How to Expunge a Felony From Your Record

Whether it's because you're trying to put the past behind you or you're finding it difficult to find a job because of your criminal record, it's possible to remove offenses from your criminal record. Read the steps listed below and learn about how you can expunge a felony from your record.

  1. Research whether your felony can be expunged. The ability to have your offense removed from your record depends on your state's laws and the offense you committed. If your criminal activity was not violent and you have had a clean record since your felony, you have a good chance of getting the offense removed. Research your state's laws and find out whether having the offense expunged is possible [source: Criminal].
  2. Collect your records. In order to prove you're eligible to have the offense expunged, you must provide the legal papers and information outlining your felony. This may include the indictment, docket number and date of your deposition. Contact the attorney who defended you in court for the felony to receive this information. You can also contact your state's Superior Court Criminal Case Management Office to obtain copies of your criminal records [source: Judiciary].
  3. Fill out the forms required in your state. You may want to hire a lawyer to help you with this. The necessary paperwork may include a Petition for Expungement, Order for Hearing, and Expungement Order.
  4. Notarize your completed forms and send them to the appropriate agencies. Remember to keep copies of all the forms for your hearing. Which agencies you send your forms to depends on who dealt with your felony at the time. They may include the Chief of Police, County Prosecutor, Attorney General or municipal court clerk.
  5. Attend your hearing. At your court hearing, you or your lawyer will plead your case for why you should have your felony expunged. The judge will decide whether to grant or deny your expungement [source: Judiciary].