Misdemeanor Guide

Expunged Misdemeanor

Expungement generally means the cleansing of a person's criminal record or the sealing and destruction of arrest and conviction information. This is very crucial to anyone with a past conviction. Expungement laws vary from state to state and come in varying types. It is often advisable to consult a criminal defense attorney in the state in which the conviction was placed.

When an expungement is properly completed, a person is then able to state the arrest and charges never occurred. He or she will then be able to apply for professional licenses and future employment without worry. There are different forms of relief available, so consulting a lawyer is often in the interest of the individual seeking relief.

A record can be sealed by the court, which means that the only people with access to the record will be the proper authorities. The public will no longer be able to access the record. In the case of expungement, a person's record cannot be accessed by the public or public officials.

Forms of Expungement
As expungement comes in varying forms, the kind of expungement is different for every person and depends on the type of conviction -- misdemeanor, felony, or wobbler -- the type of sentencing -- state prison, probation without jail, or probation with jail -- the age of the individual, and whether or not there was a claim of factual innocence.

Expungement Eligibility
In the case that an individual has fulfilled all the requirements of probation as well as the entire time period, the expungement process can begin. The same can be done if a court case was dismissed, the person is not serving a current or new offense, and he or she is a juvenile offender. However if a person has pled guilty at any time, he or she is not eligible for expungement.

Granted Expungement
In some states when expungement is admitted it does not mean a full erasure of a criminal record. Instead a plea of no contest or guilty will be withdrawn and the plea of not guilty will be entered. In the case of a trial, the verdict of guilty will be set aside and the court will dismiss the charged document.

A statute will note that the probationer is then released of all disabilities and penalties as a result of the offense of conviction. However there are a few exceptions.

Prior Convictions
Certain crimes, if expunged, are called priorable. This means that if a person is arrested for a similar crime, the punishment for the new crime can be more severe. DUI convictions are always to be used as a prior, meaning that if a DUI charge has been expunged and an individual is arrested for a second DUI within ten years of the first, the expunged DUI will enhance the new conviction.

If an individual has committed an offense the places him or her on probation from owning a gun, the expungement will not restore this privilege. The period of time for the probation will be maintained despite expungement.

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