The Expungement Process
Where available to persons who have been arrested orconvicted, expungement does not happen automatically, and is never guaranteed.A person seeking to have an arrest or criminal conviction expunged from theirrecord must usually fill out an application or petition, and submit thepaperwork to the proper criminal court for a judge's review and decision. Inmost jurisdictions, a fee must be paid in conjunction with the filing of theapplication.
The expungement process can be complicated. For example,some jurisdictions require an applicant to deliver (or "serve") papers ondistrict attorneys, while others require the applicant to prepare the legaldocument (or "Order of Expungement") which will be signed by the judge. In somecases, a court hearing is required, after which a judge will decide whether togrant the expungement.
Examples ofExpungement Applications:
- California: Petition and Order for Expungement [PDF file] (California Courts)
- Minnesota: Expungement of a Criminal Record (Minnesota Judicial Branch)
- Missouri: Petition for Expungement of Arrest Records [PDF file] (Missouri Courts)
To learn more about the expungement process in your state,contact a CriminalDefense Attorney near you.