Franklin Criminal Attorney
Clearing criminal charges through expungement gives you the chance to move forward
A criminal conviction can haunt you for decades – and sometimes your entire life. You can steal something from the mall in college, and it can prevent you from getting a job when you’re 40. You can have a DUI when you’re struggling with addiction, but 20 years into your sobriety, you can still be fighting the fallout from the conviction. Once you’ve served your time or paid the penalties, your debt to society should be considered paid, but it rarely is. You may be in the clear legally, but society can continue to make you pay for your previous crimes, such as by denying you employment, credit, or even a place to rent. Getting your conviction expunged from your criminal record can help you be truly free. (Please bear in mind that this article is not talking about “diversion” where the opportunity to have your record expunged is part of the agreement worked out on your criminal case.)
I’m Judy A. Oxford, a Franklin criminal attorney, and I can help clients break free of their criminal past by having convictions expunged from criminal records. I help you understand when and how to qualify for expungement, and I help you take the right steps to get the results you want. I don’t believe you should have to keep paying for your crime after you’ve completed your sentence, and I explore all legal options to help you clear the black mark on your record.
What is the criteria for getting a criminal record expunged?
You can’t get a criminal conviction expunged from your record just because a certain amount of time has passed. You must also meet specific criteria to qualify, and then apply for the expungement. Your petition will be reviewed and may be approved or rejected. Therefore, it is important to verify that you are in fact eligible for expungement and together, we put together a strong application.
To be eligible to expunge your criminal record in Tennessee, you must:
- Have only one conviction on your record
- Have completed your sentence at least five years ago
- Have fulfilled all obligations associated with your crime, including finishing probation and paying all court costs and fines
- Have committed a crime that can be expunged. Some crimes are not eligible for expungement.
Most all misdemeanor crimes are eligible for expungement. Some exceptions include charges like domestic assault, indecent exposure to a minor, or child abuse. A more comprehensive list of exceptions is available, so it is important that you understand whether your misdemeanor is excluded and thus not eligible for expungement. Several Class E felony convictions are eligible for expungement, and this includes the writing of worthless checks, theft, forgery, home improvement fraud, vandalism, failure to appear, and manufacture – sale – delivery of marijuana. A more exhaustive list is available, which we will review during your consultation. Also, crimes that have been committed before Nov. 1, 1989 have different criteria to be eligible to be expunged.
I help you understand how your crime fits the criteria established by Tennessee law for expungement, and I explore every option available to help you get your convictions cleared from your record. Getting a conviction expunged is not as simple as about checking off a list. We must create the right petition to get the charges cleared, and I help you do just that for the greatest chance of success.
When expungement isn’t the right answer
Having your criminal record expunged may seem like a winning proposition under any circumstances. You can finally be free to answer “no” when prospective employers or landlords ask if you have a criminal record, which can make you eligible for many more opportunities. However, getting your criminal record expunged may not always be a good thing.
For example, if you are in the process of applying for permanent citizenship, you will be subject to a thorough background check that includes your criminal convictions. Having a conviction expunged will complicate this process because you won’t be able to request the records you need. It is easier to wait until your citizenship is approved before you petition for expungement.
As your Franklin criminal defense lawyer, I help you understand when expungement is in your best interest or not. In most cases, it is, but there are certain, complex situations in which it could make things difficult, and I make sure my clients understand the risks.
Work with a skilled Franklin Tennessee criminal lawyer to get your record expunged
You made a mistake and paid the price, and now you’re ready to move forward with an unblemished future. Call me, Judy A. Oxford, an experienced Franklin criminal attorney, to find out if you are able to get your criminal record expunged and if doing so would be in your best interest. Call my office at (615) 791-8511 to start exploring your legal options or use the secure online form to schedule a free consultation.