Can we expunge a criminal background without a fee? 39 Answers as of July 11, 2013

My 24 year old has a pass criminal history when she was in her teens. She cannot get a job with this on her record. Is there a way to get it quashed without a fee?

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Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
It may be possible to expunge the records in new York if she has a conviction for any type of drug case, they do not all have to be drug cases but so long as one is a drug charge we can expunge three other cases, or up to three other cases. If there is no drug charge then new York does not allow for expungement, only when there is a drug conviction.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/11/2011
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
The first issue is whether your daughter is even eligible to potentially expunge the case. She would need to consult with an attorney to see if she is even eligible. Michigan has strict restrictions on what offenses may be expunged. Speaking generally, there are costs involved with getting anything expunged from a person's record. While the application may not cost anything to file, fingerprints, background checks, requesting certain records, and the litany of other required steps all have some significant costs.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/7/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
I would need further information such as since she was under 20 she may have obtained Youthful Offender Treatment which if she did any conviction should have been vacated. If it was not vacated then she should hire an attorney to try to get the conviction expunged.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/5/2011
Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
If the case was a juvenile matter, you can get it expunged without paying a filing fee. IF it was an adult case you have to file a new case, which has a filing fee. Expungement or record sealing cases, always go better if you can hire a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/5/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
First, there is always a filing fee for an expungement. Second, under current Minnesota law, expungements are only allowed by statute where there has been a determination in your favor. That means, ultimately, the charges must have been dismissed. If that occurred, you may erase any and all court or administrative records. There are also Judicial expungements. Such an expungement is entirely up to the Judge as to whether it should be granted. This is an important distinction since a Court cannot expunge anything but judicial records with a judicial expungement unless there is an overiding basis that requires the expungement in the interests of justice. The courts have ruled that seeking better employment or promotions would not be a basis to expunge adminstrative records. Administrative agencies generally are the plces where background checks are performed. Criminal records are also maintained by Administrative Agencies such as the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. This is an executive agency. As a result, the criminal records, if held by the BCA, would never be expunged in a Judicial expungement. Since you were convicted, a statutory expungement is not possible.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 7/5/2011
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
    The District of Columbia generally has a list of court costs for various types of legal proceedings in the Superior Court and you should consult that list. Additionally it would by advisable to consult an attorney in this type of case.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 7/5/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    You are mixing up your terms. Quash is not involved. The question is whether the conviction can be expunged. There are fees associated with getting this done. So, no, it cannot be done for nothing. The best advice is to hire an attorney to accomplish this. I know that I do not give myself a filling when I have a cavity, and I would not operate on myself if I needed an operation, and I would not try to do a mechanics work on my car when it needs repairs if I was not familiar with the problem. In each of these cases, we hire someone who does the work because they are familiar with it, can get the job done quickly and efficiently, and in many cases, can get done something that I cannot do myself. In the same way, when you have a legal problem, you should hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/5/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    How old was she and what were the convictions for?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    In the State of Washington, criminal convictions can be "vacated" which permits the person to tell the prospective employer that they have not been convicted of the vacated crime. It is usually limited to the most recent conviction and requires being conviction-free a certain period of time following completion of ALL conditions of the sentence including payment of all legal financial obligations (fines, restitution, etc). While one can try to do this without a lawyer, it can pretty pretty confusing and complicated.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/5/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    You can probably do it yourself. Contact the clerk's office and see if they can point you in the right direction.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    You could try to file a fee waiver application and motion with the court, along with the application and motion for expungement. No guarantees of success.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    There will definitely be court fees associated with filing an expungement whether or not you decide to hire an attorney to help you with this type of case. Expungements can be complicated procedures so it may be worthwhile to consider investing in the services of an attorney to ensure that things are filed properly.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    No and no. No - I do not think any attorney would do this for free. No - you have to pay a court filing fee when you file the Petition to expunge the case. Plus, be aware that you can only expunge convictions for DWI and Minor in Possession in Missouri. Any other convictions/guilty pleas cannot be expunged. However, if she was under 17 when she committed the crime, then it should be part of her juvenile record which should be sealed.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Possibly. What she will need to do is petition the Superior Court to seal her juvenile record. It should be automatic at 21 but it isn't. She can download the forms from the Washington State Courts website. There is a $300 filing fee but she can fill out paperwork to proceed In Forma Paupious which is Latin for flat broke. If the court approves her IFP motion they will waive the filing fee. Otherwise, she will need to scrape together the filing fee. The court personnel cannot provide legal advice so your daughter will want to read the directions carefully and even read the statute dealing with sealing juvenile records. Every county has a law library and she will want to read the Revised Code of Washington section on juvenile justice.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Have daughter , assuming she is indigent, see the public defender. If she was a teen when this event happened, should be closed and not open to the public unless she was charged and convicted as an adult.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Depending on what type of crime she was charged with, she can motion for an expungement by herself on the Court's website. Keep in mind, if there is an objection by the District Attorney's Office, she will likely have to go to Court and make her case in front of a Judge. This is partially the reason why it is beneficial to hire an attorney to do this for you. Also, if her charges were felonies, she'll have to file a 17(b) motion which reduces her felony charge to a misdemeanor. With that 17(b), she'll also have to petition for a 1203.4 to have her case dismissed. So yes, she can do this on her own but there may be some unexpected complications that arise.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    The Chastaine Law Office
    The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
    It is possible if you do it yourself and get the court to waive the filing fee. Check the courts website. Most counties have information on how to get an expungment.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Have you ever walked into a supermarket and asked for your groceries for free?
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    No, a fee to file the expungement will be charged by the court. If you hire an attorney to prepare the forms, there would normally be a fee for his services. You can prepare the papers yourself if you feel capable and save the attorney fee, but the court fee will be charged anyway. The court fees vary depending upon where you file, you should contact the court clerk where the expungement will be filed to get costs. You should consult with an expungement attorney to know what those costs will be to help you decide whether you wish to prepare the forms yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Your summary states that your 24 year old daughter has a criminal history from when she was in her teens and you want to have the record expunged for free. She must has committed some serious crimes to have a record as minors are given Youthful Offender Treatment up to age 19 and would have no criminal record unless they got arrested again. You probably used a public defender and now she has a record and cannot get a job. You should have retained an attorney and had a better chance of getting a disposition that did not include a criminal conviction, but that may not have been possible. New York does not have an expungement statute. You cannot erase a criminal conviction, but you can make a 440.10 motion to vacate the conviction if it was improper, illegal, or there is new evidence of innocence. It is rare and expensive, and the average fee is around $5,000. The reason New York does not allow expungement is that employers have a right to know what a person has been convicted of before they hire them. If they are a thief, drug addict, rapist, drink driver, murderer, or burglar the employer should be aware of that fact before he hires that person because he will likely be liable for the actions of his employee in many instances. People with criminal records can still start their own business, work many jobs, and even run a small company from their home or apartment. They will make more money by being the owner of the business and hiring others to make money for them. Ironically however, they should not hire people like themselves who are criminals since they tend to be immature, unreliable, and dishonest. Many people are capable of being reformed and can change their lives, but they will often be haunted by their past. I recommend you get her a book on starting a home business.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    If the criminal activity was while your daughter was under eighteen years of age, you may be able to get her juvenile record sealed. This requires a motion to the court. Otherwise, you may have to attempt to expunge her record if the acts were committed as an adult. Contact your state bar association and get some names of lawyers who handle expunction. A quick phone call with an attorney would help you to determine what actions need to be taken. Normally, there are fees associated with the process, such as a background check fee and a filing fee to the court.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    You would need to call an attorney to provide the facts of your daughter's situation to find out. I suggest contacting an attorney with Colorado juvenile defense experience.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    There are no expungement laws in the State of Alabama. There is no help for her with or without paying a fee.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    No expungement in Alabama.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    There is a fee to annul a record in NH, in fact there are multiple fees, for filing, record check and computer deletion. If your daughter was less than 17 at time of charge it should have been a juvenile record and should be confidential and she should have no obligation to disclose it. It would be a crime for another to disclose it. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Are you sure the old charges are actually on her record? If she got Youthful Offender Treatment, then she can say that she does not have a criminal record. There is no such thing as "expunging" under New York law.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    There is a fairly simple process for expunging juvenile records. You can find forms at the court clerks office or on the state court website. There is no filing fee.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    You can ask the court to waive the fee, if she can't afford to pay it.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Probably not you have to pay a fee to the State Police another to the courts and one to get her fingerprints taken. Also there may be other fees. Many attorneys charge $800 to $900 including the fees to do this work.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    When you say she was in her teens - was she under 17? If so, she was a juvenile and her record should not available for most background checks. It would only be available to law enforcement. If she was 17, 18, or 19 then she was an adult and the records are accessible to anyone who searches. These answers apply to an adult charge / conviction / probation: She only qualifies for an expunction if the case was dismissed or she was found not guilty after a trial. To expunge the record in such an instance, she would have to file a lawsuit in civil district court. There are filing fees, services and lawyer fees involved. If she received a deferred adjudication and successfully completed it for most offenses - if they are a most misdemeanors then she would be able to petition the court in which the case was prosecuted to seal the record upon completion of the deferred. (Some charges require a 2 year waiting period.) If the case was a felony, then the wait for an eligible felony would be 5 years. There is a filing fee involved with a petition for nondisclosure. (If the record was sealed, it would not be available to the general public in a background search. However, it would be available to law enforcement and licensing agencies.)
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    No, that is not possible.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
    You can usually expunge or seal a juvenile record but there are filing fees associated with it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2012
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    This is a specialty area of the law. It will be hard to find a lawyer to do it for free. You can file a motion without a lawyer but there is a small likelihood of success.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    There will be no fee to file a motion in a criminal case.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    No, a fee is mandatory, and that is on top of any fees an attorney may charge you to file the petition(s).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Offices of Christopher Jackson
    Law Offices of Christopher Jackson | Christopher L. Jackson
    Typically there is a filing fee and background check fee (not counting the attorney fee, if you hire an attorney) Only certain offenses are eligible for expungement, so it depends on what she was charged with years ago.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    There are a few things to discuss. First, when she was in her teens, was she convicted as an adult or adjudicated as a juvenile? If she was adjudicated as a juvenile, that would not be part of her public record. She could apply for an expungement when she turns 24. If she was convicted as an adult, then as long as five years have passed and there is only one conviction of any kind on her record that is not a potential life offense or a CSC charge in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree, then she can apply to have it expunged. I'm not sure what you mean by getting it done "without a fee." Lawyers are going to charge for their services unless they agree to do it pro bono. Even if that is the case or you decide to do it yourself (which you can), there are still some costs and fees that have to be paid even if they are nominal. You have to get a copy of your record from the State police, fingerprinted at your local sheriff's office, obtain a copy of your criminal judgment, and application fees, etc. If you do it yourself, you are looking at maybe $200-300 or so. If you hire a lawyer, expect anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    NY doesn't have expungement.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/1/2011
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