85(R) - 2017
Senate Criminal Justice
Senate Criminal Justice
Mandatory Community Supervision
Relating to the issuance of a certificate of relief from collateral consequences to persons convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for certain offenses.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
This bill would establish a process for certain individuals who have been either convicted or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision to petition for relief from the collateral consequences that came about as a result of their sentence. This bill establishes a timeline under which individuals may submit their petition, based on the severity of their offense. The petition must include evidence that the individual has been rehabilitated; such evidence may include letters from individuals who comment on their character to proof that they completed rehabilitation courses or other programs. If a person is granted a certificate of relief, then their criminal history record information for the offense may not be used as grounds for denying the individual a professional license if they are otherwise qualified for the license unless the crime was a sex offense, related to prostitution, or would be ineligible from receiving community supervision, or if the crime relates to the profession or occupation that the person is seeking a license for.
This bill would require a court to issue the certificate or to issue a denial of issuance no later than 30 days after the date the court receives verification that the individual has satisfactorily completed the eligibility requirements. If the certificate is denied, the court must provide a specific reason for the denial. This section also contains certain elements that the court must take in to account when considering whether to issue the certificate. If a certificate is denied that applicant would have to wait until after the first anniversary of the denial to reapply.
Vote Recommendation Notes
While we believe that individuals should take personal responsibility for their criminal actions, we do not believe that an individual’s future should be crippled after they have demonstrated rehabilitation. A criminal record, even a minor one, can severely reduce one’s lifetime potential for earnings, due to their ineligibility of occupational licenses. A non-violent, not-sexual offender should be free to reenter productive society, and this bill would accomplish that. We support HB 1426 because it satisfies our commitments to limited government, individual liberty, and personal responsibility.