Is it possible to have a non-violent federal felony expunged? 26 Answers as of July 11, 2013Is it possible to have a non-violent federal felony expunged? I was convicted of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute six years ago. I did not receive any jail time, only 2 years probation. I am considering a career change (including going back to school) and I'm wondering how this could limit my options.
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
I would advise you to seek out an experienced federal attorney who does a lot of these types of cases. Federal case law is inconsistent and contradictory in determining the criteria, eligibility, and methods for granting expungements for federal records. It can get complicated.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
Expungement is available in Michigan for most offenses if 5 years have passed and there is no other misdemeanor or felony on your record. You should consult with an attorney for the details and cost of such a procedure. You have an interesting situation though where you have a drug crime. Suppose that the Expungement is granted. After this, there is still a notation on your driving record of the suspension which you received as a result of the conviction. Therefore, a potential employer could not see the expunged offense on your criminal record, but may still see the suspension for a drug crime on your driving record. So, what I refer to as a "footprint" of the offense still remains, although it is a lighter footprint than having it on your criminal record. Finally, you should know that for certain jobs you would still need to disclose an expunged conviction. If for any other purpose, to not lie on an application. For example, if your were required to pass a high security clearance, you would definitely disclose and explain the offense. Failure to do so could result in dismissal. Even after an expungement, law enforcement and courts can see this offense and its expungement in your LEIN. Therefore, failure to disclose to those who have the record could result in a problem. It is important, as part of the expungement, that your fingerprints, etc. be returned so that they are out of the system, and that the record is no-longer public, so that information cannot be accessed on-line. You should discuss all of this with the attorney you retain. I hope that this was helpful. Should you need assistance in this regard, you should contact my office.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Castleberry & Elison | Peter Castleberry
There is no legal mechanism to expunge a federal felony conviction. However, there is a federal law (18 U.S.C. Section 3607) that authorizes expungement of certain offenses under the Federal Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 844). Expungement is available only to persons who were placed on pre-judgment probation under 18 U.S.C. Section 3607(a). Pre-judgment probation is when the judge finds you guilty but does not enter a judgment of conviction. If you do everything you are supposed to do on probation, the drug charge is dismissed and the record can be expunged. Representative Steven Cohen (D-TN) introduced a bill called The Fresh Start Act of 2010 (H.R. 5492) that would permit engagement of certain non-violent federal criminal offenses. Unfortunately, this is not currently the law.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
New York State does not have an expungement statute.In state court you can ask for Judicial Diversion that will result in a dismissal of the charges if you complete the treatment program, but in Federal Court you will have a criminal conviction for the rest of your life.
Answer Applies to: New York
Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
Hi, I specialize in California State expungements not federal expungements, so my answer here is not authority on the matter. At this time, it's my understanding that expungements for federal convictions are for the most part only available if it was a simple possession charge and you were under 21 at the time of your arrest. This is not the case for felony convictions in California State, which I handle. As for Felony expungements, I know Congressman Steve Cohen introduced a bill called "Fresh Start" that if passed would allow for federal expungements in more circumstances. I believe the bill was introduced in June 2010, but I do not think it passed, but I am not sure what the status of the bill is at this point. I am checking in with my local congressman for an update on that bill though, and waiting for a response. Sorry I can not answer your question definitively at this time.
Answer Applies to: California
Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
I assume you were convicted of a B felony drug offense. In that case, ten years following your completion of probation (including fines and costs) you may petition the court where you plead or were found guilty to Vacate and Dismiss the charge or charges. There is a $300 filing fee but if you have had no new criminal convictions, in the ten years, the court will ordinarily grant your motion. You may have to provide a certified copy of the dismissal order to Financial Aid because drug convictions disqualify people from financial aid. While you are pursuing this dismissal, you should also consider having your firearms rights restored. That can be done at the same hearing as the dismissal order. There is another $300 filing fee for that. You may not want to own a firearm right now but I believe that is the greatest expression of freedom and a responsible citizen. You may also run for public office and vote once the case is vacated and dismissed.
Answer Applies to: Washington