2007 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Holland, Scott, Clark
AN ACT TO PROVIDE A PROCEDURE TO EXPUNGE CERTAIN CONVICTIONS; TO AMEND SECTIONS 41-29-150 AND 99-19-71, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Any person who has been convicted in all criminal cases, felony and misdemeanor, other than crimes against the person, offenses affecting children and offenses pertaining to the sale, barter, transfer, manufacture, distribution or dispensing of a controlled substance, and/or the possession with intent to sell, barter, transfer, manufacture, distribution or dispensing of a controlled substance as provided for in Section 41-29-139(a)(1), and who is a first offender, may petition the circuit court in which he or she was convicted for an order to expunge any such conviction from all public records two (2) years after the successful completion of all the terms and conditions of the sentence for such conviction. Upon entering such an order, a nonpublic record thereof shall be retained solely for the purpose of use in determining whether in subsequent proceeding, such person is a first offender.
The effect of such an order shall be to restore such person, in the contemplation of the law to the status he occupied before such arrest.
SECTION 2. Section 41-29-150, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-29-150. (a) Any person convicted under Section 41-29-139 may be required, in the discretion of the court, as a part of the sentence otherwise imposed, or in lieu of imprisonment in cases of probation or suspension of sentence, to attend a course of instruction conducted by the bureau, the State Board of Health, or any similar agency, on the effects, medically, psychologically and socially, of the misuse of controlled substances. Said course may be conducted at any correctional institution, detention center or hospital, or at any center or treatment facility established for the purpose of education and rehabilitation of those persons committed because of abuse of controlled substances.
(b) Any person convicted under Section 41-29-139 who is found to be dependent upon or addicted to any controlled substance shall be required, as a part of the sentence otherwise imposed, or in lieu of imprisonment in cases of parole, probation or suspension of sentence, to receive medical treatment for such dependency or addiction. The regimen of medical treatment may include confinement in a medical facility of any correctional institution, detention center or hospital, or at any center or facility established for treatment of those persons committed because of a dependence or addiction to controlled substances.
(c) Those persons previously convicted of a felony under Section 41-29-139 and who are now confined at the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield, Mississippi, or at the East Mississippi State Hospital at Meridian, Mississippi, for the term of their sentence shall remain under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and shall be required to abide by all reasonable rules and regulations promulgated by the director and staff of said institutions and of the Department of Corrections. Any persons so confined who shall refuse to abide by said rules or who attempt an escape or who shall escape shall be transferred to the State Penitentiary or to a county jail, where appropriate, to serve the remainder of the term of imprisonment; this provision shall not preclude prosecution and conviction for escape from said institutions.
(d) (1) If any person who has not previously been convicted of violating Section 41-29-139, or the laws of the United States or of another state relating to narcotic drugs, stimulant or depressant substances, other controlled substances or marihuana is found to be guilty of a violation of subsection (c) or (d) of Section 41-29-139, after trial or upon a plea of guilty, the court may, without entering a judgment of guilty and with the consent of such person, defer further proceedings and place him on probation upon such reasonable conditions as it may require and for such period, not to exceed three (3) years, as the court may prescribe. Upon violation of a condition of the probation, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided. The court may, in its discretion, dismiss the proceedings against such person and discharge him from probation before the expiration of the maximum period prescribed for such person's probation. If during the period of his probation such person does not violate any of the conditions of the probation, then upon expiration of such period the court shall discharge such person and dismiss the proceedings against him. Discharge and dismissal under this subsection shall be without court adjudication of guilt, but a nonpublic record thereof shall be retained by the bureau solely for the purpose of use by the courts in determining whether or not, in subsequent proceedings, such person qualifies under this subsection. Such discharge or dismissal shall not be deemed a conviction for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime, including the penalties prescribed under this article for second or subsequent conviction, or for any other purpose. Discharge and dismissal under this subsection may occur only once with respect to any person; and
(2) Upon the dismissal of such person and discharge of proceedings against him under paragraph (1) of this subsection, or with respect to a person who has been convicted and adjudged guilty of an offense under subsection (c) or (d) of Section 41-29-139, or for possession of narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, marihuana, other controlled substances or paraphernalia under prior laws of this state, such person, if he had not reached his twenty-sixth birthday at the time of the offense, may apply to the court for an order to expunge from all official records, other than the nonpublic records to be retained by the bureau under paragraph (1) of this subsection, all recordation relating to his arrest, indictment, trial, finding of guilty, and dismissal and discharge pursuant to this section. If the court determines, after hearing, that such person was dismissed and the proceedings against him discharged and that he had not reached his twenty-sixth birthday at the time of the offense, or that such person had satisfactorily served his sentence or period of probation and parole, and that he had not reached his twenty-sixth birthday at the time of the offense, it shall enter such order. The effect of such order shall be to restore such person, in the contemplation of the law, to the status he occupied before such arrest or indictment. No person as to whom such order has been entered shall be held thereafter under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of his failures to recite or acknowledge such arrest, or indictment or trial in response to any inquiry made of him for any purpose. Orders may be expunged as provided in Section 1 of this act.
(e) Every person who has been or may hereafter be convicted of a felony offense under Section 41-29-139 and sentenced under Section 41-29-150(c) shall be under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
(f) It shall be unlawful for any person confined under the provisions of subsection (b) or (c) of this section to escape or attempt to escape from said institution, and upon conviction said person shall be guilty of a felony and shall be imprisoned for a term not to exceed two (2) years.
(g) It is the intent and purpose of the Legislature to promote the rehabilitation of persons convicted of offenses under the Uniform Controlled Substances Law.
SECTION 3. Section 99-19-71, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-19-71. (1) Any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor, excluding a conviction for a traffic violation, and who is a first offender, may petition the justice, county, circuit or municipal court, as may be applicable, for an order to expunge any such conviction from all public records. Upon entering such order, a nonpublic record thereof shall be retained by the court and by the Mississippi Criminal Information Center solely for the purpose of determining whether, in subsequent proceedings, such person is a first offender. The effect of such order shall be to restore such person, in the contemplation of the law, to the status he occupied before such arrest. No person as to whom such order has been entered shall be held thereafter under any provision of law to be guilty of perjury or to have otherwise given a false statement by reason of his failure to recite or acknowledge such arrest or conviction in response to any inquiry made of him for any purpose, except for the purpose of determining in any subsequent proceedings under this section, whether such person is a first offender.
(2) Upon petition therefor, a justice, county, circuit or municipal court shall expunge the record of any case in which an arrest was made, the person arrested was released and the case was dismissed or the charges were dropped or there was no disposition of such case. Convictions may also be expunged as provided in Section 1 of this act.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.