People arrested or convicted of crimes in California could have their criminal records automatically cleared under a proposed law announced Thursday by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and Assemblyman Phil Ting.
AB1076 would wipe out eligible convictions for people who have completed local sentences and eliminate many arrest records that have not resulted in convictions. Offenders already are eligible to petition the courts for the relief, but less then 20 percent take advantage of the program, said Ting, D-San Francisco.
Under the law, people convicted of offenses ranging from petty theft to more serious felonies that resulted in jail sentences — such as robbery or assault — could begin putting their criminal pasts behind them.
The groundbreaking clean-slate initiative would keep background-check agencies from accessing and disseminating cleared criminal records to employers and licensing boards. However, it would not remove the records from law enforcement databases.