How to Get a Felony Expunged

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I’d Like to Learn How to Get a Felony Expunged - Is This Possible?

Getting a felony expunged or cleared from one’s record may be difficult to do, but it is possible in some situations.  Expungement is usually easier for less serious crimes like misdemeanors and DUI violations. If you’d like to understand how to get a felony expunged, here are some basic starting points:

When filing for a felony expungement, there may be various court fees involved with the process. Also, you should be prepared to attend a hearing or a series of hearings related to your request.  Expungement is called “record sealing” in some jurisdictions.

Can All Felonies be Expunged?

No- there are some felonies that are not available for expungement.  These usually involve crimes involving sexual abuse, such as sexual battery or rape.  Also, felonies that involve harm to a minor generally can’t be expunged.  Another similar crime that can’t be expunged is corruption of a minor.

Thus, when researching how to get a felony expunged, you may need to check local and state criminal laws, as these may vary in terms of which felonies can be expunged. 

If a Felony is Expunged, Does That Mean It Is Totally Erased From My Record?

In most states, expungement means that all files, information, and documents related to the felony are no longer available to the public.  However, the existence of the conviction can sometimes be used, for instance when dealing with repeat offenses.  Follow this link for more information about serious crimes classed as felonies.

For example suppose that a person was convicted of murder, but they had the felony conviction expunged from their record.  If they are convicted of murder again in the future, the court needs to know whether the new murder charge is a repeat offense or not.  They may take note that the person was charged with murder in the past; however, they usually can’t go into the details of the previous murder case, since the charges were expunged from the person’s record.

Similar references to expunged cases can be made when the person is applying for a job (for example, if they are applying to be a police officer or some other type of high-level security position).

Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance With Getting a Felony Expunged?

You may wish to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you need guidance on how to get a felony expunged.  Your attorney can inform you of whether you might be eligible to have your felony record cleared.  If so, your lawyer will be able to help you file a motion with the court, and can represent you during any hearings that might be required throughout the process.

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Last Modified: 09-06-2012 08:06 AM PDT

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