What is an expungement?
An expungement is an erasing or removing of charges and convictions from your criminal record.
This includes if you were arrested and released without being charged, dismissed charges, "no true bill" from a grand jury, nolle prosequi charges, diversion charges, and certain eligible guilty convictions.
Am I eligible for an expungement?
Some felonies and misdemeanors are eligible for an expungement five years after your sentence ends. Your sentence ends when you have completed all jail/prison time, probation and any other requirements. All fines and fees must be paid before a record can be expunged.
If you have more than two criminal convictions, you cannot get your record expunged under most circumstances.
You will need to know the county and court where the case(s) started and the court's docket number(s).
Types of misdemeanors that cannot be expunged:
- Domestic violence
- Violation of protective or restraining order
- Possession of firearm while order of protection is in effect
- Fraudulent use of a credit or debit card (up to $500)
- Child abuse
- Child neglect and endangerment
- Public indecency
- Indecent exposure
- Driving under the influence of an intoxicant
Types of felonies that may be expunged:
Some examples of charges that can be expunged from your record are:
- Accessory after the fact
- Fraudulent use of a credit or debit card
- Worthless checks
- Fraudulent or false insurance claim
- Sale of recorded live performances without consent
- Car burglary
- Failure to appear
- Manufacture, delivery, sale, or possession of a Schedule III, IV, V drugs and certain VI and VII drugs
- Manufacture, delivery, sale, or possession of not less than ½ ounce and not more than 10 pounds of marijuana
- Simple possession or casual exchange
- Manufacture, delivery, sale, or possession of Schedule II drug, including cocaine or methamphetamine of less than 1/2 grams
- Drug fraud
- Promoting manufacture of methamphetamine
What is reentry?
Reentry happens when someone gets out of jail or prison and “re-enters” society. Reentry can include challenges. A criminal record can be a barrier to employment, housing, public benefits, and other necessities. West Tennessee Legal Services helps people overcome these barriers and connect with other resources. This can make the reentry process easier.
Restoration of Rights
WTLS can help eligible individuals:
- Restore their right to vote after being convicted of a felony offense;
- Restore all revoked rights after being convicted of a felony offense, like holding public office and sitting on a jury.
- Review driver’s license reinstatement requirements and assist with removal of holds due to unpaid traffic tickets, unpaid criminal court costs, and car accidents.
To be eligible to restore your rights, you must complete your full sentence (including probation), have paid all fees, and be current on child support obligations.
For more information or to apply for assistance:
West Tennessee Legal Services
Toll Free: 1-800-372-8346 ext. 1250
To download a copy of this brochure, please click here.