We make mistakes in our youth; the young tend to think they’re invincible, and often can’t see the repercussions of a “mistake” that involves the law. But flash forward to now. You have gotten your life on track, and you looking forward to getting a good job and having a positive future – but your criminal record is hanging over your head like the Sword of Damocles. You know that given the opportunity you would not make the same stupid choices you made when you were young, but, as they say, you can’t change the past.
Except sometimes, maybe you can. Many people who have had a prior criminal conviction in Tennessee have gotten their record expunged successfully.
What are my options for getting my criminal record expunged?
Tennessee changed the state law in 2012 about expungement. There are new guidelines that govern who are eligible and under what circumstances can a criminal conviction be expunged.
If you are making positive changes in your life, seeking better employment opportunities, working toward improving your credit or applying to college, there may be an option available to you to remove the huge barrier that a criminal conviction represents in your background.
What does it mean to have a criminal record expunged in Tennessee?
You might think that expungement means wiping the proverbial slate clean, and it does – kind of. Once you’ve had your record expunged you can legally say that the arrest or the charge never happened; however, the court does not destroy your record. Your record can be unsealed in the event that you commit another crime or run for public office. In short? It’s complicated. An expungement clears your record in a figurative sense, but it can come back to haunt your life at an inopportune moment.
There are certain crimes that are eligible for expungement and another list of convictions for which you are not eligible for expungement. You must have only one conviction, and that must have been a first offense. If the crime was non-violent, not a DUI, not a sex crime or a crime against children, you may be eligible. Additionally, if it has been at least five years after the completion of your sentence, you have paid all of the court fees and fines associated with your case, you have satisfied all of the conditions of your probation, and your crime was committed on or before November 1 1989, your first step is to speak with a good, criminal defense attorney in Tennessee.
Here at Shepherd & Associates, we help clients build a better future. We may be able to help you expunge your record, so you can start on that path today. To schedule an appointment with an experienced Maryville criminal defense attorney, please call 865.225.9655 or fill out our contact form.