How do I get a class d felony charge expunged off my record?
Without more information about your offense, whether you were convicted or your state's laws it's impossible to say for sure whether or not your Class D felony charge can be expunged.
Classification systems vary by state, although all states and federal criminal codes will determine if an offense is a felony or misdemeanor. For states with additional classifications the charges may be further ranked. For instance, offenses can be Class A felonies, which are considered the most serious offenses (kidnapping and murder); Class B felonies, which are less serious (arson or assault); and Class C felonies (carjacking or attempted armed robbery). If you have a Class D felony conviction, this is considered a lower felony subset.
Can my record be expunged?
Felony expungement is the process to delete a felony charge from your criminal record. Unfortunately, the laws for expungement differ from state to state. For example, some states may not allow you to ever expunge felonies while other states allow expungement in very limited circumstances.
For example, New York will allow criminal records to be sealed, but only if the case were dismissed or you were found not guilty. If you were convicted of a felony, the state will not allow the records to be expunged or sealed.
In Texas you may be eligible for an expunction if your felony arrest did not lead to a conviction, your case was dismissed, or if you were acquitted at trial. In this case you may obtain a court order and have the records destroyed.
If you are convicted of a felony or you pled no contest, the records will not be expunged unless the Governor pardons you.
If your state allows a felony to be expunged
Assuming your state does allow an expungement for a felony conviction you will have to take specific steps. First, you will have to wait the specified amount of time after the felony conviction, which can be as long as five to ten years and can vary by state. You will also have to remain in good standing and not have any other convictions during the rehabilitation period.
Next, you will have to file a motion with the court. States will not automatically expunge your records. After the motion is filed the court will schedule a hearing. Finally, you will have pay all the necessary penalties and complete the prison sentence and probation.
Expungement does not erase the criminal record
If your criminal conviction is expunged the arrest record may still exist but will reflect a dismissed case with a not guilty finding. If you want to completely remove the arrest record you may need to have the criminal arrest sealed. While an expunged record is removed from public viewing, it will remain available to the courts for determining sentencing on future criminal convictions.
Should I hire a lawyer to help me get my charges expunged?
State laws and procedures vary. For this reason it may be a good idea to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for more information about whether your charges can be expunged from your arrest record. Lawyers can also help you file the proper motions, answer your legal questions and can represent you in court.
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