Can I get my misdemeanor domestic violence charge removed from my record? 48 Answers as of June 26, 2013

I have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. I never went to jail for it. Is there a way to get the charge removed from my record or changed so I can join the army? or some kind of expungement?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
My first advice would be to obtain an attorney to assist you with this matter. You may be eligible to expunge that prior conviction. Expunging a crime in Michigan is complicated. This response does not contain specific legal advice. If you need specific legal advice for your own circumstances, I recommend consulting with an attorney experienced with these types of matters. Most attorneys provide free initial consultations. Speaking in general terms, there are several significant obstacles to getting offenses expunged in Michigan. Expunging a criminal charge is great way of clearing up past mistakes. However, there are a series of obstacles. First, an applicant must only have one, single, count or charge, whether it's a misdemeanor or felony. If a person has more than one conviction on their record, whether it was multiple counts from the original case, or separate convictions, they are not eligible. Second, certain offenses cannot be expunged. Traffic offenses for example, even something as simple as driving on a suspended license, a lot of high level or capital felonies, and other offenses as listed in the applicable statutes, cannot be expunged. It depends on which offense is currently on the person's record. Additionally, even if a person only had one offense, if they had issues with probation, i.e., probation violations or other infractions while serving their sentence, that may be obstacle as well. There is also a time limitation. Any effort to expunge an offense cannot commence until five years after the date of conviction. Lastly, expunging an offense from a criminal record takes time, requires a lot of paperwork, carries some notable costs, and eventually, applicants need to appear before a judge and convince the judge that they are worthy of having the offense expunged in order to complete the process. Please consult with and retain a criminal defense attorney, preferably an experienced one who has handled these matters, to assist you with the process. Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation. J
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/2/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
The answer to your question is; it depends on all the facts. Contact me with all the facts and I can give you the right answer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/25/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
Domestic violence convictions should qualify for expungement after you have completed the statutory requirements. You should consult with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 8/25/2011
Donahue, Sowa & Magana Attorneys at Law
Donahue, Sowa & Magana Attorneys at Law | Glenn M. Sowa
If you were convicted of the offense, it may *not* be expunged pursuant to statute. Expungements are only available after dismissal, acquittal, or satisfactory termination of court supervision. Some drug offenses have special probations that result in dismissals that may be expunged.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/24/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
There is no way to get a conviction for domestic violence removed from your record or otherwise expunged. You may have a shot at some relief if you were under the age of 21 at the time of the offense and youthful offender was not requested.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/24/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    As long as you have waited at least five years and there is no other charge of any kind on your record, then you can apply for an expungement. Seek out an expungement attorney for more details.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/24/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Yes were you offered consideration under the domestic violence statute? First time offenders may be able to keep it off their record if the judge and prosecutor let them use a certain statute where they go to anger management classes and if completed have no record. There is also a statute for expungement but there is a 5 year waiting period. Talk to an attorney there may be other options.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/24/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You cannot get a conviction expunged out of Illinois courts, but you may be able to get the charge sealed so that people cannot discover its existence. A seal only is available to law enforcement and courts personnel. Contact the clerk of court where the charge arose for information on the requirements and procedure for getting the conviction sealed.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Hello- You can challenge the conviction if it is still within 18 months. If the disposition was a deferred judgment, you can have it sealed. Otherwise, there is no way to have it undone except by pardon by the governor.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    The charge is probably expungeable. The question is when is it going to be expungeable. If you have nothing in the ten years before or since the conviction, then it is expungeable after three years. If you've had things in the ten years before or after, then you must wait longer the exact timing will depend on what else you were convicted of and when you were convicted. It can be complicated, you may want to consult with an attorney on the specific situation.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    You can apply for a pardon or move the Court to set aside the conviction. In Nebraska, an expungement is only available when the charge ends up being dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    After 5 years from conviction you could motion the Court where the conviction occurred for an expungement.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
    If you were convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, once you are off probation, you can petition the court for a dismissal under Penal Code 1203.4. This is referred to as an expungement. The fact that you had a conviction and an expungement, however, will still be on your criminal history. You can deny it to most private employers, but there are exceptions for government and law enforcement jobs. It is also likely that you would have to disclose it to the military as well.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Christopher Lee
    A misdemeanor conviction can be expunged via Penal Code 1203.4; however, it does not necessarily "erase" your conviction. There may be issues with you joining the Army after getting an expungment.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    You will be eligible for expungement after 5 years.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
    You can petition for an expungement. The D.A. could object or agree. If he agrees the court will enter a judgment expunging the arrest. If the D.A. objects you can have a hearing and the judge will decide.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/9/2013
    Shane Law Office
    Shane Law Office | Robert J. Shane
    Yes, it is possible to expunge a domestic violence conviction. The Court will need to make a finding that the benefit of granting you expungement relief outweighs the detriment to society in not knowing about your conviction. The relief granted by the court in a successful expungement proceeding where there is a conviction is limited to sealing the courthouse file. The judge has no authority to seal the the police department or BCA records.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    651:5 sets forth rules for annulments. For a misdemeanor it is 3 yrs after everything is done.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    Alabama does not have an enpungment statute.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Boske Law Offices
    Boske Law Offices | Michael A Boske
    Unfortunately, domestic violence convictions cannot be removed.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Connors, Esq.
    Law Offices of John J. Connors, Esq. | John J. Connors, Esq.
    In Massachusetts there is the possibility of having a record sealed. You need to speak to a competent attorney about the facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    New York does not have an expungement statute. Any convictions that you have will be on the NYSID computer forever. You say that you want to join the Army and want to know if this will be a problem. Your recruiter can get you a waiver if he wants to help you to enlist.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry To be eligible to enter military service, you need to be off probation for the offense. Then it is up to the army if they take you with the conviction. Expungement is available after 5 years. However, the military will still know about the offense and you'll need to explain even with an expungement I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    If you were convicted or even if you received a deferred adjudication probation, then the charge and outcome will remain on your record. If the case was dismissed, then you can get it expunged.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Expungement for a misdemeanor can only happen three years after all conditions of the sentence have been met. Most misdemeanors will not preclude service in the armed forces, check with your recruiter.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Conviction cannot be removed from your criminal history.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes, if it is your only conviction ever, and it is over 5 years old.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/9/2013
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    If it's a conviction, most likely you will not be able to do so, as it is a crime of violence against another person. The only way to really answer your question would be to examine the sentencing documents. It is possible in some circumstances that a court may allow you to withdraw your plea and convert it to a deferred sentence(depending upon your criminal history). Consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    No. I'm sorry. There is no expungement in New York.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You can obtain an expungement if you qualify. That, however, does not remove the arrest and and conviction from your record.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    If you got a deferred sentence then once you meet all the conditions and the time runs, the guilty plea will be withdrawn and you can petition to seal the record. If it was not a deferred sentence, then you cannot remove it from your record without a governors pardon. Also, with a DV conviction you can never possess a firearm or ammunition.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    You can have the charged expunged after you successfully finish the terms of your probation. .
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    If you are no longer on probation you can seek a 1203.4 motion to expunge your record.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Removed? No. Expunged? Maybe. You need to talk to your Recruiter to see if expungement will allow you to enlist. Many convictions can be 'expunged' from criminal records by proper application and Petition to the court, only if there was no felony prison time sentenced, and if it was not for certain listed sexual crimes against minors, and if all terms of sentencing and at least one year of probation are completed, and if there are no new charges pending. If successful, the conviction would be withdrawn and the charges dismissed. Expungement does not clear, 'remove' or erase the conviction, but merely changes the record to show 'conviction reversed and dismissed by expungement'. Expungement will help in obtaining and keeping employment. When applying for a job in the private sector, you generally do not have to disclose a conviction if it was expunged. However, the conviction is still a 'prior' or 'strike' for purposes of repeat offense, and must be disclosed on applications for government and professional employment and licensing, bonding, security clearance, etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Law Office of John Schum, LLC
    Law Office of John Schum, LLC | John Schum
    Thank you for contacting my office for answers to your questions. Please understand that my responses are general in nature and the law often focuses on specific facts. Before making any legal decisions, you should go over all the facts and specific circumstances of your situation with a lawyer. Additionally, my responses do not create an attorney-client relationship. Your comments to me are confidential and I cannot repeat them. However, I am not representing you on this matter, unless we later establish a formal attorney-client relationship. Now to provide a response to your question. The only way to remove any conviction from your record is through a pardon from the Governor. One of my areas of practice is assisting people with their pardon applications. My last one was successfully granted. Although not absolutely necessary, three things are important when considering whether a pardon may be granted and if it is worth the cost. First, the crime should not be violent or have victims that would be outraged to learn that your conviction was expunged. Two, there should be a significant amount of time between the pardon being granted and when the conviction occurred. This is a sliding consideration. Third, the convictions should be causing the person significant complications in their life which would be removed if the pardon was granted. You will also need several people that would provide character references for the application. To get the best chance, I encourage you to have an attorney assist you in the pardon application. There are no costs associated with the pardon application. I charge between $2,500 and $4,000 depending on the case. More serious offenses require more time and effort. I hope this helps you sort your legal situation out.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes, but you first need to successfully complete probation, and you must not be on any new probation, or have any criminal matter(s) pending. Contact a lawyer about the petition for expungement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law | Jason Overton
    No - you can't get a concealed weapon permit either.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    No. NY does not expunge. The best you can do is Relief From Civil Disabilities.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland | Dustan Neyland
    If you have conviction, the only way to remove it from your record is to receive a pardon from the Governor, which is almost impossible to get. However, the Army may allow a waiver under certain circumstances to join.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    Yes there is. Five years after you complete your sentence (probation), you can ask the court to vacate the conviction, so long as you do not have any new charges.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    As long as five years have passed, you have no new criminal violations and have paid your fines, you can. The five years starts once you finish probation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    Any charge can be expunged, but the circumstances, age, location, and other factors determine the likelihood. If it is recent, given current case law, it might be difficult. But depending on many factors, it is possible.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Please Google California Penal Code and look at Sec 1203.4. That is the expungement statute.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    You can have it expunged and removed for some purposes. The police and the courts will be aware of it, but private employers will not. Also, governmental employers will have access to it and if you apply for any license it will be visible to those granting the license. The Army will be aware of it unfortunately, even if it is expunged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/22/2011
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