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Community Affairs Panel to Discuss Expunging Misdemeanors

The Louisville Metro Council’s Community Affairs Committee is looking into the process of expunging minor offenses from criminal records.The committee isn’t drafting an ordinance or resolution at this time, but members say that's possible depending on what they find out. Council members stress they aren’t discussing expunging felony charges, but lower offenses such as speeding tickets, DUIs and trespassing. Some of that can be done now, but Chairwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, says many residents don't know that, and it keeps them from finding work."It’s been a topic for awhile about expunging felonies, but nobody talks about expunging misdemeanors. And a lot of them had no idea these were still on their records. If you had a DUI when you were young, that may stop you from getting a job driving a truck or a car or whatever," she says.The committee meets today and will hear from attorneys and others in the legal community about the process of expunging a record. Besides a legal issue, Shanklin says the discussion is about jobs as well."There are so many things that you could do to clean your record up. There are a lot of different misdemeanors that you could get off your record that would probably help you get jobs and that’s what we’re looking at," she says.The committee could consider legislation or a resolution depending on the outcome, but no ordinance has been proposed.