PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Rhode Island House of Representatives has passed legislation that could allow people to expunge as many as five misdemeanors from their criminal records.
The House voted unanimously Thursday to pass the bill, which was introduced at the request of Democratic state Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.
It now moves to the state Senate.
Kilmartin says it’s a compassionate proposal to allow people who had youthful indiscretions or went through a “rough patch in life” to turn their life around without the stigma of a criminal record. Kilmartin says it could make it easier for them to get housing and jobs.
People would be eligible 10 years after their last criminal sentence ended. Certain misdemeanor offenses would be excluded, including drunk-driving convictions, refusal to take a chemical test, and domestic violence.