Can Drug Charges be Expunged?
If you are reading this post, you may be wondering – can drug charges be expunged. Once you have gotten drug charges on your record, they usually are there to stay, but there are some occasions when you can have them expunged. You will need to fall under specific criteria, but if you fit them, you can get them expunged. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about expunging your drug charges.
What Is Expunging and How Can It Help You?
Expunging refers to the legal act of having certain parts of your criminal record removed from the public eye. Still, usually, this only applies to incidents with the law that have not resulted in a conviction. However, some charges, including certain drug charges, are eligible for expungement.
Normally, there is a waiting period between when the incident occurred and when you can request it expunged from your record. The time necessary to wait will depend on the incident, and you should check with your lawyer to find out. To have something expunged from your record, you will have to contact the court and request the removal of the incident.
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Drug Conviction Types Eligible For Expungement
While drug charges typically end in convictions, making them ineligible for expungement, you can get the conviction expunged from your record if you meet certain criteria within each conviction.
Sale, Possession With Intent Of Sale, and Distribution of Drugs
Most states allow you to have your drug possession charge expunged from your record if you were in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana or five grams of hashish. You will have to prove to the court that the amount in your possession was less than that. This is typically available in the plea transcript, which can be found in the sentence documents.
If your drug charge is first- or second-degree, you can not normally get it expunged from your criminal record. Third or fourth-degree charges, however, can be expunged if the court decides that doing so is in the public interest. They will normally decide this based on your conduct, character, and the nature of your drug offense.
If you are charged with just possession of drugs, so a simple possession charge, those are normally eligible for expungement. You will need to check with your state to find out the laws dealing with that. If you are unable to do that, a drug defense lawyer will be able to help you out.
Convictions for conspiracy to possess, distribute, or sell drugs may be eligible for expungement. You will need to check the local laws for your state to find out whether or not your case is available to be expunged.
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The Expungement Process For Removing Drug Charges
When it comes to expunging drug charges from your record, the process is the same for possession and distribution. These steps are:
- The court will finalize the offense’s category based on several criteria. These criteria are the grade, elements, definition, and details surrounding your drug charges.
- You must submit any plea agreements, pre-sentence reports, and transcripts from your trial and sentence.
- The court can investigate any charges related to your drug charges, but unproven claims or allegations can not be investigated.
- Finally, the court will perform a character and conduct review to learn who you are as a person, which will decide if you have your drug charges expunged or not.
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The Character and Conduct Review
When the court performs their character and conduct review, there are many things they will look at and consider. These things include:
- Your progress in rehabilitation;
- Mental indications of criminality;
- Physical indications of criminality;
- Volunteer work you have done;
- Your educational background;
- Your behavior during probation, parole, and incarceration;
- Relationships with family members, friends, and coworkers.
Conclusion: Can Drug Charges Be Expunged?
Getting your drug charges expunged can be a long and difficult process, and it is not an option available to everyone. You will need to gather all the necessary paperwork, request the expungement from a court, and then file all the forms in the hope of having your drug charges expunged. If you do not want to go about this process on your own, hiring a drug defense lawyer can be a great idea as they can help you expunge your drug charges from your record.