Have you applied for a job that requires a criminal background check, or a professional school that requires disclosure of arrests or convictions, or a professional license that requires both of these? If so, a criminal record can often cause significant delays, and even outright denial of these and other types applications. For first-offenders, expungment of your record is possible under Section 99-19-71 of the Mississippi Code. What is an expungement? Simply put, an expungement means that any record or evidence of the criminal charge, arrest and/or conviction is erased from all official records. In other words, when the Court enters an expungement order, it’s like the arrest never happened.
The only requirements to get this type of expungement are that (1) the conviction was for a misdemeanor [other than a traffic violation]; and (2) the conviction was the person’s first offense. Mississippi law has recently changed to allow expungement of certain felonies as well.
The process involves several steps, but once it is complete and a Judge enters the expungement order and it is served to the appropriate officials, your record for all practical purposes should be clean. Most importantly, by statute you may legally and truthfully say, even under oath, that you have never been convicted of the crime.
Anyone eligible for a first-offender expungement should take advantage of the benefits that the Mississippi law provides. It provides you a chance to clean up your record, fix a bad decision or a poor judgment call, and move on without worry of your record getting in the way of your life. Contact a qualified and experienced Mississippi attorney today if you or someone you know or love could benefit from a fresh start.
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