The Senate has passed Senate Bill 38(S), a bill that fixes and clarifies some provisions in the Adult Expungement Reform Act of 2019. The vote was unanimous, 21-0, so the bill now goes to the House for consideration.
In 2019, the General Assembly passed Adult Expungement Reform Act by votes of 35-5-1 in the House and 21-0 in the Senate. The bill would allow a person to petition for criminal record expungement for adult criminal and arrest records so long as those arrests or convictions concern low-level criminal charges. It would not apply to serious felonies like murder or rape. Previously, Delaware law did not allow criminal record expungement for adults. Indeed, the only way an adult could get an arrest record expunged is if the arrest never led to a conviction. And the only way a conviction record can be expunged is if the Governor had pardoned the person.
Senate Bill 38 makes some corrections, revisions and clarifications to the adult criminal record expungement process, as often happens after a new bill is passed and problems are encountered in the implementation of the bill. You can read about the specific changes at our prior article on this bill.
Senator Darius Brown, the prime sponsor of both this bill and the original Act: “Passing the Adult Expungement Reform Act in 2019 was one of my top priorities in the 150th General Assembly and has already changed the outlook for countless Delawareans. Today, we passed another bill to fine-tune the expungement law. Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 38 clarifies certain sections and reinforces the intent behind Delaware’s reformed expungement process: lowering barriers for those who have served their time on past, low-level offenses and making our criminal justice system more fair for all.”
|Senate Bill 38 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Brown||Passed Senate 21-0. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Bonini Hocker Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn Richardson Wilson||None|
|Lynn, Cooke, Longhurst|
|Current Status:||Passed Senate 21-0. Sent to House.|