How Do I Know if I am Eligible for Expungement?


If you have a criminal conviction on your record, you may have given up all hope of living with a clean record ever again. However, for some Tennessee residents, there may be a second chance.

In 2012, a law went into effect that would forever change the lives of many convicted criminals in Tennessee. Residents are now able to have certain crimes expunged, or cleared, from their records. Like any law, this one comes with stipulations that should be understood before filing a petition. Never the less, this law offers hope to hundreds in this state.

Expungement Eligibility Requirements in Tennessee

It is necessary to clarify if your convicted offense even applies to expungement prior to actually filing. Most importantly, crimes must be non-violent, non-DUI, and non-sex crimes. Misdemeanor crimes typically fall into this category, as well as some Class E felonies, such as theft, forgery, vandalism, and false insurance claims.

If your crime fits the bill, it's then time to determine your eligibility as a person. The state wants to ensure that no one gets a free pass who doesn't deserve it so the expungement requirements are quite extensive.

The following requirements must be met before filing:

  • No other convictions on your record
  • All terms of imprisonment, probation, or parole must be completed
  • At least five years must have passed since the completion of the above sentences
  • All conditions of supervised or unsupervised release must be met
  • Payment of all fines and court costs
  • Payment of restitution
  • At least one year free of alcohol or drug dependency or abuse
  • Must pay a $450 fee when filing the petition

You should also note that being convicted or pleading guilty to two or more past crimes will result in an inability to have your record expunged.

At The Bowlin Law Firm, we understand that the process of expungement can be confusing and we're here to make it as seamless as possible for you. Give our Morristown criminal defense attorney a call to learn more about what the future may hold for you!