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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 25001
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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What do I do when I figure out that when I get my finger

Customer Question

What do I do when I figure out that when I get my finger prints back and it says there is no final disposition on a case that happened 3 years ago.... Is that not the courts fault? Because I lose a job because of it....
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

What was the final disposition of the case?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dismissed without prejudice
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

Thanks for the quick reply. In some states, mine for example, when a case is dismissed, he entire case is removed from the record. In the majority of states, however, when a case is dismissed the arrest still shows on the record unless/until it's expunged.

What you need to do is to get an official certificate of disposition, that is, some formal paperwork given by the court to prove the outcome of your case, so if this happens again, you can demonstrate that you don't have a criminal conviction.

And since your matter was dismissed, you should be able to get the record expunged. That will solve the problem altogether. An expungement is free to apply for and require a lawyer if you're comfortable with doing it yourself. I'm attaching the form.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, what I got accused for was a type of sexual offense. This is all happening in the state of TN. Who do I file the expungement to?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

You need to file the petition with the court that has the record of your offense. In other words, the courthouse where your case got dismissed is the one you file with.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This can relate to any type of case?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

It's a dismissal, right?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it said dismissed without prejudice on a sexual offense as a juvenile.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

If it was a straight dismissal, you can get it expunged, even though it was a sex offense.

If it was a sex offense and it was dismissed after probation was completed, however, then it cannot be expunged.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do you know if there was a probation? I did not have to do any medical reviews, have to pay anything, or was limited to anything I lived life like nothing ever happened?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Why was your case dismissed?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It says in the document " The Magistrate finds that the petitions should be dismissed without prejudice at the request of the State." At the bottom of this paper it states "ORDER" then says "The findings and recommendations of the Magistrate are hereby confirmed as the decree of this court" and then has his signature.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Okay. So the prosecution declined to prosecute and you didn't have to take any kind of plea or serve any kind of sentence to make that happen.

You should be eligible for an expungement regardless of the charge.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. It also said in the middle of everything i sent you from the document it says "IT IS THEREFORE RECOMMENDED"
"1. That the petitions be dismissed without prejudice"
"2. That the costs be taxed against the County"
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

That's fine. It's a straight dismissal File for the expungement.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Perfect. I will call the clerk and get it expunged and let you know what they say or if anything else happens. I appreciate your time. If you do not mind me asking what does "straight dismissal File" mean? I know it is probably a dumb question.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

You don't call the clerk. You fill out the form I attached and you file it. Expunctions are not handed out instantly. They can take weeks. Just file the petition with the clerk. It's free and the worst they can say is no, but you appear to be eligible for one.

What I mean by a straight dismissal is that the state chose not to go forward with the case and dropped charges and there were no conditions set by the court that you had to fulfill to get the state to drop.

Good luck with it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, I am trying to fill out the file that you sent me and some of the information they never gave to me such as finger prints and served papers. What do I do? Because before I sealed all my records I told them to give me a whole copy of my entire record and as I am filling out his forum it looks like I am missing stuff. Is it ok?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

You would have to order your criminal history from the state. The clerk can tell you where you can get them and any other missing documents.