Do you qualify for an Expungement?
First, there are three possible outcomes when you apply for an expungement.
(1) If you meet certain qualifications, you can simply petition the court to dismiss the conviction and it will be granted.
(2) If you do not meet these qualifications, the court still has discretion to dismiss the conviction.
(3) There are some convictions which are just simply not eligible for expungement.
Let's discuss the requirements.
• If you have finished your probation, or you were never given probation, then you can move to expunge a felony conviction.
• If you are still on probation, then at this time you will have to petition the court for termination of probation. The court will have discretion as to whether or not it will be terminated. If the court does not grant the termination, then you do not qualify for an expungement.
• If you were convicted of a felony and sentenced to state prison or put under the authority of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, then you will be ineligible for an expungement. This being the case, you can still seek a pardon or a certificate of rehabilitation
• In addition to the completion of probation, you must also pay any fines and restitution that you may owe, attended all required counselling, or finished your community service.
Determining if You Can Terminate your Probation
There is an exception to every rule, and you may still be able to receive an expungement if you have not finished your probation. At a court hearing, the judge will consider the following:
• Your performance while on probation
• The seriousness of the conviction
• Your criminal history
• Why you believe you deserve this, i.e. an opportunity to get a good job to support your family
• Any other facts that may be relevant.
Of important note: Expungement is only for those convicted of a felony that could have been charged as a misdemeanor. Other offenses not qualified for expungement would be: sexual crimes involving a child and statutory rape.