Expungements are a complicated process, and they can be confusing. In our previous article, What You Need to Know About MS Criminal Record Expungements: Part One, we talked about felony expungements and how the process may differ according to whether or not the convict is of legal majority. In this second installment, we’ll go over the basics of misdemeanor expungements.
A first offender is only allowed expungement of one misdemeanor. With the exception of intoxicated driving offenses, many first-time offenders are eligible to petition for expungement. Arrest records for drunk driving, drug possession, simple assault, shoplifting, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace can all be expunged if charges were dismissed or if there was no disposition.
Misdemeanor crimes such as drug trafficking or violent crimes against people or property, however, are not eligible for expungement. You are also ineligible if you have more than one conviction on your criminal record.
What if you are denied?
If you are denied an expungement, in the state of Mississippi, you are eligible to apply for a pardon. You are eligible to apply seven years after the completion of your sentence and only after you have published your notice for a pardon in a newspaper for 30 days. Your published notice should explain why you should receive a pardon.
Applications are put in to the parole board that will investigate and make a recommendation to the governor. The governor then has final say on your petition for a pardon, but know that few are granted each year. In order to be granted a pardon, you must show that you have been an outstanding citizen since your release, showing remorse for your crime and a record of success and achievement.
It is also important to remember that a pardon does not expunge your record, but it will restore basic civil rights, including your right to possess a firearm, serve in a public office and practice law.
Expungement laws and processes are constantly changing. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney in order to determine if your particular circumstances warrant expungement of your criminal records or if a pardon is a more viable option. Contact the team at Coxwell & Associates at (601) 265-7766 to schedule your free case evaluation.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.