Who Can Benefit from Expungement and When to Apply for It

Emily Charlotes

Expungement provides people with a means to erase, seal, or limit public access to some criminal records. A criminal record can make it hard for you to land a job, get housing, secure an education or obtain professional licensing. Expunge laws can help limit the impact and reach of criminal records. And with the right expungement tool, those with criminal records can start focusing on becoming productive citizens after a specific period has passed. 

Who are Qualified for an Expungement?

In general, you should complete your sentence to be qualified for an expungement. Those who have been arrested but not convicted can have their arrest record expunged. Also, expungement is available to those who have one misdemeanor conviction when not convicted. A single felony conviction or a conviction that arises from a similar occurrence can be expunged. This is possible when the convicted did not use gums when committing a felony, they have completed their sentence ten years ago, and they have paid court-ordered restitution. 

Impacts of an Expungement

In the state of Wyoming, an expungement erases criminal history information from public access. But such expunged information remains accessible for criminal justice purposes. Additionally, court records associated with the offense are sealed and available only for inspection when ordered by a court. Although a felony conviction can be expunged, any rights removed because of the conviction won’t be restored. 

When to Apply for Expungement

To have your arrest information expunged, you can apply for an expungement after 180 days from the date of arrest or the date the charges were dropped. There should be no pending charges for this to be possible. 

To expunge a misdemeanor conviction and non-status offense, you will have to wait five years after you completed your sentence. A misdemeanor conviction for a status offense can be expunged a year after you have completed your sentence. Lastly, a felony conviction can be expunged ten years after you completed your sentence. But you should pay all court-ordered restitution first. 

Should You Seek Legal Help?

Having the option to remove your criminal history from your records gives you some hope that you can start a new chapter and blend in the society without being judged. However, every case is different, so you must know your jurisdiction’s expungement eligibility. You can learn more about this when you discuss your case with a good attorney. Your lawyer will help you navigate the process with more ease and confidence.