Lawmakers recently passed a new law allowing young criminal offenders a pathway for faster relief to get out from under the long term consequences of certain criminal convictions. During the 2015 legislative session a bill was passed that now allows those convicted of a crime while 25 years old or younger to petition the Court for expungement of their criminal record after 5 years has passed for certain offenses.
The bill received wide spread support in Montpelier as lawmakers recognized the long lasting effects a criminal conviction can have on young peoples ability to secure meaningful employment and further their educational goals.
Although the law allows for expungement in non-violent misdemeanor level offenses (convictions that carry 2 years or less of potential jail time), there are still a large number of offense that stay outside the purview of the law, such as felony drug possession offenses that could be in the cross hairs of lawmakers if marijuana legalization occurs in the State of Vermont.
However, for those young individuals convicted of offenses such as DUI-first, Excessive Speed, Gross Negligent Operation,Possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin or other drugs, the time for relief may be now.