Delaware: Governor Signs Measure Expanding Expungement Eligibility

Dover, DE: Democratic Gov. John Carney has signed legislation into law permitting those with a broad range of non-violent misdemeanors to petition the state to have their criminal records expunged.       

Senate Bill 37, which takes effect on December 27, 2019, permits those with criminal records for certain non-violent misdemeanor offenses to petition the State Bureau of Identification to have their history either sealed or expunged. The stated intent of the new law is to "protect persons from [the] unwarranted damage which may occur when the existence of a criminal history continues indefinitely."

Separate legislation signed into law last year already provides "mandatory expungement eligibility to individuals who were convicted of the possession [of one ounce or less], use or consumption of marijuana prior to Delaware’s decriminalization of these offenses."

State lawmakers in 2015 enacted legislation reducing the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis from a criminal act to a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine only – no arrest, and no criminal record.

For more information, contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator, at (202) 483-5500, or visit Delaware NORML.