Buying Expungement ...Should it be legal?

[deleted account] ( 15 moms have responded )

Here are the basics:

In my state, you can pay $250 to have certain charges for which you were convicted removed from your record. Only certain misdemeanors can be expunged; however the list of charges that qualify is pretty open. Many can be expunged only on the first offence and only if no other charges were brought against the person in a set number of years. Basically, if it truly was ONE mistake, and not a lifestyle.

(At the time of the lower article you also had to pay to have arrests removed from your record even if you are found innocent--that is no longer the case)



Our congressman wants to hold classes and seminars to make citizens more aware of the option to buy their record clear. His theory is that it will help people become better job applicants--every employer asks the question: Have you ever been convicted of a crime, if so, when? He believes that many good people are passed over for jobs because of minor convictions they got when they were much younger, and that expunging their record will help them, and not pose a threat to anyone.



http://www2.wspa.com/news/community-watc...



Do you think that people convicted of charges should be able to pay to have their record expunged? Do you think it is unfair to offer this option since not everyone can afford $250? Should there be another way? Or should the convictions remain on their records forever?

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Jenny - posted on 03/10/2011

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Alcohol training? Are you kidding me. I'm talking about something that was a one time thing 20 years previous. They get caught, clean up their act and continue on in life. It happens all the time. You guys are WAY too focused on punishment down there.

Katherine - posted on 03/10/2011

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Drunk driving is a misdemeanor unless you get 3. At least in Michigan.
Hey I think maybe doing community service for X amount of hours if you can't pay the $250 is a great idea.

Jenny - posted on 03/09/2011

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Because people change over the course of their lives. Why should someone continue to be punished for a drunk driving conviction they got at 20 when they 40? Do we want to rehabilate people or drag them through the mud for the rest of their lives?

And some laws are just stupid. Why should a person smoking marijuana as a consenting adult who got caught with a bunch of weed on a Saturday night have that held against them for any period of time? Why would you think you are a better citizen then them?

Sneaky - posted on 03/09/2011

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You know what, if I was applying for a job and going up against someone equally qualified as me, but they had a record and I didn't and I got the job - why would that be a problem for me????

I totally think that convictions should remain on their records forever - why should those of us that have chosen to responsible upstanding citizens have the distinction of a 'clean' record taken away from us?

And yes, I do understand doing something stupid that you regret, but denying that past only means that you are not adult enough to stand up and declare that you have learnt from your mistakes - my personal opinion obviously.

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Becky - posted on 03/10/2011

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Would that be the same sort of thing as applying for a pardon here? I'm not sure whether you have to pay for that or not, although I'm sure there's some sort of application fee or filing fee involved. I do think you should be able to have certain things expunged off your record after a period of time with an otherwise clean record. But I do think that maybe aside from some sort of application/court fee, it should be free. I don't like the idea of "buying a clean record."

Brandi - posted on 03/10/2011

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I don't think a stupid mistake you made at the age of 18 should stay on your record, especially if you have been working hard and staying away from trouble for years. I think there should be a time limit that you can do this, maybe like 7 years or something. I also think there should be a limit of how many times it can be done, and no I don't think you should have to pay for it. Just show that you haven't been in any kind of trouble and you should be free to get it taken off your record.

Jenny - posted on 03/10/2011

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My parter's family has a cabin in the US that is about 3 minutes outside of BC. When my partner's dad was 19 he was caught with half a joint in his pocket. He has been crossing the border to go there regularly for 45 years and has never committed any other "crime" in his life. He has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the US over the years. Last year he was heading there for a night and his youthful indiscretion pulled up on the screen. He can't cross again without going though a diffcult process to clear it off his record and paying out money (of course). He now refuses to spend another dime in your country. I hope it was worth it for your country. Congratulations you caught the bad guy.

[deleted account]

You're right Katherine, sorry. If you just get pulled over for it, it is a misdemeanor up to 3 times here as well, but if you hit another car, object, or person, it becomes a felony immediately. Even so, as I understand it, it is not one of the misdemeanors that can be cleared with this process. Perhaps there should be a process for that too, it could involve alcohol training or something to that effect.

Jenni - posted on 03/10/2011

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I think it's fair. Don't really get the price tag on it though. Maybe it goes towards funding law enforcement or prisons? If that's the case then I think it's helpful.



There's always *a way* to come up with the money if it's a priority to you. Even if it's putting aside $10 a month for 25 months.





I don't think someone who commited shoplifting when they were 18 years old should have to pay for the crime for the rest of their lives. It would affect their chances of finding employment. They shouldn't be considered unbondable if they commited one crime 10 years ago. Everyone makes mistakes, especially when they're young.

[deleted account]

In the US drunk Driving is a felony and could not be expunged with this policy. It would remain on the person's record for life, as I think it should--Drunk Driving is a lot more then just a careless mistake of youth.

I do think that people learn and change and that they should have an opportunity to clear their record if they have stayed clean for 5 years (most offenses require 5 years with no more arrests on any charges before you can expunge them). I don't know that a fee is the way to do it though--for some $250 (plus clerk fees) is pocket change, for other's it is near unobtainable, and it is most likely that those who cannot afford it are the ones who need it most. I think a better policy would require them to complete a set number of community service hours in exchange for expungement.
Nearly anyone should be able to spend 3-4 hours a week for a year picking up trash, tutoring in prisons, volunteering in shelters, etc.


In the US even if charges are dropped or you are found innocent, you still have to file to have the arrest taken off your record. If you had a lawyer, the lawyer will do it for you as part of their services, if not, it is a simple and free process and in cases where charges are dropped, the police usually files for you.

[deleted account]

I know that in Australia that it is only if you are charge for something that it goes on your criminal record. So driving offenses don't matter unless maybe your applying for a delivery driver position.
My husband has a friend who was charged with sexual assult. He was charged. During the whole court process it was found to be a complete lie on the girls behalf. He never did anything. The charges are dropped and it's no longer on his record. I think it's only once it goes to court and your found guilty that you get a record and i am fairly sure that after a certain amount of time with nothing else you do get your record wiped.

Jodi - posted on 03/09/2011

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Jenny, you're probably gonna be proven right about the farts - especially if the governments manage to get an Emissions Trading Scheme up and running, LMAO!!! The term "who farted?" will take on a whole new meaning.....

Jenny - posted on 03/09/2011

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I think it's stupid that you would have to pay. Either you should be able to remove the charges, or don't. I'm getting sick of having to pay for fucking EVERYTHING. You can't even fart without a service charge anymore.

Jodi - posted on 03/09/2011

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I don't think you should have to pay. I do think there are some things that you should have just removed from your record automatically after a certain period of time. I think it actually does here in Australia, but don't quote me on that - I've never had anything on my record. but I am pretty sure my husband has had some driving offences from when he was young and particularly stupid. Here, those things, if it is serious enough, go on your record, and I know his aren't there now.

I think when people are young they sometimes do some extremely stupid things without considering the consequences. and a lot DO learn their lesson, albeit the hard way. I don't think they should have to live with it on record for the rest of their lives just because they don't have $250.

Katherine - posted on 03/09/2011

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It's no cost here I believe. I think that if you've cleaned up then you should be able to expunge your record. And hey if you have to pay then, I think that's fair.

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