How To Get Drug Charges Expunged
What is A Criminal Record?
A criminal record is the list of an individual’s arrests and convictions maintained by the criminal justice system. 1 in every 3 adults has a criminal record approximately-which is more than 70 million Americans. And moreover, approximately half of children have at least one parent with a criminal record! For this reason, it’s very important to connect with a criminal defense attorney who can help no matter who you are or what your situation is.
Additionally, it is not only governmental agencies like the police and courts that have access to criminal records but the general public as well, as employers and landlords. Even previous minor convictions or arrests which have not even ended in conviction from years back also are included in a criminal record for an individual. This means that even if a person has never been convicted of a crime that they can also have a criminal record- which can create barriers for work and school.
What is The Meaning of Expungement?
There are several ways to “clean up” parts of your criminal record. The process of expungement is to remove certain kinds of police records from public view. You can request this from the court.
Usually, incidents which have not ended in a conviction are allowed for expungement. However, certain types of convictions can also be concluded in the expungement. In order to apply for expungement in most states, there is a minimum waiting time period which varies from case to case. But in case of a private database taking information from the public record and storing it on their servers, expungement may not remove the charges from the private database.
PRO TIP: Read these frequently asked questions about drug charges before you continue. We know they’ll clear things up big time!
What Types of Drug Convictions Qualify for Expungement?
People who have criminal records often have been arrested or convicted for drug-related offenses which range from the sale and distribution of cocaine or heroin to simply having marijuana in their possession. These types of offenses are technically called CDS (Controlled Dangerous Substance) offenses. This article can be handy for you to get a CDS conviction expunged.
Sale, Distribution, or Possession with Intent to Sell
In most states, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana or less than five grams of hashish can be expunged. But the applicant needs to prove the amount is under this limit. This should be available in the plea transcript among the sentencing documents.
First or Second Degree:A first or second-degree offense or drug charge is generally not eligible for expungement if charged with intent to sell a CDS
Third or Fourth Degree: Third or fourth-degree offenses for the sale, distribution, or possession with the intention of selling CDS might be allowed to be expunged if the court understands and considers that this would be in the public interest, which also depends upon the character and conduct of the applicant as well as the nature of the offense.
Simple possession is generally eligible for expungement in most states, although you will have to verify your individual state’s laws and regulations of the process.
For both possession and distribution, the structure of the process is similar.
The court will finalize the category of the offense on the basis of seeing the definition, grade, elements, and details surrounding the crime. The court also might also consider the proven facts about the offense and the extension of harm caused in the broader aspect.
The petitioner must submit any pre-sentence reports, plea agreements, and trial-sentencing transcripts. The court also has the complete authority to review any related charges previously dismissed unless the underlying facts are undisputed. But the court may not consider any unproven claims or allegations. Whereas if the state claims “contested” facts that are not available with the records- the state is bound to present evidence regarding the claim.
For character and conduct review from the time of conviction, the court might take into consideration anything and everything which shows that your rehabilitation since the time of conviction includes the following:
• Relationships with family members and other social acquaintances.
• Any voluntary work and your educational background
• Mental and physical indications of criminality
• Legal obligatory fines and their completions.
• Rehabilitation work progress
Essentially, the court will consider everything at their disposal with the intent of assessing your well-being, character, and conduct to determine if you have been rehabilitated or are still a threat to society.
Conclusion- How to Get Drug Charges Expunged
Although any conviction for possession or sale of CDSs may also be allowed for expungement, in any such incidents or conviction the individual should always connect with an attorney or legal specialist to get real-time guidance according to the need and merit of the case. There is some government assistance also available such as PREP (Prisoner Reentry Project) which provides aid and help in civil matters for a successful transition back into society. Now you know all you need to know about how to get drug charges expunged!