Get Felonies off Your Record: Expunge a Criminal Record

Learn About Pardons on Felony Records and Removing Incorrect Criminal Charges

Once you have a criminal record, it may be very difficult to find decent well-paying jobs, or to go back to the employment you were engaged in prior to the conviction. However, there are certain situations in which you can erase previous felonies from your records, making it that much easier to get a new job.  Of course, a great first step is to learn what other people see when they run your background check.  To find this out, or to check out another person's criminal record, I suggest you take a look at

To learn how to get felonies off your record, here is how to expunge a criminal record or mitigate its effect.

Step 1

Businessmen closing a dealGet legal advice from a competent attorney. Different states have different laws pertaining to the removal of a certain class of felonies from an individual's record. Consult your attorney of record for previous convictions, or if you've never had one, get advice from a professionally competent attorney. A lawyer should be able to advise you on how you can get a felony removed from your record, or its severity mitigated in certain instances.

Step 2

Removing wrong or incorrect criminal charges. Any charges that have been wrongly included in your record can be removed. Get a copy of your latest criminal record from the local police authorities. This can be obtained by paying the prescribed fees. If there are wrong charges, or charges that you've previously applied for to be erased, but are still showing on record, you should send a written application to the relevant authorities asking for the expungement of such disputed records. Legal authorities are bound by law to review your applications within a fixed prescribed period of time and remove those records that have been incorrectly listed. Should such authorities refute your claim on the disputed records, there will usually be an appeals process that you can follow.

Step 3

Getting a pardon. Here again, laws differ from state to state, find out what the exact process is in each state and apply for a pardon accordingly. In general, a pardon can be absolute or conditional. An absolute pardon means that the entire record of conviction is erased, whereas, a conditional pardon is only an official excusing of your crime, but the guilt remains. You can apply for pardons upon the completion of specific prescribed periods depending on whether you've been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. The former has a longer prescribed period and the latter has a shorter one. The process involves filling up a prescribed application and then attending a hearing if so required. In such cases also, it is preferable that you seek competent legal advice and hire an attorney to represent your case.

Step 4

Certificates demonstrating rehabilitation. In some states, you can apply for certificates that demonstrate rehabilitation of the convicted person. These help to prevent instances of eviction or dismissal from employment remove statutory collateral restrictions and provide a 'presumption of rehabilitation'. There are two types of rehabilitation certificates - Certificate of Relief from Disabilities (CRD) and Certificate of Good Conduct. A CRD can be given to persons who have only one felony and one/any number of misdemeanors against their name. The certificate should be given separately for each conviction and includes all types of convictions - state or federal. A certificate of Good Conduct can be procured by persons who have multiple felonies against their name. This certification is issued on consideration of a few factors such as class of felony, time since last conviction, payment of fines, and release from prison/parole, whichever is later. Based on these factors and the lapse of the prescribed time between conviction and application, authorities can issue these certificates.

Armed with the knowledge as described above about felony pardons, getting a felony conviction expunged, and removing felony records, you should be in a position to seek relief from the appropriate authorities.


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