VOL. 127 | NO. 46 | Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Requests for Expunged Records Jump in Tight Economy
NASHVILLE (AP) – An increasing number of people in Tennessee are requesting that their criminal records be cleared.
As jobs became scarce and employers got pickier, the number of requests for records to be expunged jumped 71 percent statewide since 2007, according to The Tennessean.
Criminal convictions cannot be expunged, but records can be cleared of charges for which a person was not convicted and cases in which a person was granted judicial diversion.
Tommy Bradley, chief administrative officer for the Davidson County Criminal Court clerk's office, said requests have become common over the past few years, and the common thread is that callers say they can't get a job with an old charge on their record.
While most applications to expunge criminal charges are free, the state hopes to increase the cost for defendants who successfully finish a judicial diversion plan. A proposed law in the legislature would raise the cost from $50 to $350 plus a $100 application fee, in order to raise funds for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Its sponsors expect it to raise about $4.4 million each year, up from about $400,000 raised each year under current rates.
Convictions cannot be expunged.
Information from: The Tennessean, www.tennessean.com
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