How to Expunge a Felony

How to Expunge a Felony


If you are convicted of felony, it is very important that you apply for expungement if you intent to look for a job, take a loan or buy a house in the future. In most of these activities, a background check is done and any past criminal records may have a negative impact on the overall process.

Expungement is also referred to as motion to dismiss in many states as it gives the outcome of termination of any past criminal conviction record. In true senses, expungement is not sealing or removal of records, essentially it is renewal of the records. In case of felony, an expungement will modify the records to show that the conviction has been done away with.

This is advantageous, as your records will now show that your conviction has been dealt with. You can also now answer a “no” when asked for any previous criminal conviction during a job interview.

The legislation also states that all penalties and disabilities that resulted from the conviction will be removed.

How to ensure better chances for success?

Although it is not necessary to hire a lawyer to deal with an expungement case, it is always advised to hire a seasoned attorney if you can afford it. Many times the case has to be taken to the courtroom for oral argument where the case has to be presented properly. If you don’t wish to speak before the courtroom and present your case, then you definitely need to hire a skillful lawyer.

Even though, a felony can be expunged, it is always advisable that you should try to lower to a misdemeanor before pleading. Please do note that in most states, felony and misdemeanor are treated separately.

When can you be granted expungement?

  • Cases that involve only conviction and no proof are expunged easily, if the reason is good enough.
  • The person in question has spent no time in the state prison.
  • Proper rehabilitation and change in the way of living has been done.
  • You are not on probation or are accused for any other crime.

Can a record be sealed completely?

In most states, sealing a record completely is not possible except for some special cases like Juvenile crime. However, you could definitely plead to the court and if your reason is good enough, you will surely get the relief that you have requested. Lawyers and attorneys can also be consulted for more advice.

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