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Can I Get an Expungement in Tennessee?

 Posted on October 27,2021 in Criminal Defense

Knoxville criminal defense for ExpungementArrest reports in Tennessee have a new line item that has been added to them. This information lets a person who has been arrested know that in some cases, the charges they face can be expunged from public records. An expungement basically erases all public records of an arrest. Under some circumstances, one may even be granted to expunge any records of a conviction. To find out if you could qualify for an expungement, consider speaking with a Knoxville defense attorney.

Notification of Expungement Possibility

The new information was added to arrest reports as of July 1st under a new law. Many defendants are unaware that they may be able to have their arrests expunged if they meet certain criteria.

Under Tennessee law, in order to petition for an expungement, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. These include:

  •  The charges against you were dismissed.

  • The grand jury did not find enough evidence existed to warrant the charges. This is called a “no true bill.”

  • Although you were arrested, you were released without ever being charged.

  • The prosecutor decided not to prosecute the case.

  • You were found not guilty in your trial.

  • An order of protection was ultimately denied by the court following a hearing.

If you do meet the criteria, then a request for expungement must be made to the court that had jurisdiction over the original charges.

If the court grants the expungement, the order will be sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The agency will then remove the charges from all government public records. Information is also provided to local clerks’ offices as well, for the destruction of any criminal affidavits that may exist.

The new law also expanded expungement eligibility from just misdemeanors and Class E felonies to now include both Class D and C felonies. Court clerks will now also have the discretion of waiving the filing fee that is normally required.

Once a petition is filed, it can take up to six weeks for the process to be completed. It is also important to realize that expungements only erase the criminal record from government and public records. It does not erase records of the arrest that may have been published in newspapers, on online media, social media, and other places the arrest may have been reported.

Contact a Knox County Defense Lawyer for Help

Expungement is not an automatic process, and you must make a formal legal request. Although having an attorney is not required, if the petition is not filed correctly, it could result in the court denying the request. Call Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney at 865-281-1000 to schedule a free consultation with a skilled Knoxville, TX criminal lawyer to find out how our office can help you obtain an expungement to clear your criminal record.


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