If you have been arrested or convicted of a crime, it may be possible to have the arrest or conviction cleared from your record. This process is known as “setting aside” your arrest or conviction or, more colloquially, “expunction.”
If you qualify and complete this process, you may answer questions about whether you have been arrested or convicted as if the event did not occur. This can be critically important in job and housing applications.
The following are broad guidelines to determine if you qualify to set aside an arrest or conviction. This information is not intended to be legal advice but rather to give you a general idea of whether you may qualify for an expungement. To determine whether you qualify for an expungement you should consult with an attorney, like those at Boise Matthews Ewing. Charges that may be set aside include most violations, misdemeanors, Class C felonies, and those felonies that may be treated as misdemeanors. Most Class A and Class B felony convictions may not be set aside, though there are some important exceptions.
If you were arrested but the charges were not actually filed in court, the record of the arrest may be set aside after a one-year waiting period.
If the arrest did result in charges being brought against you, but the case was dismissed or you were acquitted in a trial, you may apply to set aside the record of the proceedings immediately after the dismissal or acquittal.
If you were convicted of a single type of violation or crime that qualifies, you may, after a period of three years from the conviction, apply to set aside the record of arrest and conviction.
If you have been convicted of more than one offense, other than traffic violations, you must wait 10 years to set aside multiple convictions. There is an important exception to this rule: if the second conviction is a single violation, you may still be able to secure an expunction after three years.
In each circumstance, the law has additional qualifying criteria. For a more thorough examination of whether you qualify to have your record set aside, contact the lawyers at Boise Matthews Ewing.