Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. There is no guarantee a criminal record can be expunged. Each state has procedures on what type of charges can be expunged. However, all hope is not gone. Depending on the circumstances, you can apply for a pardon by your state governor or the president of the U.S. in Federal cases. These steps are based on my own personal experience when filing for expungement and a pardon ( which is still pending approval by Governor Andrew Cuomo) and other remedies through the state of New York.
A general rule for most states is that if a charge was dismissed you can have it expunged by filing a form with the court where the conviction or arrest was held. Here is a template you can use that you can fill in, but before you do any thing, be sure to get a copy of your criminal record through your state records depository or have your fingerprints taken at your local Sheriff department.
Once obtained look for the cases where charges were dismissed or reduced. Here is an example:
Depending on your location from the courts, you can just go down there in person to the clerks office and request those cases that were dismissed be sealed under your state statute. In the example above you can see the state statute cited to seal that particular case. I recommend navigating through this website to see the laws on expungement, pardons and other relief in your state.
Another method I tried was filing a 440 motion to have the felonies that couldn’t be expunged vacated. Unfortunately, my attempt was denied. While I was waiting for a response from the courts and record depositories, I was applying for jobs and occupational licensing. I was denied a job with UPS, Correctional Officer, a full pardon, a gun permit and notary public. I know you are thinking that all hope is lost, but its not. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights act of 1964, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against someone based on their criminal record. If you find yourself in this situation, you have 2 years to file a discrimination lawsuit. Unfortunately for me, I did not file a lawsuit in time and was barred due to statue of limitations.
I managed to obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct in 2016, but still it wasn’t good enough. I recently filed for a pardon again, but this time I had a petition signed by my community members. Its been almost 2 years and I still haven’t heard a response. I suspect many who are reading this is thinking: “this isn’t helpful.” but every case and circumstances is different. Take the time and research the information on this website as well. I do plan to file a petition with the district courts in order to obtain relief. I hope this information can help someone get a pardon or expungement.