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Expungements

How to Clear Your Public Record of Arrests and Convictions

If you have been convicted of a felony, then you can’t own a gun or vote—even if the felony happened twenty years ago and hurt no one. In certain cases, you may be able to remove the felony (or other type of criminal action) from your record to restore your rights. An expungement allows you in certain circumstances to remove arrests and convictions from your public record. Find out if you may be able to clean up your record:

I want to expunge an arrest
I want to expunge an alcohol-related traffic offense
I want to expunge a conviction

I want to expunge an arrest

You may expunge an arrest under certain circumstances if the arrest was based on false information or if the arrest was for a misdemeanor traffic offense other than an intoxication-related traffic offense. In order to expunge an arrest, however, you must have no prior misdemeanor or felony convictions and there must be no pending civil action related to the arrest.

In order to expunge an arrest based on false information, you must show the following: (1) the arrest was based on false information; (2) there is now no probable cause to believe you committed the offense; (3) no charges will be pursued as a result of the arrest; and (4) you were not found guilty of any offense related to the arrest.

In order to expunge an arrest or charge for a misdemeanor, non-intoxication related traffic offense (e.g. speeding), you must show the following: (1) every offense related to the arrest was either dismissed or resulted in a finding of not-guilty; (2) you do not have a commercial driver’s license (CDL); and (3) you were not operating a commercial motor vehicle (i.e. a vehicle which would require you to have a CDL to legally drive) when you were stopped.

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I want to expunge an alcohol-related traffic offense

You can expunge one alcohol-related traffic offense in your lifetime, so long as certain requirements are met: (1) you do not have a commercial driver’s license (CDL); (2) ten years have passed since the conviction or guilty plea; (3) the offense you want to expunge is your first and only alcohol-related traffic offense; (4) the offense was a misdemeanor; (5) you were not driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol; and (6) your driver’s license has not been suspended or revoked for any other alcohol-related offense.

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I want to expunge a conviction

On January 1, 2018, the law governing expungements of misdemeanor and felony convictions will change to permit a broader range of convictions (discussed in the next paragraph). Until that time, here are the requirements for expunging a conviction: (1) You may expunge any number of eligible convictions. (2) The convictions you may expunge are limited to this table of eligible offenses. (3) Twenty years for each felony, and ten years for each misdemeanor, must have passed since you completed any sentence of imprisonment and any period of probation or parole. (4) During this time, you have not been found guilty of any misdemeanor or felony other than traffic violations. (5) You paid any amount of restitution ordered by the court. (6) The court must find that your circumstances and behavior warrant the expungement and the expungement is consistent with the public welfare.

After January 1, 2018, the following rules apply to the expungement of convictions: (1) You may only expunge one felony and two misdemeanors—but multiple offenses arising out of the same course of conduct only count as one offense. (2) You may expunge any offense except for the offenses listed on this table of ineligible offenses. (3) Seven years for a felony, and three years for a misdemeanor, have passed since you completed any authorized disposition arising out of the finding of guilt. (4) During this time, you have not been found guilty of any misdemeanor or felony other than a traffic offense. (5) You satisfied all obligations relating to the disposition, including the payment of fines and restitution. (6) You have no current charges pending. (7) The court must find that your habits and conduct demonstrate that you are not a threat to the public safety, that expungement is consistent with the public welfare, and the interests of justice warrant the expungement.

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