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Who can get their criminal record expunged?

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2019 | Criminal Defense

Having a criminal charge or conviction on your record can impact your life even after you have paid for your crime. It can affect employment, housing and educational opportunities, among others. However, certain charges and convictions can be expunged from your record, so you can truly get a fresh start.

Although you might be eligible for expungement, you must apply for expungement to receive it. The first part of the expungement process involves obtaining a certificate of eligibility for expungement. You will need this official certificate to petition for expungement, but it can also be helpful to know what kinds of offenses are eligible for expungement.


Misdemeanor offences are usually able to be expunged, and you can expunge an unlimited number of them as long as five or more years have passed since you completed your sentence. However, misdemeanors related to driving under the influence (DUI) cannot be expunged until at least 10 years have passed from the date you were charged.

Class D felony

Some Class D felonies can be expunged. Drug charges and theft charges make up many of the 60 nonviolent offenses that are eligible for expungement. You can expunge several felony convictions if they are related to the same incident.


If a jury determined that you were not guilty of the crime you were charged with, you can have the record of those charges expunged. However, you must wait 60 days after your acquittal.

Dismissed charge

When a case is dismissed, it can be dismissed with or without prejudice. Having a case dismissed with prejudice means that the case is permanently dismissed. However, when a case is dismissed without prejudice the case is not dismissed permanently.

If your case has been permanently dismissed, you can have the charges against you expunged after 60 days have passed. If your case was not permanently dismissed, the charges may not be able to be removed from your record.

Expungement can be a big step forward if you are experiencing difficulties because of your criminal record. However, if you are not eligible for expungement, you still have options. For example, you might benefit from applying for a pardon from the governor, which would make you eligible to petition for expungement. If you want to put the past behind you, consider what you can do to get started on your expungement process.