Having a criminal arrest, charge or conviction on your record may have a huge impact on your life and your ability to support yourself and your family. Many people do not realize that, even if the court eventually dismisses a charge, the arrest may be visible on background checks.
In Mississippi, you may be able to request an expungement of your record for certain misdemeanor and felony violations. Under expungement, the court may remove an arrest or conviction from your public record.
1. Why seek expungement?
From qualifying for student loans to pursuing a professional license, any item on your criminal record may pose a barrier to employment, housing or educational opportunities. With a misdemeanor or felony conviction, the stakes may be even higher. For example, you may lose your right to vote.
2. What charges are eligible for expungement?
Generally speaking, you may be able to seek expungement for a first-time misdemeanor conviction unless the charge is a traffic violation. However, as of 2014, a first-time DUI conviction may be expungable.
You may also be able to request the court expunge certain types of felonies, including possession of a controlled substance, shoplifting, larceny and false pretense.
3. What is necessary to receive an expungement?
To expunge a misdemeanor conviction, you may need to show the court that you have met the terms of your probation or other penalties and that you have maintained a clean record since the date of the charge.
Qualifying felony convictions may also be eligible for expungement after a certain period of time. For a felony conviction, the court may require you to show that you have sought rehabilitation and that you are actively leading a productive and law-abiding life.