01292020CM0240SPRINGFIELD – Civilians who have been arrested and were acquitted of charges would no longer be required to pay for their records to be expunged under a proposal by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) that passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee Tuesday.

“Why should civilians have to pay for their records to be expunged if they were not found guilty?” Belt asked. “It seems as if we are punishing the people for even being arrested and continuing to create a barrier for these people to not be able to obtain employment.”

Belt’s plan, contained in Senate Bill 2496, would propose a permanent state-wide fee waiver program for certain expungements. The records sought to be expunged or sealed under the Criminal Identification Act were arrests that resulted in release without charging or charges were dismissed.

This measure does not expunge or seal the records of minor traffic offenses, unless the petitioner was arrested and released without charges.

Senate Bill 2496 was heard in the Senate Criminal Law Committee Tuesday afternoon and will now move to the Senate floor for further debate.