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Hiding Your Criminal Record - Criminal Expunction

If you've ever been arrested for a crime, but not charged with a crime, you might wonder what happens to your criminal record. The arrest will still show up on your criminal record. Having a criminal record may keep you from your goals: family, career, and housing.

You may be eligible for an expunction if you can prove the indictment or information was void; you successfully completed pretrial diversion; or indictment or information was dismissed for reasons showing an absence of probable cause to believe the person committed the offense.

A waiting period expunction may be available if no charges have been filed after 180 days for Class C Misdemeanors, One Year for Class A and B Misdemeanors, and Three years for Felonies, or if the District Attorney agrees. Your case must no longer be pending or in the active investigation stage. Also, no information or indictment could have been filed and no felony arose out of the same transaction. Waiting period expunctions act like a nondisclosure because police and prosecutors retain their files so law enforcement can continue their investigation.

A discretionary expunction allows the prosecutor to recommend an expunction at any point until the person is tried and it will be binding on all other government agencies. Previously, other government agencies could contest the expunction.

If you were actually innocent, meaning a pardon or court order "clearly indicates on its face" that you were found actually innocent, an expunction may be granted.

However, you are not eligible for an expunction if you vanished while on bail unless you were acquitted or pardoned.

If you are not eligible for an expunction, you may be eligible for a nondisclosure.

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