Can I Get a Misdemeanor Expunged

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Learn How to Expunge Your Misdemeanor

The record of a misdemeanor conviction stays with you long after your sentence has been completed. It can affect you anytime you apply for a job and get to the question on an application asking about criminal convictions. A misdemeanor is a criminal conviction, so you must check the “yes” box and hope it does not prevent the employer from hiring you. Record sealing and having a record expunged are two methods for preventing public access to your conviction record. Hopefully you will be able to answer the question of, Can I Get a Misdemeanor Expunged?

can you expunge your misdemeanor

What is a Misdemeanor?

Each state has its own criminal laws, but all of them classify them into three categories based upon severity of the conduct:

  • Infractions: Infractions, also called “violations” in some states,” are minor criminal offenses usually punished by imposition of fines or brief jail sentences. Examples of infractions include: Most traffic offenses, disturbing the peace, public intoxication and littering. Infractions are not crimes, so you are not left with a criminal record.
  • Misdemeanors: A misdemeanor is a crime that leaves you with a criminal record if you are convicted. Examples of misdemeanors are DUI, theft, simple assault and resisting arrest. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to a year in jail, fines or probation.
  • Felonies: Felonies are the most serious crimes and are punished by confinement in state prison for periods in excess of one year, fines or probation. Examples of felonies are murder, rape, robbery and burglary. It also leaves you with a criminal record.

Most states have subcategories of misdemeanors and felonies depending upon the seriousness of the charge and the severity of the punishment. For instance, a misdemeanor in South Dakota could be either class 1 with a maximum jail sentence of 1 year or class day and up to 30 days in jail.

How Can I Get a Misdemeanor Expunged?

The process and effect of getting a misdemeanor expunged from your criminal record differs from one state to another. An expunged misdemeanor conviction means it is removed from criminal history and the court records of your arrest and conviction are destroyed. If applying for jobs after having your conviction expunged, you can honestly tell prospective employers that you have never been convicted of a crime.

All states require a court order to expunge record. Some states only allow you to expunge arrest records in connection with misdemeanor charges that did not result in a conviction. In those states, the charges must have ended in one of the following ways:

  • Acquittal after trial
  • Dismissal
  • Decision by prosecutors not to prosecute
  • Pardon by the governor following a conviction

Other states offer the opportunity to expunge your criminal conviction. Whether a state allows expungement of convictions or only of charges that did not end in a conviction, the records are destroyed. Limited access to some of the information might be available to law enforcement agencies with a court order. You can see what records exist by checking online.

Can Misdemeanor Records Be Sealed?

Sealing means your conviction continues to exist, but access to it requires a court order. Sealing does not remove the fact you were convicted. It only limits access to the records unlike having a misdemeanor expunged and treated as though it never happened. An employer conducting a background check on you would not see a sealed record, but you would have to respond in the affirmative if an interviewer asked if you were ever convicted of a misdemeanor.

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Responses to “Can I Get a Misdemeanor Expunged

  1. I had a posession of marijuana over 30, but plead it down to a class a misdemeanor in Indiana. Can that be expunged? Thank you very much.

    1. In order to get a misdemeanor expunged in Indiana you will want to either contact legal counsel or setup an appointment with the relevant Indiana courthouse clerk to talk with a judge. There is most likely a precedence for getting a drug charge expunged but it’s up to an Indiana judgeIndiana judgeIndiana judge ultimately. There are also some online resources like that might offer you some additional information on having your Indiana controlled substance misdemeanor charge expunged.

      Expunging a Drug Charge

      1. Hire a lawyer to expunge your drug charge
      2. Plead your drug charge case in front of a judge
      3. Use online legal resources to help expunge your charge

  2. I had a misdemeanor I run from a the police when I was in a group home and I paid my time can that be completely released from my records

    1. It sounds possible to have your misdemeanor expunged once as long as you’ve paid all the fees and fines and you are not on probation. You will want to contact the county courthouse clerk where you were given this misdemeanor and inquire about expunging it from your record.

  3. I have a misdemeanor theft when I was 22 yrs old, 2 yrs probation. Never in trouble since and I am 35 now can I get it expunged

    1. It sounds like you have a good chance of getting this misdemeanor expunged, depending on the circumstances of course. You will want to contact the county courthouse clerk where you received your misdemeanor and inquire about getting it expunged. It’s up to the courts to make this determination.

    1. That would depend on the nature of your crime, how long ago you received the misdemeanor ticket, and other factors. Your best bet is to contact the county courthouse clerk where you received this ticket and request to have your criminal record misdemeanor expunged.

  4. I only have traffic misdameners the thing is that almost all were nonpros. Yet they still show up. I thought nonpros was the same as getting them thrown out. Problem is I’ve received a lot of them mostly driving without a licence not to be confused with a suspended license. Why are they still showing up

  5. I have never had a record, not even a ticket. I was arrested for disorderly conduct ( argusing with a police officer ) went I went to court, the charge was dismissed. How do I go about getting this charge expunged so that I don’t have a record since I never had one.
    Thank you for your time
    Rose Coulter

    1. Typically an arrest record is not a criminal record unless there is a conviction in court. An arrest record can be expunged through the court but you will have to contact the County Court Clerk where this arrest took place and discuss the appropriate measures you need to take to have an arrest record expunged. Since this case was dismissed then you should have a good chance at getting the Arest Record Expunged. If you can provide us with the county and state where this took place we can do some additional research for you.

      How To Get an Arrest Expunged

      1. Contact the County Court Clerk
      2. Complete the arrest expungement forms
      3. Pay any fines and restitution
      4. Complete any required diversion programs
      5. Wait for the arrest to be expunged after the paperwork is filed

Author: SQAdmin
Last Updated: November 17, 2020

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