What can I do to get a drug conviction expunged? 41 Answers as of June 08, 2011

12 years ago I had a drug conviction, but now I'm disabled and have been denied foodstamps because of that conviction. Will an expungment of the charge help me?

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Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
I don't know about the foodstamps requirements, but you could try to get a pardon through the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/8/2011
Harris Law Firm
Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
An expunction of the conviction could very well help with receiving benefits. I would recommend you call your state bar association and get the names of a few attorneys who do expunctions. A brief phone call should determine if you are eligible for expunction and you will be able to discuss the fees as well.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/8/2011
Vermeulen Law office P.A.
Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Cynthia J.Vermeulen
Expungement of a criminal conviction may not resolve the denial of federal or state public assistance. Because states have different laws and court interpretations of this issue, it is highly advisable for you to contact a criminal defense attorney in your state for advice and representation on this issue.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 6/7/2011
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
In Michigan, after 5 years and no other convictions, you can petition the Court of conviction for an expungement, so long as it is not an excluded offense.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/7/2011
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
New York does not allow a charge to be erased or expunged. You will have the criminal conviction forever unless it is vacated as improper by a 440.10 motion which is rare and expensive and requires proper grounds to be successful.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin | Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    A record clearance is almost always available. You should ask your local Probation Department for the forms. Most of the time, they have to do a background check and will likely have forms you need.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    You can have it expunged after 5 years and you have no other criminal convictions or misdemeanor traffic offenses. If you have a case like this, you need a lawyer like myself to handle it for you successfully.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    The conviction can be expunged by filing the proper petition with the court where the conviction was filed. You should consult with an attorney to prepare the proper documents.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    How? File the Petition and motion. Most people hire an attorney, but it can be done pro per with care. The basic form is available at the court or on line. Do your research. Will it help with Food stamps? Maybe, but you should ask your local welfare office to be sure. Theirs is the only opinion that counts. Many convictions can be 'expunged' from criminal records by proper application and Petition to the court, but only if there was no felony prison time sentenced whether served or not, and if it was not for certain listed Sexual and Domestic Violence crimes, 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 retroactively reduced to a misdemeanor, if necessary, and then 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'. 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 any application for government and professional employment and licensing, bonding, security clearance, etc. The licensing agency and employer then can decide whether you are barred from licensing or employment because of the conviction.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    It depends upon what state you live in as to whether you can get such a conviction expunged. You cannot get it expunged in NY, however, it may be available in the state in which you reside. If you reside in NY and if the conviction happened when you were under age 19, then you may still have a chance by hiring an attorney to handle it for you or to obtain a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disability. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    You need to retain counsel to make an application for relief from disability.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    If the reason for the denial is based solely on the conviction and not for any other reason then an expungement of the criminal conviction would help. You should hire an attorney to apply to expunge.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    You can hire a lawyer to handle the expungement. This is usually not very difficult and can be done for less than $500. It should resolve the issue about the denial of food stamps.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
    Contact a local criminal defense attorney or legal aid office.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    If you received 1410 probation for the offense, or if you were discharged after a trial, you can get this offense expunged immediately. However, if you were convicted after a trial or plea bargain, and got any other kind of sentence other than supervision, 710 or 1410 probation, or merely had to attend drug school, you are stuck with a permanent mark on your record, and cannot get it expunged. Short of that, your only recourse is to get a pardon from the governor, and that is very difficult to obtain.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    An expungement could definitely help. Your best option is to hire a local criminal attorney who will be able to file the necessary motions to begin expungement proceedings for you. If you are interested in pursuing an expungement in Louisiana, we invite you to contact our firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    Anuulment is covered at RSA 651:5: If you qualify the process is relatively simple. I have attached the statute below. The date that your sentence ended is when the time period must have run with no additional convictions. 651:5 Annulment of Criminal Records. - I. Except as provided in paragraphs V-VIII, the record of arrest, conviction and sentence of any person may be annulled by the sentencing court at any time in response to a petition for annulment which is timely brought in accordance with the provisions of this section if in the opinion of the court, after hearing, the annulment will assist in the petitioner's rehabilitation and will be consistent with the public welfare. II. Any person whose arrest has resulted in a finding of not guilty, or whose case was dismissed or not prosecuted, may petition for annulment of the arrest record at any time in accordance with the provisions of this section. III. Except as provided in RSA 265-A:21 or in paragraphs V and VI, any person convicted of an offense may petition for annulment of the record of arrest, conviction, and sentence when the petitioner has completed all the terms and conditions of the sentence and has thereafter been convicted of no other crime, except a motor vehicle offense classified as a violation other than driving while intoxicated under RSA 265-A:2, I, RSA 265:82, or RSA 265:82-a for a period of time as follows: (a) For a violation, one year, unless the underlying conviction was for an offense specified under RSA 259:39. (b) For a class B misdemeanor except as provided in subparagraph (f), 3 years. (c) For a class A misdemeanor except as provided in subparagraph (f), 3 years. (d) For a class B felony except as provided in subparagraph (g), 5 years. (e) For a class A felony, 10 years. (f) For sexual assault under RSA 632-A:4, 10 years. (g) For felony indecent exposure or lewdness under RSA 645:1, II, 10 years. IV. If a petition for annulment is denied, no further petition shall be brought more frequently than every 3 years thereafter. V. No petition shall be brought and no annulment granted in the case of any violent crime, of any crime of obstruction of justice, or of any offense for which the petitioner was sentenced to an extended term of imprisonment under RSA 651:6. VI. If a person has been convicted of more than one offense, no petition for annulment shall be brought and no annulment granted: (a) If annulment of any part of the record is barred under paragraph V; or (b) Until the time requirements under paragraphs III and IV for all offenses of record have been met. VI-a. A conviction for an offense committed under the laws of another state which would not be considered an offense under New Hampshire law, shall not count as a conviction for the purpose of obtaining an annulment under this section. VII. If, prior to disposition by the court of a petition for annulment, the petitioner is charged with an offense conviction for which would bar such annulment under paragraph V or VI(a) or would extend the time requirements under paragraphs III, IV and VI(b), the petition shall not be acted upon until the charge is disposed. VIII. Any petition for annulment which does not meet the requirements of paragraphs III-VI shall be dismissed without a hearing. IX. When a petition for annulment is timely brought, the court shall require the department of corrections to report to the court concerning any state or federal convictions, arrests or prosecutions of the petitioner and any other information which the court believes may aid in making a determination on the petition. The department shall charge the petitioner a fee of $100 to cover the cost of such investigation unless the petitioner demonstrates that he or she is indigent, or has been found not guilty, or the case has been dismissed or not prosecuted in accordance with paragraph II. The department of safety shall charge the successful petitioner a fee of $100 for researching and correcting the criminal history record accordingly, unless the petitioner demonstrates that he or she is indigent, or has been found not guilty, or the case has been dismissed or not prosecuted in accordance with paragraph II. The court shall provide a copy of the petition to the prosecutor of the underlying offense and permit them to be heard regarding the interest of justice in regard to the petition. X. Upon entry of an order of annulment: (a) The person whose record is annulled shall be treated in all respects as if he had never been arrested, convicted or sentenced, except that, upon conviction of any crime committed after the order of annulment has been entered, the prior conviction may be considered by the court in determining the sentence to be imposed, and may be counted toward habitual offender status under RSA 259:39. (b) The court shall issue the person a certificate stating that such person's behavior after the conviction has warranted the issuance of the order, and that its effect is to annul the record of arrest, conviction and sentence, and shall notify the state police criminal records unit and the arresting agency. (c) In any application for employment, license or other civil right or privilege, or in any appearance as a witness in any proceeding or hearing, a person may be questioned about a previous criminal record only in terms such as "Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime that has not been annulled by a court?' XI. Nothing in this section shall affect any right: (a) Of the person whose record has been annulled to appeal from the conviction or sentence or to rely on it in bar of any subsequent proceedings for the same offense; or (b) Of law enforcement officers to maintain arrest and conviction records and to communicate information regarding the annulled record of arrest or conviction to other law enforcement officers for legitimate investigative purposes or in defense of any civil suit arising out of the facts of the arrest, or to the police standards and training council solely for the purpose of assisting the council in determining the fitness of an individual to serve as a law enforcement officer, in any of which cases such information shall not be disclosed to any other person. XII. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if, during the life of another who has had a record of arrest or conviction annulled pursuant to this section, he discloses or communicates the existence of such record except as provided in subparagraph XI(b). XIII. As used in this section, "violent crime' means: (a) Capital murder, first or second degree murder, manslaughter, or class A felony negligent homicide under RSA 630; (b) First degree assault under RSA 631:1; (c) Aggravated felonious sexual assault or felonious sexual assault under RSA 632-A; (d) Kidnapping or criminal restraint under RSA 633; (e) Class A felony arson under RSA 634:1; (f) Robbery under RSA 636; (g) Incest under RSA 639:2, III or endangering the welfare of a child by solicitation under RSA 639:3, III; or (h) Any felonious child pornography offense under RSA 649-A. XIV. As used in this section, "crime of obstruction of justice' means: (a) Tampering with witnesses or informants under RSA 641:5 or falsifying evidence under RSA 641:6; or (b) Any felonious offense of obstructing governmental operations under RSA 642.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    If you have been crime free and had no other convictions and satisfied your sentence you may be eligible to have the conviction vacated which will help you get federal benefits. You may want to contact your county's lawyer referral service or you can try to make the appropriate motion and I handle those cases in King County but if you are on food stamps you may not be able to afford a private lawyer since the fee can be around $2700.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    There is nothing you can do at present to get any conviction expunged. You may want to consider getting your civil rights reinstated as this may qualify you for additional benefits that you do not have at this time.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Michael Moody
    Law Office of Michael Moody | Michael Moody
    A conviction cannot be expunged. It can only be pardoned through the Governor's office. An expungement only applies to an arrest with no conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You must apply for a pardon, cannot get an expungment with a conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    It might help. You can find the forms to seal criminal records on the Colorado state court website at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm?Form_Type_ID=104
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Jacob T. Erickson
    In Minnesota, an expungement probably won't help you. If you were convicted of the crime, you do not qualify for a statutory expungement, which would nearly erase the crime from your record. You can apply for an expungement under the Court's inherent equitable powers, which will only seal the Court's records. Such an expungement will not erase the executive branch's BCA records, which is where most people go to locate convictions.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    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.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    In Michigan you can get convictions expunged (With a few exceptions) if 5 fives have passed, you have no other convictions ever, and the judge (or his successor ) on you case approves it. You have to petition the court for this.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    You can ask the court where the conviction occurred to enter an order of expungement. Such an order is not automatic but within the discretion of the court. Drug convictions often times are difficult to get expunged. There may be some other options but there are not enough facts to make any further assessment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Giannini Law Office, PC
    Giannini Law Office, PC | Robert Giannini
    In Georgia, you are not eligible for expungment. But you might be eligible for a pardon or restoration of your civil rights. You need to find an attorney in your area who handles post-conviction relief. Good luck to you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law | Ron Graham
    If it is your only conviction you should be eligible for expungment.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    In Minnesota, 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 overriding 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 administrative records. Administrative agencies generally are the places 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: 6/3/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Yes, it should help. You need a Motion to Dismiss (Penal Code section 1203.4).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Expungment and sealing of the record will remove the conviction data and you will have a clean record. If your charge was a Class B felony in Washington, ten years must have elapsed since the completion of any terms of your sentence, including community custody (probation), without any further involvement with the law. See http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/index.cfm?fa=newsinfo.displayContent&theFile=content/guideToCrimHistoryRecords for a guide to sealing and destroying court records, vacating convictions, and deleting criminal history records.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    Probably. A single conviction for possession is expungeable if you performed well on probation. An attorney will charge you a few hundred bucks, but you might be able to handle it yourself. It's a simple process; you need to get your fingerprints taken and send copies to the state police and the prosecutor's office along with the application form and the filing fee. There might be forms in the county law library.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    If it is your only criminal conviction ever, you could be eligible for an expungement. They are tricky, but I am 100% successful in getting convictions set aside in my career.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    You can't. You can only expunge convictions for MIPs and DUIs in Missouri. The only other things you can have expunged are arrest charges if the prosecutor decided to drop the case. If you plead guilty to a crime other than those listed above, you are stuck with them. However, be aware that receiving SIS probation in Missouri is not considered a "conviction." Therefore if you received SIS and are asked "have you ever been convicted of a crime" you can answer "no." If you are asked have you ever pled guilty to a crime, you must still answer "yes."
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    No Class A or Class B felonies can be expunged in Oregon. Class C felonies and misdemeanor charges can be expunged, but are limited by statute. I need to know more in order to give you better advice. Thanks.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    I don't know if the expungement will help you, but if the conviction is 12 years old you are certainly eligible, as long as you are not currently on any other probation, and have no pending criminal case(s). Contact a lawyer to file the petition for you and conduct the expungement hearing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    It completely depends upon what state you're in, whether you were convicted as a result of a guilty plea (and possibly gave up your right to have the charge expunged) or after a trial, and other variations depending upon the exact facts of your case. I highly suggest phoning an attorney who offers free initial consultations and explaining the facts of your case. Such an attorney should be able to tell you if there is anything you can do.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Law Offices of Karen Kilpatrick
    Law Offices of Karen Kilpatrick | Karen Kilpatrick
    Yes, it would, but unfortunately you cannot expunge a conviction. You may consider applying for a pardon, and also request that the pardon allow you to expunge or seal the record. If you have more questions, please feel free to contact me directly.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    I have no ideal whether the expungement will help you get food stamps or not. I do know that if you only have one conviction on your record that is not a potential life felony or a criminal sexual conduct felony, you can get the conviction expunged provided it has been at least five years. Contact an attorney that does expungements or else you can do it yourself. Keep in mind there is a lot of paperwork involved.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2011
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