More people in North Carolina could soon qualify to have their criminal records wiped clean, thanks to a bipartisan bill loosening the requirements.

Offenders with multiple nonviolent misdemeanor or low level felony convictions would be eligible to have their records expunged, regardless of age. The bill also expands expunctions for misdemeanors and minor felonies committed by 16- and 17-year olds. Currently, only nonviolent, first-time convictions are eligible.

“The Second Chance Act,” introduced by Democratic Sen. Floyd McKissick of Durham County, recently passed the state Senate and now goes to the House. It comes two years after North Carolina raised the age for automatic prosecution as an adult to 18 and about four months after President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation focusing on criminal justice reform and lowering recidivism rates.

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