Can I Get a Criminal Charge Off My Record?

We are often asked “can I get a criminal conviction off my record?” This question comes from a wide range of people, from people who are merely charged with a crime to people who have an old conviction from several years ago.

There are multiple ways to work towards getting a criminal conviction or criminal charge off your record. I will cover the three most common ways.

Dismissal / Order of Retirement
After being charged with a crime, the State may agree to either dismiss or retire your criminal charge. If the State offers such an agreement, then the matter will be dismissed, either immediately (if a dismissal) or after a passage of time (if a retirement). For a thorough discussion of the difference between these two, give this post a read.

Judicial Diversion
Another agreement that the State may propose is for you to plead guilty to a criminal charge under judicial diversion. Every adult is eligible to use judicial diversion one time in their adult life. Under judicial diversion, you plead guilty and enter a probation period, but, if you successfully complete your probation period, you may pay a fee and have the charge erased from your record once your probation period is over.

Tennessee Expungement Law
The last way that criminal charges or criminal convictions are often removed from records is through the Tennessee Expungement Law, T.C.A. ยง 40-32-101(g). Under the Tennessee Expungement Law, certain eligible offenses may be erased from your criminal record, subject to strict conditions. The conviction to be removed must be an eligible conviction and it must be the only conviction (or multiple convictions, if entered at the same time) on your record.

If you have criminal charges and are interested in having them removed from your record, schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney so that your future is best protected.

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