If you have been arrested in Knoxville for any crime, you will know that a criminal record can have severe negative impacts on you and your family for a long time. A criminal record can affect your employment, housing, trade licensing, and more.
The only way to wipe your records clean and start a new life legally is by getting the criminal records expunged with the help of a Knoxville criminal defense lawyer.
So, what is expungement, and how can you clear your criminal records through expungement in Knoxville?
What Is Expungement?
Under Tennessee law, there are various ways to clear certain parts of your criminal records. Expungement is a process that allows you to request the court to remove police and court records from public view.
Usually, depending on how a case ended, there will be a minimum waiting period before filing for expungement.
If you are a Knoxville resident, you will be eligible for expungement if:
- The charges against you were dismissed
- You were arrested and released without a charge
- A protection order was successfully defended and denied by the court
- The jury returned no actual bill
What Does The Tennessee Expungement Laws Say?
According to the new Tennessee expungement laws,
- People with only one or two criminal convictions are eligible to get their records expunged. Records that are associated with dismissed Tennessee criminal charges may also be deleted.
- The law applies to Class-A misdemeanor and Class E felonies.
- If the expungement petition fails, you must wait for two years before re-filing the petition.
- You can file a Knoxville expungement petition five years after completing the sentence.
As the expungement laws in Knoxville can be time-sensitive, you must have an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side to assist you with the process.
How to Clear Criminal Records Through Expungement in Knoxville?
To get an expungement in Knoxville, you must fill out a petition for Expungement of Records and file it with the court that heard your case.
If it has been less than three years since your case was closed, then you will also have to file a General Waiver and Release. You must pay a filing fee of $30 during the process, which remains a refundable amount.
The following are the steps you must take to get your case records expunged in Knoxville, Tennessee.
- Firstly, you must file a request in the court where your case was heard initially.
- Reach out to the criminal court clerk and file the information about the charges that qualify for expungement.
- To avail a copy of the expungement, you must submit a self-addressed stamped envelope for each charge to get deleted.
- Check with the criminal court clerk and ask him/her for a certified copy of the orders and a copy of the charging document.
- The paperwork will be forwarded to the judge and other agencies for expungement.
The expungement process in Knoxville takes up to three months to complete. Once the judge signs the expungement order, you will receive a copy of the order in the mail.
If you or your loved ones have been convicted of a crime in Knoxville, you must contact a criminal defense lawyer who will fight for you to get your records expunged immediately.