Cases Eligible for Expungement
Effective January 1, 2015, statutory expungement (chapter 609A) has been dramatically expanded. This means that many more cases will qualify to have all records – not just court records – sealed from public view.
In some cases, the new statute directs courts to expunge records unless an agency provides clear and convincing evidence that the record should not be sealed. Generally, these are cases in which the person was not convicted of a crime. Cases which qualify for presumptive statutory expungement include:
– Cases resolved in the person’s favor (for example, the case was dismissed without a plea or finding of guilt); and
– Cases in which the person successfully completed a diversion program or a stay of adjudication, provided the person went for at least another year without being charged with a new crime.
In other cases, the court can expunge the records, but it is up to the person to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the benefit the person will get from having the records sealed outweighs the disadvantages to the public and public safety of granting the expungement. Cases which qualify for permissive statutory expungement include:
– Conviction for a petty misdemeanor or misdemeanor, provided the person was not convicted of a new crime for at least two years after completing the sentence;
– Conviction for a gross misdemeanor, provided the person was not convicted of a new crime for at least four years after completing the sentence; and
– Conviction for certain specified felony charges, provided the person was not convicted of a new crime for at least five years after completing the sentence.
If a case does not qualify for statutory expungement, it is still possible that a court would grant an expungement of the court records for that case. While this is a less complete remedy than statutory expungement, it can still have enormous benefits, especially when it comes to employment.
If you are facing a criminal charge, you need professional, personal representation. Our team of attorneys will offer you Straight Talk and Honest Answers about your case.