H. R. 2065
To permit the expungement of records of certain nonviolent criminal
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 1, 2011
Mr. RANGEL (for himself, Mr. COHEN, Mr. STARK, Mr. HASTINGS of Florida, Ms.
BASS of California, Ms. BROWN of Florida, Mr. TOWNS, Mr. LEWIS of Georgia,
and Ms. SCHAKOWSKY) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary
To permit the expungement of records of certain nonviolent criminal
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Second Chance for Ex-Offenders Act of 2011'.
SEC. 2. EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORDS FOR CERTAIN NONVIOLENT OFFENDERS.
(a) In General- Chapter 229 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by
inserting after subchapter C the following new subchapter:
`3631. Expungement of certain criminal records in limited circumstances.
`3632. Requirements for expungement.
`3633. Procedure for expungement.
`3634. Effect of expungement.
`3635. Reversal of expunged records.
`3636. Unsealing of records.
`Sec. 3631. Expungement of certain criminal records in limited circumstances
`(a) In General- Any individual convicted of a nonviolent offense who fulfills
the requirements of section 3632 may file a petition under this subchapter
to expunge the record of such conviction.
`(b) Definition of Nonviolent Offense- In this subchapter, the term `nonviolent
offense' means a misdemeanor or felony offense against the United States that
does not have as an element of the offense the use of a weapon or violence
and which did not actually involve violence in its commission.
`Sec. 3632. Requirements for expungement
`No individual shall be eligible for expungement under this subchapter unless,
before filing a petition under this subchapter, such individual--
`(1) has never been convicted of a violent offense (including an offense
under State law that would be a violent offense if it were Federal) and
has never been convicted of a nonviolent offense other than the one for
which expungement is sought;
`(2) has fulfilled all requirements of the sentence of the court in which
conviction was obtained, including completion of any term of imprisonment
or period of probation, meeting all conditions of a supervised release,
and paying all fines;
`(3) has remained free from dependency on or abuse of alcohol or a controlled
substance a minimum of 1 year and has been rehabilitated, to the satisfaction
of the court referred to in section 3633(b), if so required by the terms
of a supervised release;
`(4) has obtained a high school diploma or completed a high school equivalency
`(5) has completed at least one year of community service, as determined
by the court referred to in section 3633(b).
`Sec. 3633. Procedure for expungement
`(a) Petition- An individual may file a petition for expungement in the court
in which the conviction was obtained. A copy of the petition shall be served
by the court upon the United States Attorney for the district in which the
conviction sought to be expunged was obtained. Not later than 60 days after
receipt of such petition, the United States Attorney may submit written recommendations
to the court and notify the petitioner of that recommendation.
`(b) Court-Ordered Expungement- The court, after consideration of evidence
submitted by the petitioner in support of the petition and any evidence submitted
by the Government in support of objections it may have to granting the petition,
shall rule on the petition. In making that ruling, the court, after determining
whether the petitioner meets the eligibility requirements of this subchapter,
shall weigh the interests of the petitioner against the best interests of
justice and public safety.
`Sec. 3634. Effect of expungement
`(a) In General- An order granting expungement under this subchapter shall
restore the individual concerned, in the contemplation of the law, to the
status such individual occupied before the arrest or institution of criminal
proceedings for the crime that was the subject of the expungement.
`(b) No Disqualification; Statements- After an order granting expungement
of any individual's criminal records under this subchapter, such individual
shall not be required to divulge information pertaining to the expunged conviction
and the fact that such individual has been convicted of the criminal offense
concerned shall not--
`(1) operate as a disqualification of such individual to pursue or engage
in any lawful activity, occupation, or profession; and
`(2) be held under any provision of law guilty of perjury, false answering,
or making a false statement by reason of his failure to recite or acknowledge
such arrest or institution of criminal proceedings, or results thereof,
in response to an inquiry made of him for any purpose.
`(c) Records Expunged or Sealed- Upon order of expungement, all official law
enforcement and court records, including all references to such person's arrest
for the offense, the institution of criminal proceedings against him, and
the results thereof, except publicly available court opinions or briefs on
appeal, shall be expunged (in the case of nontangible records) or gathered
together and sealed (in the case of tangible records).
`(d) Record of Disposition To Be Retained- A nonpublic record of a disposition
or conviction that is the subject of an expungement order shall be retained
only by the Department of Justice solely for the purpose of use by the courts
in any subsequent adjudication.
`Sec. 3635. Disclosure of expunged records
`(a) Law Enforcement Purposes- The Department of Justice may maintain a nonpublic
manual or computerized index of expunged records containing only the name
of, and alphanumeric identifiers that relate to, the persons who are the subject
of such expunged records, the word `expunged', and the name of the person,
agency, office, or department that has custody of the expunged records, and
shall not name the offense committed. The index shall be made available only
to Federal and State law enforcement personnel who have custody of such expunged
records and only for the purposes set forth in subsection (b) of this section.
`(b) Authorized Disclosure- Such records shall be made available to the person
accused or to such person's designated agent and shall be made available to--
`(1) any prosecutor, law enforcement agency, or court which has responsibility
for criminally investigating, prosecuting, or adjudicating such individual;
`(2) any State or local office or agency with responsibility for the issuance
of licenses to possess guns where the accused has made application for such
`(3) any prospective city, State, or Federal employer or agency, involved
in investigating and/or prosecuting under criminal or civil statutes including
employers of police or peace officers and in relation to an application
for employment as an employee of a city, State, or Federal employer or agency
involved in investigating or prosecuting under criminal or civil statutes
including as a police officer or peace officer, and every person who is
an applicant for the position of police officer, peace officer, or any other
prospective city, State, or Federal employer or agency, involved in investigating
or prosecuting under criminal or civil statutes shall be furnished with
a copy of all records obtained under this paragraph and afforded an opportunity
to make an explanation thereto.
`(c) Punishment for Improper Disclosure- Any person who knowingly disseminates
information relating to an expunged conviction other than the offender shall
be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
`Sec. 3636. Reversal of expunged records
`The records expunged under this subchapter shall be restored by operation
of law as public records and may be used in all court proceedings if the individual
whose conviction was expunged is subsequently convicted of any Federal or
(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of subchapters at the beginning of chapter
229 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following
(c) Effective Date- The amendments made by this Act shall apply to individuals
convicted of an offense before, on, or after the date of enactment of this