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Expungement: Tennessee Law and Filing an Application for Expungement

Criminal History: Working Through Challenges and Dispelling Myths is part of the Employment Law online course.
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Tennessee is one of the more difficult states in which to expunge your criminal record. Unfortunately for those convicted of a crime, there are only limited instances where you can get a Tennessee expungment of your criminal record. The laws and regulations governing Tennessee expungements are identical for all classes of convictions, whether felony or misdemeanor.

Expunging your criminal record in Tennessee is difficult but certainly not impossible. There are a variety of situations where erasing your criminal record and expunging damaging information can legally occur. Dismissed charges can always be expunged in Tennessee. A criminal expungement attorney can do a records search for you to find the dismissed charges against you, the relevant indictment or warrant numbers, and the name under which you were charged (to avoid problems by perhaps missing aliases in the criminal database). Once a complete search is completed, an expungement attorney will then able to draft the required order and submit it to the court clerk in the county where you were convicted or charged. The request is then sent to the district attorney’s office to determine whether there is any state opposition to the expungement.

Post-trial and pre-trial diversion agreements also allow you to expunge a guilty plea. Keep in mind, however, that one can only apply for an expungement once all requirements of diversion have been met. Tennessee law allows counties to collect a court fee for expunging records. This can be in addition to any court costs that may still be owed on your case. Criminal charges and convictions can negatively affect you in the future if they are not fully expunged, even if they are part of a diversion agreement, or a plea under advisement. It is vital that you retain an expungement attorney who does a complete criminal record search to make sure all charges that can be erased from your record are expunged. A good expungement attorney conducts an exhaustive record search with your complete name, date of birth, and any aliases you may have used so that every charge against you that can be expunged is completely removed. It does you little good to miss an expungeable charge and end up with a partial expungement that will still show up on background checks.

It is important that you start the process as soon as possible. Obtaining an expungement can sometimes take months to complete depending on the county where you were charged. This makes it vital to retain an attorney fluent in the criminal system to ensure that your expungement is handled correctly the first time. It is important to make sure your record is fully expunged before you seek a new job or apply to college or a technical school. The process for obtaining an expunement is the same no matter the seriousness of the charge. A knowledgeable criminal lawyer familiar with the Tennessee expungement process is definitely your best bet. Though not easy, a Tennessee expungement is not impossible to obtain. After the expungement process is complete, state law ensures that no physical evidence of your conviction or charge remains. Expert counsel and a committed effort are necessary make sure your record is clean. Getting an expungement in Tennessee can be a trying process. Good counsel is your best

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