For years, if you were convicted of a crime it would be a permanent blight on your record. If you were convicted of something foolish you did 20 years ago, it could still haunt you today and carry with it increased penalties for future convictions, fewer job prospects, and in the case of a felony, missing out on several important freedoms for the rest of your life. There were exceptions of course, as you could get expungements for convictions related to:
· bad checks,
· peace disturbances, and
· DUIs older than 10 years
and some stranger charges like
· misdemeanor prostitution,
· gambling, and
· negligent burning or explosions.
Beginning January 1, 2018, the law has changed significantly. Now, instead of listing only crimes that can be expunged, the law has been rewritten to only list the crimes that cannot be expunged from your record. Those convictions that cannot be expunged are:
· Any offense for domestic assault,
· Any offense requiring registration as a sex offender,
· Any “dangerous” felony, and
· Class A felonies.
Virtually every other conviction can be expunged from your record if you meet certain requirements. A certain amount of time has to have passed since the end of your sentence, whether that be prison, parole, just paying a fine, or probation. (Three years for a misdemeanor, seven years for a felony.) During that time, you have not been found guilty of any other misdemeanors or felonies, and have no pending charges at the time you petition the court. You must also prove that you are not a threat to public safety and that the expungement is “consistent with the public welfare and the interests of justice. Finally, you can only expunge two misdemeanors or one felony in your lifetime.
Please note that there are different requirements for alcohol-related convictions. If you believe that you meet the requirements for an expungement and wish to clean up your record, or have more questions about alcohol-related expungements, please call and schedule your consultation.