AUGUSTA — Mainers convicted of less serious crimes, like minor offenses, could apply to have the history of the charges erased, or expunged thanks to a new Maine bill.
There was a public hearing in the judiciary committee Tuesday, where Sen. Jim Dill said his bill would help Mainers find and keep jobs.
“If we can do this, and you can expunge these records, then they might be able to get a better life, a better job,” Dill said.
But some domestic violence workers say this bill could prevent the state from properly building cases against potential offenders.
“The idea of expunging someone’s history makes it very difficult to have a reliable information to use in our risk-assessment process,” Violence Intervention Partnership Director Faye Luppi said.
But Dill said he has an answer for that.
“Well it’s all minor offenses, it doesn’t allow domestic abuse, sexual assault or any of those types of crimes, and it’s a case-by-case basis anyway,” Dill said.
Opponents say they are also unsure if the legislature can legally allow expungements. The bill will need a second reading before the committee can vote on sending it to the house.