If you have a felony conviction on your record, you may be wondering if it is possible to have it expunged. Expungement is a legal process that allows you to have your criminal record cleared, or sealed, so that it is not accessible to most potential employers, landlords, and other members of the public.
What is felony expungement?
Felony expungement is a legal process that allows you to have your felony conviction removed from your criminal record. Once a felony conviction is expunged, it is as if it never happened. You will not be required to disclose the expunged conviction on job applications, housing applications, or other forms.
Who is eligible for felony expungement?
Eligibility for felony expungement varies from state to state. However, there are some general requirements that are common to most states. To be eligible for felony expungement, you must typically:
- Have completed all of the terms of your sentence, including probation and parole.
- Have paid all fines and restitution.
- Not have any other felony convictions on your record.
- Not have any pending criminal charges against you.
What are the benefits of felony expungement?
There are many benefits to having your felony conviction expunged. Some of the most common benefits include:
- Increased employment opportunities: An expunged felony conviction will not show up on most background checks, which can make it easier to find a job.
- Improved housing opportunities: Many landlords refuse to rent to people with felony convictions. An expunged felony conviction can make it easier to find housing.
- Reduced stigma: Having a felony conviction on your record can make it difficult to participate in certain activities, such as volunteering or coaching youth sports. An expunged felony conviction can allow you to participate in these activities without fear of being judged.
How to expunge a felony conviction
The process for expunging a felony conviction varies from state to state. However, there are some general steps that are common to most states. To expunge a felony conviction, you will typically need to:
- File a petition with the court that convicted you.
- Pay a filing fee.
- Provide the court with proof that you have completed all of the terms of your sentence and paid all fines and restitution.
- Attend a hearing before a judge.
At the hearing, the judge will decide whether or not to grant your petition for expungement. If the judge grants your petition, your felony conviction will be expunged from your record.
Can a felony conviction be expunged automatically?
In most states, felony convictions are not automatically expunged. You must take steps to expunge your conviction yourself.
What if I have multiple felony convictions?
If you have multiple felony convictions, you may still be eligible for expungement. However, the process may be more complex and the chances of success may be lower.
How much does it cost to expunge a felony conviction?
The cost of expunging a felony conviction varies from state to state. However, you can expect to pay a filing fee and other costs associated with the court process.
Can I expunge a felony conviction on my own?
You can try to expunge a felony conviction on your own, but it is important to note that the process can be complex and there is no guarantee of success. If you are considering expunging a felony conviction, it is advisable to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
How can a criminal defense attorney help me expunge my felony conviction?
A criminal defense attorney can help you expunge your felony conviction by:
- Advising you on your eligibility for expungement
- Assisting you with the expungement process
- Representing you at your expungement hearing
If you have a felony conviction on your record, you may be eligible to have it expunged. Expungement can provide you with a number of benefits, including increased employment opportunities, improved housing opportunities, and reduced stigma. If you are considering expunging your felony conviction, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.