Tennessee Greatly Expands Expungement Law by Chris Clark

Effective July 1, 2012, the Tennessee State Legislature has approved a new law allowing for the expungement of certain criminal convictions, including some felonies. This means that you may be able to have your criminal conviction removed from the public records of the county in which you were convicted. Basic criteria are as follows: • the conviction has to be one approved by the statute; • the petitioner has no other convictions other than the one being expunged • at least five (5) years have elapsed since the completion of the sentence imposed for the offense; • all fines, restitution, court costs and other assessments have been paid; all terms of imprisonment, probation and parole have been completed; • all conditions of supervised or unsupervise4d release have been met; • petitioner has remained free from dependency on or abuse of alcohol or a controlled substance or other prohibited substance for a period of not less than one year if required by the terms of the sentence; • payment of court fees in the amount of $450. The list of included crimes is long as is the exclusion list. Unfortunately, driving under the influence (DUI) is on the exclusion list and cannot be expunged. Several drug offenses are eligible for expungement. The expungement process is extremely detail oriented and tedious. As expected, the powers that be have not made this an easy process. However, I have taken the time to stay up to speed on this bill and have already prepared the necessary documents. If you have a criminal conviction that you would like to have expunged, do not hesitate to contact me to see if you qualify if you have a criminal conviction that you want expunged.

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