What Is An Expungement And How To Obtain An Expungement

An expungement is a court-ordered process in which the legal record of an arrest or criminal conviction is “sealed” or erased in the eyes of the law. Most people think that when their case has been dismissed or the State has chosen not to prosecute that their record will be clean of those charges. However, if someone was to do a background check on you these charges could still reflect on your record that you were once charged with a crime. This situation could possibly prevent you from obtaining employment, renting an apartment, or cause other problems.

What type of charges are eligible to be expunged? Any and all charges that have been dismissed, “nolle prosequi,” or “retired” can be expunged. In certain cases convictions can now also be expunged in Tennessee. Tennessee Code Annotated § 40-32-101 (g) governs which convictions are eligible for expungement. Typically these charges cannot be DUI related, sexual crime related, or violent crime related. You will find that most misdemeanor crimes and some E felonies are eligible. For crimes that are eligible to be expunged the following conditions must also be met:

  • You must have no other convictions other than the one you wish to have expunged;
  • You must have completed all terms of your sentencing, including having paid all fines, fees, and assessments;
  • You must have remained free of alcohol or substance abuse for one year;
  • At least five years must have passed from the completion of your sentence to the time of filing for expungement;
  • A fee must be paid to the Court Clerk upon filing of your Petition for Expungement (**The current fee in Tennessee is $450.00 but is subject to change at the Court’s discretion).

Retain the services of Hibbeler and Associates to complete your expungement today! We know Tennessee laws and Court procedures and will submit your expungement immediately!


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