Having handled countless criminal defense cases in Hazlehurst, we here at the Shannon Law Firm, PLLC can attest to the fact that a criminal conviction (no matter the perceived severity of the offense) can have a dramatic impact on your life. Even after you have completed whatever punitive actions were associated with your conviction, you could still see it haunt you as you try to secure a job or find adequate housing. This prompts the question of whether or not the law provides a way to clear offenses from your record.
Mississippi state law does indeed offer the option of expungement, but only in certain situations. According to Section 99-19-71 of the state's Code of Criminal Procedure, you may petition to have any misdemeanor conviction (that is not a traffic violation) removed from your record if you are a first-time offender. Expunging felony convictions can be a bit more difficult. Any felony conviction other than violent crimes or crimes involving the distribution of a controlled substance can be removed from your recorded if the offenses occurred before you turned 21 (and successfully completed all the terms of your sentence). The felonies for which you may have been convicted after turning 21 that are eligible for expungement include:
- Passing bad checks
- Possession of a controlled substance or paraphernalia
- Crimes involving false pretense
- Certain types of larceny
- Malicious mischief
You are only eligible to have your record expunged of one felony conviction one time, regardless of the age you were when it occurred. Petitions for expungement must be filed with the court from which your conviction was handed down. You can learn more about dealing with the consequences of a criminal conviction by continuing to explore our site.