
determining whether a
conviction is directly related
to the occupation.
"Unprofessional conduct"
includes commission of crime
that "bears a reasonable
relationship to the licensee's
or applicant's ability to safely
or competently practice the
occupation or profession."
Utah Code Ann. § 58-1501(2). Regulations define
further at U.A.C. R156-1-302
to include various
aggravating and mitigating
factors.

Regulation of public
employment only

Ban-the-box for state
employment (not including
political subdivisions of the
state): May not ask about
criminal history on initial
application unless federal or
state law requires a
background check or
disqualification based on
conviction. SB-2440 (2016).

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

No regulation of licensing
or employment
None

Ban-the-box for public
employment (including all
state agencies and political
subdivisions): May not
inquire about criminal
history before an initial
interview has taken place, or
before conditional offer
extended (if no interview
conducted). Exemptions for
many positions, including
those for which
consideration of criminal
history is required by law.
Utah Code Ann. §§ 34-52-101
to -201.

110

APPENDIX A

State

UT

VT

VI

VA

111

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)
Order of relief or certificate
of restoration of rights issued
under 13 VSA §§8010 and
8011 are admissible as
evidence of due care.

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

Crimes for which CROP is
granted may not be entered
into evidence in employer
liability suits. HB-1553
(2016).

Regulation of public
employment only

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

No regulation of licensing
or employment

"Conviction of a crime related
to the practice of the
profession or conviction of a
felony, whether or not
related to the practice of the
profession," basis for denial
of license in over 40
professions. See Vt. Stat. Ann.
tit. 3, § 129a(10)

Ban-the-box in
public/private employment:
Beginning July 2017, no
employer may ask about
criminal history in initial
application. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit.
21, § 495j. Does not apply to
positions where federal/state
law/regulation creates
mandatory/presumptive
disqualification.
Ban-the-box in government
employment by Executive
Order (2014).

Certificate of Restoration of
Opportunity (CROP) available
for misdemeanors and
certain felonies prohibits
denial of many licenses solely
because of criminal history.
HB-1553 (2016).

Regulation of licensing only

May consider a conviction
only if within the last 10
years and the crime "directly
relates" to the employment
or license sought. Several
exceptions. Wash. Rev. Code
§ 9.96A.020(1)-(2).

May not be denied a license
"solely because of" conviction
unless "directly related" to
the occupation or profession
for which the license is
sought. Board can refuse a
license if applicant is "unfit or
unsuited." Va. Code Ann. §
54.1-204. Standards for
determining "direct
relationship" spelled out in §
54.1-204(B).

No general provision; a few
professions require that
conviction be "directly
related" to the activity. See
W. Va Code § 30-3-14(c)(2)
(medicine);§ 30-16-11(a)(3)
(chiropractic); § 47-1411(a)(4)( pre-need funeral
contracts).

COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RESOURCE CENTER

State

WA

APPX. B

Regulation of licensing,
public and private
employment (including
negligent hiring)
Fair employment act bars
discrimination by public and
private employers, licensing
boards, unless crime
"substantially relates" to the
particular job or licensed
activity. Wis. Stat. §§ 111.321,
111.335(1)(c).

Regulation of licensing and
public employment

WV
WI
WY
FED

112
http://restoration.ccresourcecenter.org

Regulation of licensing only

Regulation of public
employment only
Ban-the-box: No inquiry into
the criminal history of civil
service applicants until after
the applicant has been
certified for the position. Wis.
Stat. § 230.16(ap). However,
"If a particular conviction
record disqualifies applicants
for a certain position in the
state civil service, the
director may request a
person applying for the
position to supply
information regarding the
conviction record."
Only limitation on
employment in Title VII of
Civil Rights Act.

Civil rights restored or
pardoned

No regulation of licensing
or employment

None

No general limitation on
licensure.
None
None

112

APPENDIX A

http://ccresourcecenter.org

 

 

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