West Virginia takes the lead in addressing the issue of under employment and other collateral consequences of prior convictions

Starting on July 7, 2017, West Virginians with qualifying, non-violent, non-sexual felony convictions can petition to have their convictions reduced to misdemeanors once ten years have passed from the expiration of their sentence. Petitioners must not have been convicted of any other crimes since their conviction, must be able to state specific reasons why they are seeking the reduction (employment, licensing, etc.), and must be able to show the actions they have taken toward personal rehabilitation. The Circuit Court ultimately has discretion to grant or deny the Petition depending on whether it finds that the reduction is consistent with the public welfare.