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Criminal Expungement Questions

Expungement is the act of having a criminal conviction sealed, making the criminal record unavailable. This means the record will be removed or destroyed and will not be kept on file. In order to receive an expungement, one must petition the courts to have the criminal record expunged. Below are a few of the more commonly asked questions about expungement.

What are the steps to getting an expungement of a criminal charge in New York? How long can a civil lawsuit continue if there is no action after discovery?

New York State allows for sealing juvenile records youth offender dispositions, certain drug court dispositions acquittals and dismissals through operation of the law. However, NYS doesn't expunge felony convictions. You can try to have the criminal charge sealed at a later date if you petition the court. This type of process is seldom allowed but it is possible. You will need to hire an attorney to assist you and you will need the cooperation of the DA.

An option that you may consider is to apply for a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities or a Certificate of Good Conduct. This will depend greatly on the severity of your felony conviction. What this will do for you is protect you from discrimination from possible employers based on your current arrest record. This is basically the same as a pardon but it will not seal your record. The certificate will show that you have changed your ways and are living an honest life free from criminal activity. To learn more about this topic, you can follow this link: http://www.legal-aid.org/selfhelp/employment/offender_certificates.html

If the defendant has a choice between a noll pros and a dismissal, which disposition should they try to obtain in the best hopes of trying to qualify for an expungement? I would like to secure the best disposition while I'm still in control (nolle pros vs. dismissal)

A first offense misdemeanor can be expunged in the state of Virginia. A nolle pros and an acquittal can also be removed. You should study the Expungement law of the state that you live in. You will require a pardon from the governor of Virginia in order to expunge anything else from your record. You can apply for an expungement or pardon without the assistance of an attorney. However, the chance that you will be granted one is very slim but since you are doing this yourself, it doesn't hurt to try. You could also ask for a simple pardon. While this type of pardon doesn't remove your criminal record, it is still an official forgiveness from the state of Virginia. While the simple pardon won't remove your record, it will make certain aspects of life easier through employment and housing applications.

Can I get an expungement of my record for felony auto theft? This occurred 32 years ago in the state of Montana?

A Montana court cannot expunge a criminal record without the proper authorization from legislature. As a rule, convictions cannot be expunged in Montana. However, you could contact the prosecutor in your case and request that they dismiss the case. It may be possible to seal your record if the prosecutor is willing to dismiss the case. Once your record has been sealed, it would require a court order to view it. To better your chances of having the record dismissed and sealed, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney to present the request to the prosecuting attorney.

In Texas, what would be the cost of Expungement of my class b felony or would it even matter. I would like to try and get a concealed handgun license, if not could my wife be able to get her a concealed handgun license living in the same house or riding in the same car with me?

Felony convictions cannot be expunged in the state of Texas. However, you can file a motion to have the guilty verdict dismissed. This would require an attorney which will probably cost around $1500. Another option would be to file for a pardon with your governor's office. This wouldn't require the assistance of an attorney.

As far as possessing a gun, you cannot. This also means that your wife cannot possess a gun in your home or vehicle. Felony convictions are not sealed in Texas, therefore a concealed handgun license or possession of a gun wouldn't help. The police have access to criminal records, even those records that that have been sealed.

If a conviction results in a felony, will the FBI have a copy of the record? If I get the Mo record expunged, will the FBI record also be expunged?

All criminal convictions will appear in your state and federal record. The FBI controls the national database. If your case was a state matter and not a federal one, you would have to get the record expunged in the state. After the crime has been expunged, the state will notify the FBI.

Expunging a criminal record requires some work and you should always seek the legal insight of an Expert in Criminal Law, based on an assessment of your individual circumstances.
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