In our last post, we began speaking about the expunction process. As we noted, only certain offenses are eligible for expunction, and offenders must meet certain requirements as well. For one thing, an applicant for expunction must not have received deferred adjudication or probation. Neither will expunction be granted to applicants who have been convicted of a felony within five years of the arrest for which he or she is seeking expunction.
Expunction is not possible when there are charges pending for other offenses that are alleged to have occurred during the same criminal episode, or when there is an actual conviction for such charges. Neither will expunction be granted in cases where the statute of limitations for a dismissed charge has not yet expired, since it is possible that prosecutors may still pursue the case.
There are also special rules for expunction involving juvenile offenders, and juveniles—like adults—must meet certain requirements and follow certain procedures to have their record expunged. Some of these procedures are unique to expunction of juvenile cases, though, so it important to have an experienced advocate throughout the process.
Expunction can be an important way for an individual to move on from involvement in the criminal justice system, but it is important to put together the best possible application and to have guidance when issues come up in the process. Working with an experienced criminal law attorney can help to ensure that one understands each step of the expunction process and has the best possible chance of a good outcome.