Legislature debates new bill on sealing records

BISMARCK, N.D. - The house judiciary committee is considering a bill that would allow some criminal records to be sealed after a period of time.

The bill as written would allow non-violent and non-sexual offenders who have pleaded guilty or have been found guilty, to file to have their misdemeanors sealed after three years, and felonies sealed after five, as long as the person hasn't been charged with a new crime.

Bill sponsors are hoping it will help people who are seeking employment or looking for housing whose offenses happened years ago.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and the officers with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation are in favor of the bill, but would like the working to be more specific.

“I think we should go through that anyway and determine what offenses were probably eligible for this,” BCI Chief Agent Steve Harstad said.

No one spoke in opposition to the bill, and no action was taken.