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Criminal Record Expungement

In today’s world, almost all potential employers conduct a background check as part of interviewing candidates. Convictions for small misdemeanor charges/convictions such as Minor in Possession of Alcohol, Possession of False Identification, Public Drunknesses and Drug offenses can pop up in a background check and cause you not to get the job. The same can be said for college students looking to be accepted into graduate schools.

If you have previously been charged or convicted of a misdemeanor crime and now want to completely remove any record of the charge, arrest, or conviction from your record – an expungement can be the answer. While not every criminal charge can be expunged, many can be so we are glad to discuss your options with you at your convenience; contact us to schedule a consultation.

In order to determine if your criminal record can be expunged or not it is important to define what an expungement is according to the law, what can be expunged exactly, and how long the process typically takes.

What is an Expungement Exactly?

Expungement is the process of legally destroying, obliterating or striking out records or information in files, computers and other depositories relating to criminal charges. In Oxford, this typically requires a one (1) year waiting period if you have been found guilty of a crime, full payment of fines, completion of any court orders and not violating the laws of the State of Mississippi. Successful expungements will result in never having to disclose facts relating to an arrest. Charges that have been dismissed can be expunged immediately. A big misconception is that once a charge is “dropped” or dismissed that it is no longer on your record. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is still record of your arrest and/or charges with a number of agencies. The only way to clear the entire incident is to hire a lawyer to expunge it.

The expungement statute in summary states:

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this shall restore Petitioner, in contemplation of the law, to the status she occupied before such arrest. Petitioner shall not be held thereafter under any provision of law to be guilty of perjury or to have otherwise given a false statement by reason of her failure to recite or acknowledge such arrest or conviction in response to any inquiry made of her for any purpose, except for the purpose of determining in any subsequent proceedings under this section, whether such person is a first offender.

What can be expunged from your record?

While most traffic citations do not qualify to be expunged a new law that went in effect October 1, 2014 allows for DUI convictions to be expunged from your record.

Most misdemeanors qualify for expungement. The most common expungement requests are:

  • possession of marijuana
  • minor in possession
  • DUI’s*
  • shoplifting
  • public intoxication
  • possession of paraphernalia
  • disturbing the peace
  • disorderly conduct
  • fake identification
  • simple assault
  • petit larceny
  • any charge that has been dismissed

*As of October 1, 2014 DUI convictions can be expunged from your record as long as you meet several requirements which include:

  • Five years have passed since successful completion of all terms and conditions imposed by the court.
  • You did not refuse to take a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) test or were not offered it.
  • Your BAC registered below .16%.
  • No prior DUI convictions.
  • No pending DUI charges.

Contact a Tannehill, Carmean & McKenzie, PLLC attorney to determine if your misdemeanor charge/conviction can be expunged from your record.

How long does an expungement take?

At Tannehill, Carmean & McKenzie, PLLC, we make sure that the following departments are notified of the expungement request:

  • the court
  • the arresting agency
  • the detention center
  • the Mississippi Crime Information Center
  • the National Crime Information Center

While it typically only takes one week to ten days to have the charges expunged from the local court, it can take up to ninety (90) days for all agencies to receive the paperwork and make the necessary changes. We will keep you updated throughout the entire process and ensure a smooth expungement. Contact Tannehill, Carmean & McKenzie, PLLC to discuss your legal needs further.