Monday, August 17, 2015 08:47 AM
SPRINGFIELD — Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) sponsored legislation this year that would allow arrest records of individuals who are wrongly arrested because of mistaken identity to be deleted without the person having to file a petition for expungement.
Today, Martinez’s proposal became law.
“Individuals who were mistakenly arrested should not have difficulty clearing their names,” Martinez said. “We need to make it as easy as possible for them to get their reputation back and move on with their lives.”
Prior to the new law, the Crime Identification Act allowed individuals who were mistakenly arrested but not charged to seek expungement of their records. However, they were required to pay a fee and file a petition.
This will now change.
Under Martinez’s legislation, a police chief, county sheriff or state’s attorney will be able to request an investigation into whether or not a person was wrongly arrested. If a mistake was made, that individual’s records must be deleted from the law enforcement agency’s records that made the arrest.
House Bill 169 is effective January 1, 2016.
Senator Iris Y. Martinez
Majority Caucus Chair
Years served: 2003 - Present
Committee assignments: Education; Energy; Gaming; Labor; Licensed Activities and Pensions (Chairperson); Transportation.
Biography: Born Feb. 25, 1956, in Chicago; earned her bachelor's degree in public policy and administration from Northeastern Illinois University in 2009; elected president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. She is also the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Co-Chair; has one daughter.