Is it possible to have a non-violent federal felony expunged? 26 Answers as of July 11, 2013

Is 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.

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Austin Legal Services, PLC
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
Replied: 8/31/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
You can make an application to expunge but it is not easy to do and you should hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/19/2011
Law Offices of Karen Kilpatrick
Law Offices of Karen Kilpatrick | Karen Kilpatrick
Convictions cannot be expunged. If you received a withholding of adjudication, you may be able to seal the record. If not, then you may want to consider applying for a pardon.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/12/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Unfortunately no expungement provisions comparable to those in California exist on the federal level with regard to such crimes. Except for a presidential pardon the conviction cannot be set aside.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/8/2011
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
You want to check with an attorney who specializes in Federal law.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/4/2013
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    The Federal Law allows for expungement of certain felonies. You should consult with an attorney regarding whether your conviction can be expunged and when.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    No. There are no expungements available for convictions in the Federal Criminal System.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    There is no expungement law in the State of Alabama. There has been expungement bills pending in the Alabama Legislature but they are yet to pass.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    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
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Is it possible to have a non-violent federal felony expunged? Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    No. I am sorry. There is no such thing as "expunging" under New York Law.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    I don't know I do only state work. I think there are no provisions in federal law for sealing or expungement.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Certainly the conviction is part of your criminal record. I am not entirely sure if an expungement is possible under federal law. You should consult with an attorney regarding this issue.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    NO. There is no such thing as expungement in federal cases, and records are forever. So, you'll have to disclose and explain to any employer or licensing agency, and hope for the best.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You need to hire an attorney to do what is known as a 17b motion to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor. Once that is granted, your lawyer can then proceed to petition the court to expunge the misdemeanor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    The Chastaine Law Office
    The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
    In California you can get an expungment pursuant to PC 1203.4. You may also be eligible for a certificate of rehabilitation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    Castleberry & Elison
    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
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    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
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    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
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    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
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    Generally speaking, federal convictions are not able to be expunged, period.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Laguzzi Law, P.C.
    Laguzzi Law, P.C. | Carina Laguzzi
    No, at least not until you are 70 years old and have remained crime free for 10 years. You could pursue a pardon from the Governor but you should know that is rare.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    You cannot get a conviction expunged.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
    There is no federal expungement statute.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    It is not possible. Only a Presidential Pardon would work.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Federal cases can be expunged but its a high threshold to meet. I've done these motions before so feel free to contact me if you are looking to retain counsel. I am a former federal prosecutor.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/6/2011
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