When a Tennessee resident has a conviction on their criminal record it can affect their employment and housing opportunities. For this reason, people can have their charges and records removed from their records by asking the court to expunge them. However, not all crimes are eligible for expungement and even if a crime is removed from a person’s record it may still be accessed.
How can you qualify for expunction?
Expunction is when a person’s criminal charge is removed from their records. In Tennessee, a person can ask for their charge to be removed from their record if they do not have a prior conviction. Many crimes are eligible for expungement, including certain misdemeanors and some felonies. A defendant must fulfill the requirements of their sentence including:
- Payment of all fines, court costs and restitution
- Completion of prison time and probation
- Remaining free from drugs or alcohol if required
- Meeting all conditions of release
Once these requirements have been met a person will need to wait 5 years since completion of sentence and 10 years for completion of drug crimes sentence.
Who has access to an expunged record?
Just because a defendant has their criminal charges expunged doesn’t mean that they are gone forever. The following can see a defendant’s expunged record if the accused has a conviction in the future:
- District attorney general
- Clerk of court
- Defendant and their attorney
- Circuit or criminal court judge
Having a criminal record expunged can be very beneficial for a defendant. An attorney who specializes in criminal defense can help their client understand if their record is eligible for expunction and help them live a normal life again.