Can I Expunge My Case?
Derek Byrd, Byrd Law Firm
I often get the question can I have my record expunged. Expunge is a fancy legal word that means erase. As you can probably imagine most criminal clients, most people that have been arrested for a crime, want the crime to “go away” and they want to have the record erased.
They do not want future employers future spouses future friends or anyone to be able to see that they were arrested. The only way that can happen is if you have your record expunged. To be able to have your record expunged is really a pretty narrow group of cases that apply for that.
First, the case has to be dismissed. That means that the case has to absolutely be thrown out and dismissed and there cannot be a plea to the case whatsoever. The second qualification is, that you can have no prior criminal history, no prior convictions of any kind, no matter how long ago.
So, what we run into sometimes to someone say, 25 years ago, received a DUI that they pled guilty to and were convicted of a DUI. And then 25 years later, they pick up the new charges and were successful in having the case dismissed or the case is thrown out, and they wanted to have that new charge expunged. Unfortunately, they are not eligible. You are not eligible to have your record expunged if you have any prior criminal history.
Now when I say prior criminal history, I mean you’ve been convicted of a crime. Not that you are just merely arrested 15 years ago in New Orleans and the case was thrown out, this means that you actually pled guilty to an offense and were convicted of the offense. So, you have prior withholdings of adjudication your lifetime or you have prior dismissals in your lifetime and then the case that you’re currently arrested for gets dismissed. You are eligible to have that case expunged.