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New criminal expungement law takes effect

Court Gavel - Judge's Gavel - Courtroom by weiss_paarz_photos is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

A new law makes it easier for people to have criminal convictions expunged from their records.

The new law will make it easier for thousands of people to pass background checks required to get a job or housing.

State Court Administrator Thomas Boyd says the crimes covered are non-violent, such as marihuana offenses or petty theft.

“These are offenses that we characterize as indiscretions as opposed to things like violent offenses and things that develop a pattern.”

The law allows the expungement to take place automatically in many cases. In others, an offender will be informed to make a formal request to a judge. Criminal histories will still be accessible to courts and law enforcement.