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Criminal Defense   7/08/2024

Can My Criminal Record Be Expunged in Tennessee?

Short answer - yes, it is possible! For the longer answer to go over what it means to have a criminal record expunged in Tennessee, we recommend finding a trusted Tennessee expungement attorney to consult with the finer details of your particular case for the best advice possible on how you can proceed to possibly seek expungement. 

Once the expungement process is completed in Tennessee, individuals are legally restored to their status prior to the arrest or charge. Legally, the expunged offense is treated as if it never occurred by most parties. This means that individuals are not required to disclose information about the expunged arrest, even if they were previously charged with offenses like drunk driving when questioned about their criminal record on job applications.

In essence, expungement offers a genuine opportunity for a fresh start. At The Law Offices of Marcus A. Lipham, our Tennessee expungement lawyer, is committed to assisting you in achieving this goal.

What is Expungement?

Expungement is a legal process that involves removing and destroying an individual's public criminal records. If you meet the qualifications, our experienced Tennessee expungement lawyer can help you navigate the process of clearing your record of arrests, dismissed charges, and convictions. At the Law Offices of Marcus A. Lipham, our skilled attorney in Jackson specializes in all types of criminal record expungement in Tennessee.

A significant obstacle resulting from a criminal conviction is the burden of a tainted criminal record. A criminal history can create various challenges in life, including:

  • Difficulty securing employment
  • Challenges in obtaining housing
  • Obstacles in applying to educational institutions or universities
  • Issues obtaining professional licenses

One effective solution to mitigate these challenges is through Tennessee criminal record expungement.

Who Can Get an Expungement in Tennessee?

Since July 1, 2012, Tennessee law permits individuals convicted of most misdemeanors to seek record expungement, provided these offenses are not sexual or violent in nature. Examples of misdemeanors that may qualify for expunction include minor drug offenses, petty theft, disorderly conduct, and certain types of vandalism. 

In Tennessee, misdemeanors eligible for expungement include BUI (Boating Under the Influence), Disorderly Conduct, DWI (Driving While Impaired), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Marijuana, Public Intoxication, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangerment, Resisting Arrest, Simple Possession of Drugs, Shoplifting, Theft, Underage Consumption, Underage DWI, Underage Possession of Alcohol, and Vandalism. These offenses meet the criteria for expungement, allowing individuals to potentially clear their criminal records and alleviate barriers related to employment, housing, education, and professional licensing.

In Tennessee, certain felony offenses may be eligible for expungement, provided they do not involve violent crimes, child endangerment, kidnapping, rape or sexual assault, murder, arson, or acts of terrorism.

Eligibility and the Expungement Process

Can I Get My Record Expunged in Tennessee?

If you're looking to find out if you qualify for expungement in Tennessee, our firm is here to assist you.

Determining your eligibility is a straightforward process that involves three steps:

1. Submit an Evaluation Request: Fill out our evaluation request form, and you'll receive an email from our firm with instructions on how to begin your evaluation.

2. Pay the Evaluation Fee: Pay a small service fee for the evaluation, and you’ll be notified of your eligibility within 3-5 business days.

3. Get Assistance with Filing: If you're eligible, we will prepare the necessary documents and guide you through the filing process for expungement.

For your consideration, further information regarding Tennessee criminal record sealing, including how much does expungement cost, can be found here.

Expungement vs Pardon: What’s The Difference?

Pardoning and expungement are often mistaken for the same process, but they are distinct legal actions. If you are a resident of Tennessee, finding the right expungement attorney to consult can help you feel fully informed about knowing the difference. 

This process removes the crime from the individual's record, treating it as though the charges were pressed but the verdict was not guilty.

Key distinctions between pardoning and expungement include:

  • Pardons are issued by the executive branch of the government.
  • Expungement is granted by the judicial branch of the government.
  • Pardons either remove or reduce penalties.
  • Expungement eliminates a charge from a criminal record.
  • Pardons can apply to any charge.
  • Expungement is limited to certain misdemeanors.

For many people, expungement is a viable and reasonable way to clear DUI convictions that might otherwise be detrimental to being considered for professional opportunities. In contrast, pardons are rarer and do not remove the charge from a permanent record.

Can Anyone See My Expunged Record?

In Tennessee, expunged criminal records are typically not accessible to the public, including landlords and employers. However, there are exceptions to this rule:

  • Government agencies and law enforcement: Certain government agencies and law enforcement entities may retain access to expunged records.
  • Criminal investigations and security clearance checks: In rare circumstances, expunged records may be revealed during criminal investigations or security clearance checks.
  • Future convictions: If an individual with an expunged record is convicted of another crime, specific parties may still have visibility into their prior expunged records. These include the clerk of the court, the district attorney general, the defendant and their attorney, and the circuit or criminal court judge.

Am I Eligible for Expungement? | Contact The Law Offices of Marcus A. Lipham

Are you ready to find out if your criminal record can be expunged in Tennessee?

Instead of wondering, get the answers you need by contacting the Law Offices of Marcus A. Lipham. Our experienced attorneys are here to help you navigate the expungement process by putting in the work and answering all of your questions to ensure we build a strong case together.

Call Our Firm Now

Our team stands ready to help you achieve your goals to build a better life for you and your loved ones. Call our team directly and start working with our battle-tested attorneys today at (731) 749-7010.

We fight like hell to protect your future, freedom, and reputation. Don’t wait — take the brave first step towards a brighter future.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a client relationship.
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