Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Procedure for Expunging Criminal Records

Over last few weeks we've looked at a person's right to expunge records relating to a criminal case for which they were arrested. We looked at misdemeanor expunctions here and felony expunctions here. Once a person's right to expunge records is established the procedure for obtaining this valuable Order is as follows:

A person who is entitled to expunction of records may file a petition for expunction in a district court for the county in which the person was arrested or the county in which the offense was alleged to have occurred. The petition must be verified (sworn-to and notarized) and must include the following information: (1) the person's full name, (2) sex; (3) race; (4) date of birth, (5) driver's license number, (6) social security number, (7) the person's address at the time of the arrest, (8) the offense charged and the date the offense allegedly was committed, (9) the date of the arrest, (10) the name of the county where the person was arrested and municipality (if applicable), (11) the name of the agency that arrested the person, and (12) the case number and court of offense. The petition must also include a list of all the law enforcement agencies, jails, detention facilities, magistrates, courts, prosecutors, state and federal depositories of criminal records, and any other agency or other official who had any involvement in the case.

After the petition is filed and the clerk's fees are paid, the district court will set the petition for a hearing no sooner than thirty (30) days from the filing of the petition. Each official or agency named in the petition must be given reasonable notice of the hearing by certified mail, return receipt requested, or secure electronic mail, electronic transmission, or facsimile transmission.

If the district court finds that the person is entitled to expunction of any records and files that are the subject of the petition, the court must enter an order directing expunction. When the order of expunction order becomes final the release, maintenance, dissemination, or use of the expunged records and files is prohibited. The person arrested may now deny the occurrence of the arrest and the existence of the expunction order, unless the person is questioned under oath in a criminal proceeding about the arrest for which the records were expunged. Even then, the person may only state that the matter in question has been expunged.

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