Senate Bill No. 261
(By Senator Bowman)
[Passed March 22, 2001; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact section sixteen-a, article one, chapter
five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, relating to reducing the time for
eligibility for expungement of criminal records of persons
receiving a full, unconditional pardon from the governor.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section sixteen-a, article one, chapter five of the code
of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. THE GOVERNOR.
§5-1-16a. Expungement of criminal record upon full and
(a) Any person who has received a full and unconditional pardon from the governor, pursuant to the provisions of section
eleven, article VII of the constitution of West Virginia and
section sixteen of this article, may petition the circuit court in
the county where the conviction was had to have the record of
conviction expunged. The petition shall be served upon the
prosecuting attorney of the county where the petition was filed.
Any person petitioning the court for an order of expungement shall
publish a notice of the time and place that
petition will be
made, which notice shall be published as a Class I legal
advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three,
chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for
publication shall be the county where the petition is filed. The
circuit court, upon verification of the act of pardon and after a
hearing to determine that good cause exists, may enter an order
directing that all public record of the petitioner's conviction be
(b) The record expunged pursuant to the provisions of this
section may not be considered in an application to any educational
institution in this state or an application for any licensure
required by any professional organization in this state.
(c) No person shall be eligible for expungement pursuant to this section until two years after having been pardoned.
(d) No person shall be eligible for expungement pursuant to
this section until seven years after the discharge of his or her
sentence upon the conviction for which he or she was pardoned.
(e) No person shall be eligible for expungement of a record of
conviction of first degree murder, as defined in section one,
article two, chapter sixty-one of this code; treason, as defined in
section one, article one of said chapter; kidnaping, as defined in
section fourteen-a, article two of said chapter; or any felony
defined in article eight-b of said chapter.