Can I file an expungement myself? 62 Answers as of July 09, 2013

Attorneys are expensive. Can I file an expungement myself? The county clerks office in my district have no idea what I need to do.

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
You could, but I would recommend hiring an attorney since expungement in NY is not easy.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/31/2011
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
New York does not have an expungement statute like New Jersey or Tennessee. Once you have a criminal record you will have it forever unless it is vacated for some reason. This is presumably so schools, employers, the police, and the government can see what people have done before they decide on what to do with them.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/5/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
It is possible to file an expungment. However, under current law, expungements are rare and the procedure can be complicated, requiring service on a myriad of different departments and agencies.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/29/2011
Fabian & Associates, Inc.
Fabian & Associates, Inc. | Stephen G. Fabian, Jr.
Yes, you can act as your own lawyer. Just prepare the necessary paperwork, and file the expungment action, serve the proper officials, and present your request to the assigned judge.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 8/29/2011
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
You always have a right to represent yourself. However, given the numerous steps involved with expunging a past conviction, I'd recommend you retain a lawyer to assist you. Attorneys charge different rates. It may be worth a few additional phone calls. If you make enough calls, you'll eventually find someone who should be able to work with. Retaining a lawyer with this type of matter will save you some significant time and effort. Most attorneys provide a free initial consultation. It's certainly worth a few phone calls.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/29/2011
    A.L.A. Law Group, LLP
    A.L.A. Law Group, LLP | Lauren M. Mayfield
    Yes you can, the form is available on the California Courts website. You need to fill out the form and contact the court clerk for the court where you got your conviction and find out what the filing fee is. Once you have the filing fee and forms filled out you can file it with the court clerk and one copy to the DA's office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/26/2011
    Jon M. Carter, Attorney at Law | Jon M. Carter
    You would need a lawyer to evaluate your chances of expungment - otherwise you're wasting your time. And a lawyer to draft the paperwork and deal with the OSBI attorney. If this were dental work you'd never consider trying to drill & fill a cavity at home. Serious issues like this require an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/26/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Sure you can, but you will probably do it wrong because you do not know what statutes are applicable to your motion (the papers you file with the court). The choice is yours, but something as technical as this, you should utilize an attorney. I assume you wouldn't operate on yourself because a surgeon is too expensive.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/26/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    You can file an expungement yourself, but you will have to prepare the paperwork yourself as well as determine whether or not your conviction is indeed eligible for expungement. The county court clerks can't give you legal advice. People hire lawyers to do things like expungements because they don't want to deal with doing it themselves or can't do it themselves.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/26/2011
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
    If you can figure out how you can. It's like repairing a car. If you know how to fix what's wrong you don't have to hire anyone else to do it, but if you don't, that's another story.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    You can do it yourself, but if it is done improperly the rules mandate that another not be filed for another 3 years. There is a filing fee with the court of $100, DOC requires $100 for background check and if granted DOS requires $100 to change the state computer records. The RSA is 651:5 the most important detail is that the proper amount of time have passed since the conviction. In terms of a lawyer's fee being too much, sometimes it makes sense to pay a professional to make sure it is done properly. I have known many folks who get an annulment of a criminal record on their own and others who want a lawyer to do it. I can tell you that my fee for an annulment is not particularly high, it would certainly not enable me to make a living if that was all I was doing. Feel free to call if you have any questions and good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC | Jeffery A. Cojocar
    You really need an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    Massachusetts does not have an option for "expungement" except in extremely narrow circumstances that rarely apply. However, the relief that Massachusetts does offer is sealing of your record and this is something that you shou;d be able to do yourself if you meet the statutory guideline. Instructions are available on the internet and you can also contact the probation office in the court where your charges lie and they should be able to assist you and provide you the necessary forms. The issue is whether or not you qualify. You can get more information about qualifying on my website or other locations on the internet.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    The reason why attorneys are expensive is because they have the skill and knowledge to navigate someone like yourself through the system. However, yes you can file for an expungement yourself. However, if you cannot figure it out we can represent you, but as you indicate it will be expensive.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    If you don't know what to do, and the Court Clerks don't know and can't tell you, you need to hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Court clerks cannot give legal advice. Often probation officers can assist. I would contact an experience certified criminal law specialist for an initial appointment which usually are free who can advise you as to what the procedures in your individual county are. You can then decide if this is something you want to tackle yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Every person has the right to represent themselves in court. It is against the law for the county clerk or his/her staff to provide legal advise. If you wish to do this yourself, you should spend some time in the county law library and research the law on this subject.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    Alabama does not have an expungment statute.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/9/2013
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    Yes, you can file for expungement by yourself. You need to file an expungement form with the arresting agency. You will not qualify for expungement in Georgia, however, if you were convicted of the offense.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    Most judges and attorneys not only clerks don't know how to expunge records since it's so relatively new... I'd strongly suggest hiring an attorney but someone actually experienced to do it for you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    if you go to the Colorado Supreme Court website, there are forms etc on how to seal a criminal record. That should get you through it.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law | Michael R. Nack
    If you do not want to hire an attorney or pay an attorney to advise you concerning your legal rights, then I would suggest that you could do the research necessary to answer this question.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Michael J. Gardiner, Attorney at Law | Michael Gardiner
    Yes you can. You simply enter your appearance "pro se"
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Yes. See http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/index.cfm?fa=newsinfo.displayContent&theFile=content/guideToCrimHistoryRecords
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Read Penal Code 1023.4 (google California Penal Code). It is confusing but don't let the clerk bullshit you. They have forms for 1203.4 which they should give you. If you were represented by a public defender they have to do it without charge and if you were on probation, quite often probation officers will also do it for you. I assume you are talking about a California conviction. You cannot expunge a federal conviction.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    Yes you can. It is not that the clerks have no idea, but they are prohibited from giving you legal advice under the government code.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Sure, you can file an expungement yourself. See the Clerk of Court's office in the county where your offense was heard, and they will give you information and a packet of forms and instructions on proceeding with the expungement.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    You can always be your own lawyer. You can also take out your own appendix with a swiss army knife and no anthestetic, both are equally painless.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Mark C. Cogan Law Offices | Mark Cogan
    There is no law preventing you from representing yourself. But many people find they get better results using an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    You can. It costs $300 and it's called a motion to vacate and dismiss. Some crimes cannot be vacated however. DUI, sex offenses, Kidnapping and Serious Violent felonies are forever.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry Of course you can proceed without an attorney. However, you identified the problem. How do you do it without the infomration you need. I often compare the choice of getting an attorney to do a legal matter to the choice of going to a dentist and getting a filling. I am sure that I could probably give myself a simple filling without a dentist. However, the dentist does it all the time, knows what to avoid and what to do, and it would hopefully be less painful if the dentist gave me a filling than if I did it myself. Even though without a dentist, it may be cheaper. The choice is yours. However, whatever the offense, I am sure that it would be worth the attorney fees to have it done once, done easily, done correctly, and not have to go through the struggle and pain of having to do it on your own. Or, you could do it yourself, and it may be cheaper. I hope that this was helpful. Sincerely,
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    There are no expungement laws in the State of Alabama. There has been an expungement bill pending in the Alabama legislature but it yet to pass.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes, but the clerks cannot give you legal advice. It's a catch 22.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Yes, attorneys do cost money. Is the price worth it to make sure something as important as an expungement is done correctly? That being said, yes, you certainly kind file for it yourself. It basically amounts to a lot of paperwork, getting fingerprints, copies of your judgement, criminal record, and making sure everything is filled out and filed correctly with the proper amount of copies and notice given given to the right authorities. There are some fees attached as well. If you do it yourself, it will probably cost maybe as much as $300-400 for out-of-pocket costs. You can google for a packet on How to Get a Conviction Set Aside in Michigan and it will tell you everything to do step-by-step. The county clerks will not be able to tell you. If the prosecutor is contesting your expungement, then I would strongly suggest getting an attorney involved. Jared C. Austin, Attorney-at-Law CONFIDENTIALITY NOTE: The Information contained in this electronic message is legally privileged and confidential information intended only for the individual or entity named as recipient. If the reader is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, distribution or copying of this electronic message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this electronic message in error, please notify the sender immediately by return electronic message and immediately delete this message from your system.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Yes, you can. In north San Diego, where I practice, the criminal business office has a packet that you can request and fill out yourself. If your local court doesn't have it, perhaps you could obtain it somehow from the Vista courthouse (the motion is the same no matter where you are.) If you want to hire an attorney, I charge a flat $1500 which I think is about standard. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas | Thomas Ogas
    You can always represent yourself. The reason you hire an attorney is that he knows what to do and how to do it. If you feel comfortable researching what requirements there are and what forms and/or motions need to be filed, and then preparing them, filing them, and then going to court to argue them, then go ahead.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin | Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Yes. there are usually forms for the public. It is encouraged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Go the Colorado State Judicial Home Page. Search "forms" for a "petition to seal." Follow instructions.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes you can, but if you want the petition granted, you better do it right. If you mess it up and it is denied, the denial will become a permanent part of the record, and you'll probably have to wait a while before you can file the petition again.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Yes, you can file on your own. However, there may be a hearing involved and this can get complicated for someone who is not familiar with court hearings. Go to the self help section of your county's court website.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Yes. There is a judicial council form: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/cr180.pdf. Fill it out and file it. If they try to make you pay $120 up front.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    Yes you can it is called a 1203.4 motion. You can contact the public defender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Yes you can try to file yourself, if you know how to do so properly and effectively. As indication of your need for assistance, the County Clerks office has nothing to do with expungement. Many convictions can be 'expunged' from criminal records by proper application and Petition, but only if there was no felony prison time sentenced, and if it was not for certain listed Sexual crimes, and if all terms of sentencing and at least one year of probation are completed, and if there are no new charges pending. Expungement will help in obtaining and keeping employment. If youre serious about doing this, and you think you qualify under those rules, feel free to contact me for the legal help you'll need. The costs are about $125 for court filing fees, and about an hours attorney time charges.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/9/2013
    Martin Law Offices, PLLC
    Martin Law Offices, PLLC | Matthew T. Martin
    Greetings - Yes, go to www.mncourts.gov click on "Court Forms" and then "Criminal Expungement" to find a packet of information and forms.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Laguzzi Law, P.C.
    Laguzzi Law, P.C. | Carina Laguzzi
    You could, but without knowing what is necessary for the paperwork you will find it tedious and time consuming. If the Order is not correct, the Clerk will keep sending it back to you. You need several requirements. You can try to find a form online or in a law library but the changes to local rules will ensure that you may have to file it several times before it is accepted.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You can file it yourself, although expungements are only for juvenile cases, while record sealing is for adult cases. Go to this website: http://www.courts.state.co.us/ and find the "Forms" tab and locate the forms you need. Good luck - it is much more difficult than it seems on the surface, but it is possible to do yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP | David M. Goodman
    We aren't expensive. We charge $199 for a misdemeanor expungment. To answer your question, yes, you can do it yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Offices of Sheryl S. Graf
    Law Offices of Sheryl S. Graf | Sheryl S. Graf
    Yes, you have the absolute right to represent yourself, but you will be held to the same standards as an attorney. Though expungement proceedings are authorized under state law (California Penal Code sections 1203.4 and 1203.4a), each county may have their own policies, procedures, and forms. You may be able to get information from your court's website, or from the county's public defender office. This information is general in nature and should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    Clerks are not supposed to give law advice. You should not file the expunction on your own because if you leave out a party or do something incorrect, then you have wasted time and money. Have you bothered to contact several lawyers about what they charge do to an expunction or are you just assuming they are too expensive? Try making some calls.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    Yes, you can.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/9/2013
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    Expungement is what you file with the State Patrol when you want nonconviction data deleted. In court, you file a motion to vacate a conviction. You can do it yourself although you should have an attorney. There are forms on the Washington Courts website.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/25/2011
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