Mississippi Expungements Attorneys
Everyone, whether a minor or adult, makes mistakes in life. Sometimes, those mistakes involve being arrested and convicted of a crime. If you have an arrest or conviction record, it can create a variety of problems in your life, which is why you might wish to pursue the expungement of those records.
To be successful in restoring your good name, you must follow an incredibly strict process. Only certain people are eligible for expungement, but the outcome makes it worth the effort.
If you have an arrest or conviction in Mississippi that you would like removed from your record, the attorneys at Tannehill, Carmean & McKenzie can help you explore your legal options. With years of experience in criminal defense, we are standing by to protect your rights, your freedom, and your future. Contact our Oxford office today to schedule an initial consultation.
Living With a Criminal Record
If you haven’t been subject to a criminal background check before, you’re in the minority. And you’ll certainly have to get one at some point. In today’s world, nearly all potential employers conduct background checks as part of their hiring process. Landlords pull the same records as do professional licensing boards and even colleges considering students for graduate programs.
Each time the police make an arrest, or you have to go to court, the law enforcement agency or courts involved create a report of that event. The agencies then forward those records to the state’s central records agency, the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Living with a criminal record in Mississippi can be challenging. Prior charges and convictions for misdemeanors such as Minor in Possession of Alcohol, Public Drunkenness, Drug Possession, and Possession of False Identification can cause you not to get a job, an apartment, a certification, or a place at the school of your choice.
Your life and future shouldn’t be limited by a single mistake. If you’re running into issues because of your criminal record or want to avoid these types of frustrations in the future, you need to speak with an attorney who understands the criminal record expungement process in this state.
What is Expungement?
As soon as a person is charged with or convicted of a crime, those events are added to their criminal record. In some cases, a person might be given a chance to get a fresh start with a clean record.
Expungement is the process in which everything that is connected to your arrest, court proceedings, and sentence is erased or removed from the public view. So, when a potential employer, lender, landlord, or academic institution does a background check, they won’t be able to see any of that information.
After an expungement, if you are asked about previous criminal records, you won’t have to disclose the information in most cases. However, if you apply for the military, a law enforcement position, or a professional license, you will still have to fully disclose all previous convictions.
Who is Eligible for Expungement in Mississippi?
Mississippi is selective about who is eligible for expungement. But, if you’ve been arrested or convicted of a crime, you owe it to yourself and your future to investigate the possibility of getting your records expunged.
Expungement of Misdemeanors
Any first offense misdemeanor in Mississippi can be expunged with the exception of traffic tickets. This includes a first offense DUI. Even if you have two first-time misdemeanor arrests or convictions, you may be able to get them expunged if they resulted from the same set of facts.
Expungement of Felonies
Only certain felonies are eligible for expungement in Mississippi. Pursuant to a new law in the state, the only felony convictions that can be expunged are:
- Felony shoplifting
- Malicious mischief
- False pretense
- Simple possession of a controlled substance or paraphernalia
- Bad checks
This new law allows a person to expunge a single felony from their record. But they must meet some other requirements. First, they must wait five years after the successful completion of all terms of their sentence. Second, they must have their attorney file a petition with the court in the jurisdiction where the conviction happened and show how the applicant has been “rehabilitated.”
If you were convicted of a crime, even a felony, as a minor, you may be able to petition for expungement. Most juvenile offenses are eligible for removal, with the exception of certain violent crimes and convictions that require a person to register as a sex offender.
Other Situations Eligible for Expungement
Just because you were arrested doesn’t necessarily mean you were convicted of a crime. But those records can remain for years and still impact your life. Expungement allows you to clear your record if the charges were dismissed, non-adjudicated, remanded, or resolved through pretrial diversion. Even if you avoid a conviction through an acquittal at trial, you may need to pursue an expungement to clear up the public records.
The Expungement Process Explained
If you are eligible for expungement, our criminal defense lawyer will gather all necessary information from you as well as the required documentation. We will prepare a petition that requests one of two types of expungements from the state:
- Mandatory expungement – You meet all the statutory requirements for expungement, so the state will grant it as long as proper documentation is received.
- Discretionary expungement – A hearing will be scheduled, and the judge will decide whether expungement is appropriate for your situation.
Oxford, MS Criminal Records Expungement Lawyers
If your criminal record is having a negative impact on your life, you may be able to change your situation. The criminal defense attorneys at Tannehill, Carmean & McKenzie have extensive experience with the expungement process, and we’d be happy to explain your options.
But expungement of criminal records doesn’t happen overnight. The sooner you begin the process once you are eligible, the quicker it can be completed. Once we get approval from the court, our law firm will also make sure that all official agencies are notified of the status of your records.
If you’re interested in expungement of criminal records in Oxford or the Lafayette County area, call our office today at (662) 200-8730 or reach out to us online to schedule an initial consultation.