SB 38

  • Delaware Senate Bill
  • 151st General Assembly (2021-2022)
  • Introduced in Senate Mar 17, 2021
  • Passed Senate Mar 16, 2021
  • House
  • Governor

An Act To Amend Title 11 Of The Delaware Code Relating To Expungement Of Records Of Adult Arrest And Conviction.


In 2019, the 150th General Assembly enacted Senate Substitute No. 1 for Senate Bill No. 37, which reformed the adult expungement process in this State. After a year of implementing this new expungement process, Senate Bill No. 38 was introduced to make changes to clarify language or increase the efficiency of the process. Like Senate Bill No. 38, this Substitute does the following: (1) Clarifies that the adult expungement law under Subchapter VII of Chapter 43 of Title 11 of the Delaware Code does not apply to a juvenile adjudication of delinquency. (2) Clarifies that “pending criminal charges” does not include an alleged violation of Section 904 (e) or (f) of Title 4, Section 4764(c) of Title 16, or a Title 21 offense. (3) Clarifies that certain crimes that are not eligible for a mandatory or discretionary expungement under § 4372(f) of Title 11 are eligible for a discretionary expungement after an unconditional pardon is granted by the Governor. (4) Clarifies that the requirement that a person may not receive an expungement for 10 years after a prior expungement is to be applied prospectively to expungements granted after December 27, 2019. (5) Clarifies that the requirement that all fines, fees, and restitution be paid before an expungement is granted applies to the conviction for which the person is seeking the expungement, not all fines, fees, or restitution the person might owe. (6) Clarifies that a case terminated in favor of an accused is to be expunged even if a person has other prior or subsequent convictions that are not eligible for expungement. (7) Includes certain criminal contempt of court orders, criminal contempt of a protection from abuse order, and breach of release as misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence that are not subject to mandatory expungement. (8) Clarifies that a discretionary expungement that is sought after an unconditional pardon by the Governor is to follow the procedures for a discretionary expungement in § 4374(c) through (h) and (j) of Title 11 and is not to be restricted by any of the eligibility requirements or exclusions contained in § 4374 of Title 11. This Substitute differs from Senate Bill No. 38 as follows: (1) This Substitute removes the process for expunging certain cases that do not have a disposition. (2) While this Substitute also permits a person to include in a petition for discretionary expungement a crime that is eligible for mandatory expungement and to authorize Family Court and Superior Court to grant a mandatory expungement, this Substitute modifies that language.

Bill Sponsors (4)


Mar 16, 2021


Mar 17, 2021


Assigned to Judiciary Committee in House

  • Introduction
  • Referral-Committee

Mar 16, 2021


Passed By Senate. Votes: 21 YES

Mar 10, 2021


Reported Out of Committee (Judiciary) in Senate with 4 Favorable, 2 On Its Merits

  • Committee-Passage
  • Committee-Passage-Favorable

Mar 04, 2021


Adopted in lieu of the original bill SB 38, and Assigned to Judiciary Committee in Senate

  • Introduction
  • Referral-Committee

Bill Text

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