Delaware lawmakers passed two bills this year that overhaul access to second chances, making it easier for more than 290,000 people to move beyond the collateral consequences of a criminal record. The two pieces of legislation – Senate Bill 111 and Senate Bill 112 – expand access to Delaware’s mandatory expungement process effective January 1, 2022, and make mandatory expungement automatic (or “Clean Slate”) by August 2024.
State Senators passed the bills unanimously in April and the House of Representatives followed suit — approving the bills by an overwhelming majority during the late stages of the legislative session in June. Both bills were signed into law by Governor John Carney on Monday, November 8, 2021 — making Clean Slate a reality in Delaware. (The specific records that will be subject to mandatory expungement starting in 2022 are described later in this post.)
Delaware is most recent addition to the growing number of states in the nation to make record clearing automatic for at least some convictions, so that eligible individuals will no longer be required to complete a burdensome and expensive petition-based process to get their record expunged. (Several other states have automated expungement exclusively for marijuana convictions.)