10 Important Things to Know About the New Tennessee Expungement Law
Only people with one criminal conviction (including convictions in other states and in federal court) are eligible to have a conviction expunged. (Whether "one criminal conviction" will be interpreted by Tennessee courts to include multiple convictions arising out of the same incident has not yet been determined.) Records associated with Tennessee criminal charges that have been dismissed may also be expunged.
The Tennessee expungement law applies to Class E Felonies and Class A Misdemeanors, BUT does not apply to all Class E Felonies or Class A Misdemeanors. Click here for a list of Tennessee Felony Offenses that are eligible to be erased from your public record. Unless specifically excluded by the Tennessee Legislature, all Tennessee Misdemeanor convictions may be erased from your Tennessee public record. For a list of Tennessee Misdemeanor Offenses that cannot be expunged, please click here.
If a petition for expungement fails, the petitioner must wait 2 years before filing another petition. This is one reason why it is so important to have a knowledgeable attorney assist you in this process.
A person must pay $350.00 to the court clerk each time he or she files a petition for expungement of a Tennessee conviction. In some circumstances, additional court costs may be required.
A person may file a Tennessee expungement petition 5 years after the completion of the sentence for the Tennessee conviction.
The new Tennessee law goes into effect on July 1, 2012. Petitions for expungement may only be filed on or after that date. Tennessee charges that have been dismissed, however, may be erased from your record at any time.
An expungement means that a Tennessee criminal charge will be removed from the person's public criminal record. A removal from public record does not include removal from law enforcement records.
All court costs and fines associated with the Tennessee conviction must be paid in full prior to the filing of the petition for expungement.
The expungement petition must be filed in the same Tennessee court in which the person was convicted.
An expungement may help a person obtain a Tennessee handgun carry permit.