Having a felony or even a misdemeanor conviction on your record will affect you in ways you may not have considered. Your record can keep you from the job you are applying for, or from the apartment you want to rent. The impact is life-altering and permanent.
A new Tennessee law which becomes effective tomorrow, allows some offenders – those with a single convictions – to expunge (clear) their record from a select set of non-violent convictions, for a fee, and after meeting court-imposed requirements. As a result, some felons will have their rights restored, including the right to possess a firearm.
Expungment has always been available, but under a very narrow set of conditions. This new law loosens those restrictions, and a flood of applications is expected to result from it. Seventeen other states have mechanisms like this to allow one-time offenders a much-needed second chance.
An application for expungment costs $350 and a hearing in front of a judge, in the county where you were convicted.
For felonies, property crimes like theft, and some drug charges like felony simple possession, are eligible. Most misdemeanors are eligible, with exceptions for violent crimes, child molestation, assault and some weapons charges. Consult with your attorney and get good advice before proceeding.
Original Story on WBIR