If you were arrested for a crime in the past, records of that arrest can haunt you, even if you were never convicted. Years later, those charges can show up in a background check for employment, a professional license, security clearance, a child custody dispute, a firearms permit or application, an adoption or even a loan application.
At Breeding Carter Crippen, we help clear records of past arrests, a process known as expungement. Our defense lawyers understand which records can be expunged and which cannot as well as the process for expungement.
When Can An Arrest Record Be Expunged In Tennessee?
If you were arrested for a crime but never convicted, you may be able to expunge all records of that arrest, including:
- Police records
- Court records, including both paper records and computer databases
- Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) records, including fingerprints and computer records
Additionally, the expungement statute now allows for qualifying convictions to be expunged. There are more steps to this process if your charge qualifies. An experienced attorney can help you determine if your record is eligible.
Once records of those criminal charges have been expunged, you can answer “no” if you are asked on an application whether you have ever been convicted of a crime.
Examples of times when you can expunge charges include:
- The case was dismissed
- The charges were resolved without a guilty plea or conviction
- You participated in a first-offender program, judicial diversion, pretrial diversion, or deferred prosecution program where charges were dismissed after you completed a probationary period
- Your conviction meets the statute qualifications, including the mandatory waiting period