No one needs to have a simple mistake follow them for the rest of their lives. A conviction or even a charge could take from many first-time offenders opportunities that otherwise would have been available to them. Fortunately, the law provides a route for you to remove certain charges and convictions from public view. A Chattanooga expungement lawyer could evaluate your situation and determine whether expungement is an available remedy.
The ability to expunge some criminal convictions could be crucial to your ability to obtain employment, housing, or admission to college. By expunging these criminal records, you truly could put your past mistakes behind you. A criminal defense lawyer could be vital in the process of successfully seeking an expungement of your criminal convictions.
Individuals who have convictions for more than two criminal offenses are not eligible for expungement, whether they include two misdemeanors or one misdemeanor and one felony conviction.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-32-101 provides that individuals who are eligible to seek an expunction cannot do so until five years have elapsed since they completed their sentence for the criminal conviction. Individuals also must have paid all their fines and fees related to the criminal offense and served any periods of incarceration. Expungement eligibility also requires payment of a $100 fee and completion of all terms and conditions of probation before becoming eligible.
The state expungement statute also permits individuals to expunge specific criminal records that arose from crimes of which they were never convicted. Individuals eligible for expungement of the following records are able to obtain an expungement without paying any fees. These records include those from:
Individuals may also seek an expungement of records related to criminal charges that were dismissed after they completed pretrial diversion programs. Other criminal records that qualify for expungement include cases in which a judge or jury found individuals not guilty and situations in which an appellate court overturned a criminal conviction. A judgment of nolle prosequi also makes criminal records eligible for expungement.
The requirements for expunging different types of criminal records are particular under state law, and not all records and situations qualify for relief. Individuals who believe that they may be eligible to seek an expungement may wish to consult an expungement attorney in Chattanooga.
Many criminal convictions, both felonies and misdemeanors, for which individuals received a sentence of three years or less are eligible for expungement. Eligible convictions include theft, forgery, fraudulent use of a credit card, and vandalism, among many others.
Although this code section permits some misdemeanor and felony convictions to be expunged, it also specifically makes some convictions ineligible for expungement. Some of the most common criminal convictions that individuals cannot expunge under state law include:
Other criminal convictions that individuals generally cannot expunge include some drug offenses, distribution of obscene materials, and fraudulent use of a credit card. A criminal expungement attorney in Chattanooga could examine criminal records and assess whether filing for expungement is possible.
If you are eligible to expunge even some of your criminal records, you may put yourself in a better position to seek employment or a promotion in your current job. You may qualify for other benefits or opportunities to better your life if you are able to obtain an expungement. Talk to a Chattanooga expungement lawyer today and determine whether any of your criminal records are eligible for expungement.
Under limited circumstances, there may be times in which it is not in your best interest to seek an expungement of criminal records. Only experienced legal counsel may be able to honestly evaluate your situation and help you make the decisions that are best for you. Rather than taking the risk of filing for expungement on your own, you should seek out the legal advice that you need in this situation.