Knoxville Expungement Lawyer
One of the worst parts of a criminal conviction or, for that matter, an arrest in Tennessee is not necessarily the sentence – which may include fines, incarceration, probation, or other forms of punishment – but the collateral consequences. Collateral consequences include the social and financial harm associated with an arrest or criminal record. Because of the latter, you can lose your job or miss out on career opportunities. Your reputation is at stake as much as your financial future.
At Justice, Noel, Burks & Ogle, our expungement lawyer based in Knoxville handles all types of expungement cases and, when appropriate and applicable, sealing of the record cases. Getting criminal convictions and arrest records expunged is your best means of safeguarding your future. Contact us at 865-522-4964 or complete our online form to schedule a Free Consultation and to learn more about what opportunities are available to you.
Understanding Expungement in Tennessee
Expungement is the process of erasing a criminal arrest or conviction from your record via a court order.
Once a record has been expunged, it's as though it never existed. You typically don't have to disclose it to potential employers, landlords, or professional licensing boards. However, expungement can't erase memory—if your record was already made public via news reports or social media, an expungement won't fix this.
Federal expungements are very rare, with most expungements occurring in state courts. The availability, eligibility criteria, application process, and consequences of expungement vary widely between state jurisdictions.
Expungement is not available in every state. Some only allow a record to be sealed—meaning the public cannot access it, but certain government agencies can.
Where it is available, the expungement process typically involves a few steps:
- Filing a petition or application, along with supporting material and filing fee, with the court that heard your case.
- Serving the application on the prosecutor.
- Attending a hearing that will be set for the court to decide whether to issue an expungement order.
Again, each state has its own laws specific to expungement, and that includes the expungement process. You should always consult with a criminal defense lawyer in Tennessee if you want to learn more about expungements. Contact our criminal defense attorney located in Knoxville today at 865-522-4964 to get started.
What Qualifies for Expungement in Tennessee?
Whether an arrest or conviction is eligible to be expunged depends on the relevant state's laws unless it's a federal arrest or conviction. In Tennessee, T.C.A. 40-32-101 describes the list of offenses of conviction that can be expunged.
Eligible Tennessee Criminal Convictions
As for arrests and convictions, it is generally easier to have misdemeanors expunged than felonies. Examples of crimes that are often eligible include:
- Non-violent crimes
- Non-sexual crimes
Most states exclude serious offenses from expungements, like murder, sex offenses, fraud, and DUI offenses.
Eligible Arrest Records in Tennessee
The outcome of the case may also be relevant. Most states allow non-conviction offenses to be expunged, which include:
- Arrests with no subsequent conviction
- Charges that resulted in an acquittal
- Charges that were dismissed or withdrawn
- Cases resolved via a diversion program
Benefits of Expungement in Tennessee
An arrest or criminal conviction can have serious long-term consequences beyond any sentence imposed by a court. A criminal record can affect your ability to find employment, secure accommodation, apply for a loan, and obtain a professional license.
Expungement gives you another chance at a “clean slate.”
It can open up job opportunities that may have previously been closed by your criminal history and make it easier to secure accommodation. It may also help when applying for loans.
Three Reasons to Hire an Expungement Attorney in Tennessee
The availability of expungement and the application process to file an expungement petition are state-specific. Eligibility criteria can be complicated, with several overlapping laws governing expungements. The process can also be complex, involving strict compliance with the rules and provision of relevant supporting documentation.
While you can represent yourself in an expungement petition, it's worth speaking to an attorney for the following reasons:
- Ensure eligibility. We will advise you whether you are eligible to apply. The eligibility requirements for expungement are updated regularly, and our criminal defense attorney is familiar with the current legal position. We will review your criminal history, personal circumstances, and the law to confirm whether you can apply for an expungement or sealing of your criminal record.
- Strong, persuasive application. We will also help you prepare a strong expungement application. Our criminal defense lawyer knows how to obtain copies of the documents you need and will help you develop submissions as to why the judge should expunge your record.
- Improved chances of success. It is important to get an expungement petition right. In some states, a refusal may bar you from reapplying for a certain period of time.
In sum, our expungement attorney will review your case, advise you about your options, and help you navigate the process to a successful conclusion.
Contact an Expungement Lawyer in Knoxville Today
If you have been convicted of a crime in Tennessee and think you may be eligible for expungement, you should pursue the expungement immediately. The sooner you do, the sooner you will benefit from a clean slate. At Justice, Noel, Burks & Ogle, our expungement lawyer in Knoxville and criminal defense team handle these types of requests with urgency and accuracy. Contact us today by either filling out the online form or calling us at 865-522-4964 to schedule a Free Consultation.