A felony is the most serious type of criminal charge that a person can face. Not only will it come with fines, the possibility of jail time and a host of other potential penalties, that conviction can hang on your criminal record and cause more problems down the road when you apply for employment or housing. Some types of criminal convictions eventually drop off your record, but does that ever happen with a felony? In today’s blog, we explain if a felony conviction will ever leave your criminal record.
Does A Felony Ever Leave My Criminal Record?
There are a number of different convictions that eventually leave your criminal record. Certain stayed sentences will not be on your criminal record if you complete probationary conditions, and other minor crimes may fall off your record after a set amount of time. However, a felony conviction is going to stay on your criminal record forever. A felony conviction doesn’t drop off your record if you stay out of trouble for five years or complete a decade of probation. It will always be on your record.
With that said, there is a way to limit who has access to view the felony conviction on your record. We’re talking, of course, about the expungement process. This won’t remove the felony from your record, but it will seal off who has access to it.
We’ve talked about expungement on the blog in the past, but essentially it is a process that allows a conviction to be hidden from public access if certain conditions are met. These aren’t conditions in the same way that there are conditions associated with probation, rather, these are a collect of conditions that weigh whether or not sealing your record could provide harm to the community. As you might imagine, this is not a simple process.
When considering whether to grant an expungement, the court will evaluate a number of factors to determine the risk posed to the community should the charge be expunged. Some of the factors they will consider when making their decision include:
- The severity of your offense
- The risk posed to the general public
- Duration since the offense was committed
- The totality of your criminal record
- The steps you’ve taken towards rehabilitation
- Reasons you feel that you would like to be granted expungement
- Your employment and community involvement
- Personal/Professional recommendations
- Satisfaction of restitution/fines
Finally, it’s also worth noting that not all felonies are viewed in the same light. Some felonies will not require such a high standard in order to be eligible for expungement, while others are automatically ineligible for expungement. For example, crimes like murder, criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping are not crimes that can be expunged no matter how clean you’ve kept your life since your conviction.
A felony will certainly upheld your life, but there are some steps you can take to prevent it from hanging on your criminal record forever. If you’re interested in learning more about the expungement process, or you want to fight the charges and avoid a conviction in the first place, make sure your first call is to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm at (952) 224-2277.