What charges are eligible for expungement?
Not every crime can be expunged from a criminal record. While the laws vary from state to state, some jurisdictions may allow expungement only for arrests and misdemeanor convictions. Others will allow expungement for certain felonies, though not for violent crimes such as murder or rape. And even when it is possible to expunge or seal a record, qualifying for this relief can be difficult and complex.
Factors that might affect your ability to have your record expunged include the following:
- The charge was minor and your first and only offense.
- The charges against you have been dismissed.
- You were acquitted, or found not guilty.
- You were a juvenile at the time.
Minor drug convictions, such as marijuana possession, may also be easier to expunge, especially if the offender was a juvenile. A defense attorney who is familiar with the laws of your state can let you know if your specific charge is eligible for expunction.