The arrest and conviction of a crime has a continuing, negative effect on an individual’s record. Some careers, such as medical/legal/accounting careers, require candidates to pass a bunch of background checks before they can be hired or admitted, a criminal history could effect their decision. Additionally, criminals may be prevented from obtaining loans, renting an apartment, holding certain professional licenses, voting & purchasing firearms.
In Mississippi, expungements are available for misdemeanors and some felonies. You can expunge your Mississippi arrest record if the charges were remanded, nonadjudicated, dismissed or resolved through pretrial diversion. Many people are arrested for crimes but are not convicted, and charges are often dismissed at the request of the defendant, prosecutor, police, or victim. Convictions are also avoided when the defendant is acquitted at trial. If the person who committed a crime has been rehabilitated and was not re-arrested, their criminal record will be expunged. However, this is not a quick process and cannot be guaranteed. You should speak to an expungement lawyer about a petition for expungement and an Order from the Court.
As an experienced expungement attorney in Mississippi, I will be on your side to navigate the complex issues of expungement of misdemeanor and felony convictions, offer direct, meaningful legal advice, and achieve your desired results.
Expungement of Arrest but no Conviction (Miss. Code Ann. § 99-15-123 (3))
Even if criminal charges are dismissed, the individual will always have a record of the arrest that will remain on their “rap sheet”. Many people learn this too late when they’re not able to get their dream job.
Expungement of Misdemeanor Arrest and Conviction (§ 99-19 71)
You may request an expungement of your misdemeanor conviction in Mississippi if it was your first offense. It may even be possible to expunge two first misdemeanor convictions if they occurred out of the same set of facts.
Mississippi Code 99-19-71states that “any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor [except a traffic violation] may petition [the court having jurisdiction over the case] for an order to expunge any such conviction from all public records. …” The only requirement under this statute to get this expungement are that: the conviction was a misdemeanor; and, the conviction was the person’s first offense.
To get a conviction expunged under this statute, you need to retain a Mississippi expungement lawyer or attorney. A Petition for Expungement must be filed. At the end of the process, should the judge find you have been “rehabilitated”, he will enter the expungement Order. After the order is served on the appropriate officials, your record will be completely wiped clean. All documents with your information relating to the conviction will be destroyed. In addition, any reference to your conviction in computerized databases will be deleted.
Expungement Record of Individual Completing Pre-Trial Diversion (PTI)
Pretrial diversion or pretrial intervention (“PTI”) is a program where a person who has been charged with a crime can avoid a misdemeanor or felony conviction. Upon completion of a PTI program, the Court will enter an Order dismissing the criminal case. At this point, the individual will also qualify for expungement (§99-15-123 (3)) of any record of the charge. After the record is expunged, it will be like the arrest and charge never occurred.
Expungement of Felonies in Mississippi (99-19-71)
Mississippi has a new expungement law that now allows certain felony convictions to be expunged from a person’s criminal record. The felony convictions that may be expunged from a person’s record in Mississippi include:
- a bad check offense under Section 97-19-55;
- possession of a controlled substance or paraphernalia under Section 41-29-139(c)(d);
- false pretense under Section 97-19-39;
- larceny under Section 97-17-41;
- malicious mischief under Section 97-17-67; or
- felony shoplifting under Section 97-23-93.
This statute will allow an individual to expunge one felony conviction from their criminal history. The following criteria must be met in order for this statue to work: the person seeking to expunge the record must wait five years after the successful completion of all terms and conditions of the sentence of conviction prior to seeking expungement of the record. Then, the individual through his attorney must file a Petition for Expungement with the Circuit Court in the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred and prove to the Court that the individual has been “rehabilitated.”