Record Clearing by Offense

8/14/2020

Record Clearing by Offense

As summarized in the Criminal Record Clearing Terminology Policy Snapshot, states use a variety of language to describe record clearance, including annulment, destruction, dismissal, erasure, expungement, sealing, set-aside and vacatur. Some states may use the same language, but the terms have drastically different meanings. This chart contains statutory information and prohibitions related to clearing adult conviction records based on the type of offenses including felonies, misdemeanors, offenses related to controlled substances and sexually based offenses. Information in the chart depicts the language and terminology from that state statute.


*This chart does not include information on the possible expungement of criminal records for victims of human trafficking. For that information please go here.

The box allows you to conduct a full text search or type the state name.

 
Record Clearing by Offense

State and Statute

Felonies

Misdemeanors

Controlled Substances

Sexually Based Offenses

Alabama

§ 15-27-1 et seq.

Expungement is only available for certain offenses that have been dismissed by the court; convictions are not expungable.

Alaska

§12.62180

Adult record sealing only allowed in very limited circumstances:

 

“A person may submit a written request to the head of the agency responsible for maintaining past conviction asking to seal such information about the person that, beyond a reasonable doubt, resulted from mistaken identity or false accusation.”

Arizona

 §13-905

Cannot expunge, erase or seal an arrest or charge on an Arizona criminal record. However, an individual may be able to have a felony or a misdemeanor conviction set aside.

 

It relieves collateral consequences but does not seal record. Conviction must still be disclosed.

 

Set asides are not applicable for: dangerous offenses; an offense with a finding of sexual motivation; a felony offense in which the victim is under 15; and an offense for driving on a suspended, revoked or canceled license.

Cannot set aside sex offenses.

Arkansas

§ 16-90-1401 et seq.

Types of felonies eligible for sealing: Class C and D felonies; unclassified felonies; and certain drug convictions.

If all conditions and court orders pertaining to offense have been met, petitioner must wait 60 days to petition for sealing.

 

There is a five-year waiting period for certain offenses including: Class A negligent homicide; battery in the third degree; indecent exposure, public sexual indecency; sexual assault in the fourth degree; domestic battery in the third degree.

Special procedures exist for sealing a controlled substance possession.

 

May petition for sealing if: prior to sentencing, a court-appointed officer determined petitioners’ eligibility for residential drug treatment; court placed petitioner on probation with conditions to remain drug-free until completion and petitioner completed all terms and conditions of probation.

Can petition to seal after five years have elapsed since the completion of the person’s sentence for the following convictions: indecent exposure; public sexual indecency; sexual assault in the fourth degree; domestic battering in the third degree.

 

Felony sex offenses cannot be sealed.

 

If charges are discharged or dismissed, a person may seek to have the criminal record sealed unless the person has previously been convicted of a sexual offense and the victim was under the age of 18.

California

Cal Penal Code §1203.4,

Cal. Health & Safety
§ 11361.9,

Cal. Penal Code § 1000, et seq.,

Cal. Health & Safety
§ 11361.5

Felonies that qualify for expungement are those which could have otherwise been charged as misdemeanors, or felonies which are able to be reduced.

Dismissal of charges or set-aside for probationers, misdemeanants and minor felony offenders sentenced to county jail.

Automatic purging of possession offenses after two years.

Convictions of certain sex offenses that involve children are not eligible for expungement.

Colorado

§ 24-72-701 et seq.

Sealing for misdemeanors and all but most serious felonies, subject to variable waiting period from one to five years.

Can petition for sealing unless: Class 1 or 2 misdemeanor traffic offense; Class A or B traffic infraction; crimes involving a commercial driver’s license; domestic violence convictions; sex crimes.

Sealing: drug petty offense may file motion one year after the final disposition; any drug misdemeanor – the motion may be filed two years after the final disposition; level 3 or level 4 drug felony may be filed three years after the final disposition.

 

Not sealable: class 1, 2 or 3 felony or a level 1 drug felony pursuant to any section of title 18 unless knocked down to misdemeanor.

Felony offenses involving unlawful sexual behavior shall not be expunged.

Connecticut

§ 54-142 et seq.

Limited circumstances for adult erasure.

 

Record may be erased if: charged with a crime but found not guilty; case was dismissed; charges were dropped at least 13 months ago; or case was continued at least 13 months ago and there has been no prosecution or other disposition of the matter.

 

§ 54-142d authorizes erasure of convictions and other criminal records in cases where the charges resulting in conviction have been decriminalized.

 Cannot erase sex offenses.

Delaware

11 Del. C. § 4371 et seq.

Can petition for discretionary expungement if convicted of a felony and at least seven years have passed with certain exceptions.

Mandatory expungement upon application through the State Bureau of Investigation when the person was convicted of one or more misdemeanors relating to the same case; five years have passed since the date of conviction; and the person has no prior or subsequent convictions.

 

Discretionary expungement for misdemeanor with statutory exceptions if at least three years have passed since the date of conviction or the date of release from incarceration, whichever is later.

 

If it is a misdemeanor that falls into the statutory exception, can still petition for expungement after at least seven years have passed.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

No automatic expungement for sex related offenses.

 

A person is not eligible for an expungement if conviction for incest, unlawful sexual contact in the third degree or unlawfully dealing with a child.

 

No felony convictions involving physical or sexual assault crimes are eligible for expungement.

District of Columbia

§ 16-801 et seq.

Sealing only available by petition for felony failure to appear convictions after eight years of completion of sentence and no disqualifying arrests or convictions.

 

Must wait eight years after the completion of sentence to petition for sealing and may not have a disqualifying arrest or conviction.

Sealing available by petition after eight years of completion of sentence and no disqualifying arrests or convictions.

 

Examples of ineligible offenses include: interpersonal violence offenses; driving while intoxicated; a misdemeanor that requires sex offender registration; failure to report child abuse, etc.

Only misdemeanor-controlled substance charges may be sealed.

 

Sealing of public records for decriminalized or legalized offenses is available.

No sealing for a misdemeanor offense for which sex offender registration is required, misdemeanor sexual abuse and violating the sex offender registration act.

Florida

§ 943.059

A person is ineligible for expungement of his or her record if they have been convicted of a felony or any of the statutorily listed misdemeanor offenses. § 943.059(1)(A)(B)

 

Records of “withheld” cases (deferred adjudication) may be sealed if the charges are otherwise eligible, and the person has no prior convictions or expungements.

Offenses ineligible for expungement include:

drug trafficking; manufacturing a controlled substance.

Offenses ineligible for expungement include:

sexual misconduct; luring or enticing a child; human trafficking; any violation that requires sex offender registration; sexual performance by a child; voyeurism; prostitution of a person less than 18.

Georgia

§ 42-8-62.1

No authority to seal or expunge most adult convictions, but a statute to limit public access to “first offender” records, including sealing court records under authority of § 35-3-37.

 

The record would be unsealed if first offender status is revoked.

Hawaii

§ 706-620 et seq.

Typically, charges with guilty dispositions not expungable except in the following circumstances:

 

Operating a vehicle after consuming a measurable amount of alcohol (persons under the age of 21); sentencing for first-time drug offenders; first-time drug offenders prior to 2004; and sentencing for first-time property offender.

 

Additionally, convictions for prostitution and related offenses may be vacated and sealed by the court after a three-year waiting period if there are no subsequent convictions.

 

Deferred adjudication is available for nonviolent first-time offenses, and the record may be expunged after one year upon if the person applies for expungement.

Idaho

§ 67-3014 et seq.

No statutory authority to seal or expunge adult convictions.

 

§ 67-3004 authorizes sealing of non-conviction records upon request to the state police after one year.

 

Illinois

20 ILCS 2630/5.2

Records that may be expunged are described in 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b) and include arrests that resulted in no charges, acquittal or dismissal; and convictions “set aside on direct review or on collateral attack if the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner was factually innocent.”

 

Limited records may be sealed pursuant to 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(C)(2).

Indiana

§ 35-38-9-0.5 et seq.

May petition for expungement eight years after the date of conviction for a Class 6 Felony and other felonies that aren’t in the list of “non-expungable.”

 

Ineligible for expungement: an elected official convicted of an offense while serving the official’s term or as a candidate for public office; a felony that resulted in serious bodily injury to another person; a felony that resulted in death to another person; a person convicted of official misconduct; a felony offense that involved the unlawful use of a deadly weapon, etc.

A person may petition a court to expunge all conviction records five years after the date of conviction for a misdemeanor or a felony reduced to a misdemeanor.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

No expungement for a sex or violent offenses.

Iowa

§ 901C.1 et seq.

There is no statutory authority to expunge or seal felony convictions.

All misdemeanors (exception for those specifically excluded in statute) if more than eight years have passed since the date of the conviction; the defendant has no pending criminal charges; defendant has not previously been granted two deferred judgments; defendant has paid all court costs.

Substance-related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

No expungement for convictions of sexually based offenses. 

Kansas

§ 21-6614

Class D or E felonies expungable after three years.

 

Class A, B or C felonies can be petitioned for expungement after five years.

 

Serious violent offenses excluded from eligibility.

Any person convicted of a traffic infraction, cigarette or tobacco infraction, misdemeanor or a class D or E felony may petition for expungement if three or more years have passed since the person: (a) satisfied the sentence imposed; (b) was discharged from probation, a community correctional services program, parole, post release supervision, etc.

A severity level 4 drug and level 5 drug crime committed after 07/01/2012 will need a waiting period of at least five years before record expungement.

Sex offenses not eligible for expungement if required to register under Kansas offender registration act.

Kentucky

§ 431.005 et seq.

§218a.275(8)

Certain listed Class D felony convictions may be vacated and expunged after five years of the person’s sentence or completion of parole or probation.

Any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor, a violation or a traffic infraction may petition the court for expungement after five years since the completion of that person’s sentence.

First conviction of possession of a controlled substance may be voided, which has the same effect as expunging the conviction.

Sexually based offenses not expungable.

Louisiana

C.Cr.P. Art. 971 et seq.

A person may file a motion to expunge if 10 years have elapsed since the completion of the sentence and the person has not been convicted of any felony offense during the 10-year period.

 

Exceptions: crime of violence, sex offense or a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor; carnal knowledge of a juvenile prior to 2011; and a violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law with some exceptions.

A person may file a motion to expunge if five years have elapsed since the completion of the sentence and the person has not been convicted of any felony offense during the five-year period.

 

Exceptions for sex offenses, domestic abuse, battery and stalking.

No expungement available for felony convictions involving a violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substance Law with a few exceptions listed in statute.

Misdemeanor and felony convictions are not eligible if they arose from a circumstance involving or are the result of an arrest of a sex offense.

Maine

15 M.R.S. § 3301 et seq.

 Maine has no authority for sealing or expunging adult convictions. 

Maryland

Crim. Proc. § 10-101 et seq.

Only specific felonies may be expungable including: theft; a prohibition against possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance; burglary in the first, second and third degree.

 

Must wait 15 years to petition.

100 enumerated misdemeanors are expungable.

 

Examples include: disorderly intoxication; failure to deposit money; bribery of person participating in or connected with athletic contests; illegal dumping or litter control; household violence; etc.

 

Must generally wait 10 years to petition.

Felony and misdemeanor substance related offenses are expungable.

Felony sex offenses are not expungable.

 

Misdemeanor offenses for engaging in prostitution; soliciting prostitution; and house of prostitution are expungable offenses.

Massachusetts [1]

Ch. 276, § 100A

Felonies may be sealed after seven years if no subsequent conviction.

Misdemeanors may be sealed after three years if no subsequent convictions.

Substance-related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

Sex offenses are not eligible for sealing for 15 years following their disposition provided that any sex offender who has at any time been classified as a level 2 or level 3 sex offender shall not be eligible for sealing of sex offenses.

Michigan [2]

§ 750.520b

§ 780.621

A person who is convicted of not more than one felony offense and not more than two misdemeanor offenses may petition the convincing court to set aside the felony offense.

 

Exceptions: a felony with a maximum punishment of life imprisonment; child abuse; a felony conviction for domestic violence, etc.

A person who is convicted of not more than two misdemeanor offenses and no other felony or misdemeanor offenses may petition the convicting court or courts to set aside one or both the misdemeanor convictions.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

Criminal sexual conduct; child abuse in any degree; human trafficking are offenses that are ineligible for sealing.

Minnesota

§ 609A.01 et seq.

Expungement only for specific felony violations listed in § 609A.02(3) and has not been convicted for a new crime for at least five years since discharge of sentence.

Expungement available for all misdemeanors as long as no new convictions and more than two years have passed since discharge of the sentence for the crime.

 

Gross misdemeanors require four years.

All misdemeanor-controlled substance offenses are expungable.

 

For felony-controlled substance offenses, felony offenses in the fifth degree and the sale of simulated controlled substances are expungable.

Offenses that require registration for predatory offenders may not be expunged.

Mississippi

§ 99-19-71

May expunge one felony conviction five years after successful completion of all terms and conditions of the sentence.

 

Ten enumerated felonies are ineligible, including: a crime of violence as provided in Section 97-3-2; arson in the first degree; trafficking in a controlled substance; felon in the possession of a firearm; failure to register as a sex offender.

Any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor that is not a traffic violation can petition for expungement.

No expungement for felony trafficking in controlled substances.

No expungement for felonies classified as failure to register as a sex offender or voyeurism.

Missouri

§ 610.140

Felonies expungable with 11 exceptions.

 

Must wait at least seven conviction-free years from the date the petitioner completed the disposition.

Misdemeanors expungable after three conviction-free years from the date the petitioner completed any authorized disposition.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

No expungement for felony offenses that require registration as a sex offender.

Montana

§ 46-18-1104 et seq.

§46-18-1108

No expungement.

Can only expunge misdemeanor offenses one time.

Misdemeanor controlled substance convictions eligible for expungement, but not felony.

Expungement not presumed for sexual assault but can still be granted upon the court’s determination and good cause.

Nebraska

§ 29-2264

No authority to seal or expunge, but courts may “set aside” conviction for those sentenced to probation for any infraction, misdemeanor or felony.

 

A “set aside” conviction nullifies the conviction and removes all civil disabilities and disqualifications but does not expunge or seal the record.

Nevada

§ 179.2405 et seq.

Expungable:

Category A felony, a crime of violence or burglary after 10 years.

 

Category B, C or D felonies after five years.

 

Category E felony after five years.

Expungable:

Gross misdemeanor after two years.

 

Battery, harassment or stalking after two years.

 

Any other misdemeanor after one year.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

May not petition for a conviction of a crime against a child or a sexually based offense.

New Hampshire

§ 651:5

Annulment allowed:

Class B felony after five years.

 

Class A felony after 10 years.

Annulment allowed:

Class A misdemeanor after three years.

 

Any misdemeanor where the victim was a family member or intimate partner after three years.

For a class A misdemeanor or felony offense after two years.

Annulment allowed:

Misdemeanor Sexual Assault after 10 years.

 

Felony indecent exposure or lewdness after 10 years.

New Jersey

§ 2C:52-1 et seq.

 

Petition-based expungement for a single “indictable” offense is authorized five years after completion of sentence.

 

Clean Slate law allows entire record of almost all arrests and convictions to be expunged automatically after 10 years.

 

Only allowed to petition for expungement once.

Petition-based expungement of up to three “disorderly persons” offenses after a three-years waiting period running from the last conviction.

 

Clean Slate law allows entire record of almost all arrests and convictions to be expunged automatically after 10 years.

 

Only allowed to petition for expungement once.

Convictions for the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession with the intent to sell cannot be expunged, except in cases where the crime involves:

marijuana (less than one ounce); hashish (less than 5 grams); or any controlled dangerous substance, provided that the conviction is of the third of fourth degree where the court finds that compelling circumstances exist to grant the expungement.

Not expungable:

Human trafficking; luring or enticing; sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault; aggravated criminal sexual contact; criminal sexual contact (if the victim was a minor); criminal restraint or false imprisonment (if the victim is a minor); endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct that would impair or debauch the morals of the child or causing the child other harm; pornography with a child.

New Mexico

§ 29-3A-5

Must wait at least four conviction-free years to petition for expungement for a conviction of a fourth-degree felony.

 

Six years if a third-degree felony.

 

Eight years if a second-degree felony.

 

Ten years if a first-degree felony.

Must wait two conviction-free years to petition for expungement for a violation of a municipal ordinance or a misdemeanor.

 

Must wait at least four conviction-free years for a misdemeanor conviction for aggravated battery.

Not specifically listed as ineligible for expungement.

Not expungable: offense committed against a child; sex offense as defined in § 29-11A-3.

New York

Crim. Proc. Law § 160.10 et seq.

 

Sealing of convictions after 10 years. Available for up to two offenses, only one of which may be a felony.

 

Class A felonies and violent felonies not sealable.

 

Sealing a record means the record remains accessible to agencies authorized to conduct background checks.

Sealing may extend to up to two prior misdemeanors.

Conditional sealing of certain felony drug and other specified convictions for participants in judicial diversion program or in drug treatment program sanctioned by prosecutor or court.

Not sealable: most sex offenses, including those that require sex offender registration.

 

North Carolina

§ 15A-145 et seq.

Not eligible: Class A through G felonies; violent felonies.

 

Eligibility waiting period is 10 years after completion of sentence for felonies.

 

Certain offenses statutorily excluded in § 15A-145.5.

Not eligible: Class A1 misdemeanor; violent misdemeanors.

 

Eligibility waiting period is five years after completion of sentence for misdemeanors.

 

Certain offenses statutorily excluded in § 15A-145.5.

Not eligible: any felony offense where the offense involves methamphetamines, heroin or possession with intent to sell or deliver or sell and deliver cocaine.

Not eligible: any of the following sex-related or stalking offenses: statutory rape of person who is 15 or younger; statutory sexual offense with a person who is 15 or younger; dissemination to minors under the age of 16, under the age of 13; secretly peeping into room occupied by another person; duty to report non-compliance of a sex offender; sex offender unlawfully on premises; stalking; prohibit baby-sitting service by sex offender or in the home of a sex offender.

North Dakota

§ 12-60.1-02

*Sealing prohibits the disclosure of the existence or contents of court or prosecution records unless authorized by court order.

Sealing for any felony offense upon petition as long as the individual was not charged with a new crime for at least five years from the date of release.

 

Ineligible for sealing: a felony offense involving violence or intimidation during the period in which the offender was ineligible to possess a firearm.

Sealing for any misdemeanor offense as along as the individual was not charged with a new crime for at least three years from the date of release.

Substance-related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

Sealing not eligible: any sex offense against a child.

Ohio

§ 2953.31 et seq.

Sealing available after three years after the offender’s final discharge if convicted of one felony in the fourth or fifth degree.

 

After four years after the offender’s final discharge if convicted of two felonies, or at the expiration of five years after final discharge if convicted of three, four, or five felonies.

 

If convicted of more than five felonies, ineligible.

 

Must be a non-violent offense to be eligible for sealing.

Sealing available at the expiration of one year after the offender’s final discharge if convicted of a misdemeanor.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

Felony sex offenses ineligible.

Oklahoma

22 Okl. St. § 18

Expungement available for a single nonviolent felony not specifically listed as ineligible if the person has not been convicted of any other felony; the person has not been convicted of a separate misdemeanor in the last seven years; no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against the person; and at least five years have passed since the completion of the sentence for the felony conviction.

 

Up to two felony convictions may be expunged after 10 years as long as it is not a sex offense or a serious violent offense.

Expungement available for misdemeanors after five years if the person has not been convicted of a felony and no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against the person.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

Felony offenses that require sex offender registration are not eligible for expungement.

Oregon

§ 137.225

“Set Aside” available if three years has passed for:

 

Class B felony, except for firearms offense only if 20 years or more have elapsed from the date of the conviction sought to be set aside and the person hasn’t been convicted, arrested, or criminally cited for any other offense since.

 

Any Class C felony punishable as a misdemeanor.

  

“Set Aside” does not apply to specific conviction listed in § 137.225(6)(a-f).

Any misdemeanor may be set aside after three years.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

Sex crimes are generally ineligible for set-aside with specific exceptions listed in § 137.225(6)(f).

Pennsylvania

18 Pa.C.S. § 9121 et seq.

Expungement is only available if the person has been dead for three years or if the person is 70 years old and has not been convicted of a new offense within 10 years of completion of the sentence.

Expungement for “qualifying” misdemeanors and ungraded offenses under order for limited access after 10 crime-free years.

 

Ungraded offenses must carry a maximum penalty of no more than five years.

Only misdemeanor offenses eligible.

Sex offenses ineligible.

Rhode Island

§ 12-1.3-1 et seq.

A person may file a motion for the expungement of records relating to felony convictions (except for crimes of violence) after 10 years.

 

Any person who is a first offender may file a motion for the expungement of all records and records of conviction for a felony or misdemeanor However, crimes of violence not eligible.

Any person convicted of more than one misdemeanor, but fewer than six misdemeanors, and has not been convicted of a felony, may file a motion for the expungement of any or all of those misdemeanors after five years from the date of the completion of his or her sentence.

 

Exception for crimes of violence.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

Crimes not eligible for expungement: kidnapping with intent to extort; first- and second-degree sexual assault; first- and second-degree child molestation; assault with intent to commit first degree sexual assault; entering a dwelling house with intent to commit sexual assault.

South Carolina

§ 22-5-910 et seq.

No expungement available.

Expungement after three conviction-free years for a crime carrying a penalty of not more than 30 days imprisonment or a fine of $1,000.

 

Must wait five conviction-free years for domestic violence misdemeanors.

Expungement for first-time drug possession offenses after a three-year waiting period and to first-time possession with intent to distribute offenses after a 20-year waiting period.

Sex offenses not eligible.

South Dakota

§ 23A-3-34

 No general authority to seal or expunge adult convictions. Any charge or conviction resulting from a case where a petty offense, municipal ordinance violation or a Class 2 misdemeanor was the highest charged offense shall be automatically removed after 10 years if all court-ordered conditions have been satisfied.

Tennessee

§ 40-32-101

Only certain enumerated Class E felonies are eligible for expungement, by petition and at least five years have passed since the completion of the sentence.

 

All misdemeanors with the exception of 45 enumerated offenses are eligible for expungement after at least five years have passed since the completion of the sentence.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

Ineligible for expunction: indecent exposure; violation of community supervision by sex offender; soliciting minor to engage in Class E sexual offense; unlawful sexual contact by authority figure; third or subsequent violation of child rape protection Act; public indecency.

Texas

Gov’t Code § 411.071 et seq.

May petition for Order of Nondisclosure (OND) following discharge from deferred adjudication community supervision after five years.

 

Ineligible: specified violent offenses listed in § 411.074.

 

Orders of nondisclosure limit public access to record, but records may be disclosed to law enforcement and certain licensing purposes.

OND for first offense misdemeanor convictions after two years. 

 

Certain excluded offenses involving intoxication.

 

No waiting period applies for fine-only misdemeanors.

 

If charged with a serious or repeat misdemeanor, may still petition for OND after two years if discharged following deferred adjudication community supervision.

 

There is no waiting period for repeat misdemeanors that would otherwise be eligible for an automatic OND.

 

First-offender DWI convictions eligible after a waiting period of two to five years.

 

OND available for veterans discharged from treatment court.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

Not eligible for OND if person is currently or has previously been placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for: an offense requiring registration as a sex offender; aggravated kidnapping.

Utah

§ 77-40-101 et seq.

To petition for expungement must wait seven years for most felony offenses; five years for felony drug possession.

 

Serious and violent felony offenses not eligible.

To petition for expungement must wait:

five years for a Class A Misdemeanor; four years for a Class B Misdemeanor;

three years for other misdemeanors or infractions.

 

For a DUI or Reckless Driving, must wait 10 years to petition.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

 

However, must wait 10 years to petition for misdemeanor and felony-controlled substances convictions that involve driving while under the influence of a controlled substance.

Registerable Sex Offenses and Registerable Child Abuse Offenses not expungable.

Vermont

13 V.S.A. § 7601 et seq.

Only 12 felony offenses eligible for expungement:

burglary, excluding any burglary into an occupied dwelling; uttering a forged or counterfeited instrument; grand larceny; criminal mischief; related to fraud or deceit; and certain possession of controlled substances.

 

At least 10 years have passed since the completion of the sentence for the conviction; person has not been convicted of a felony arising out of a new incident in the last seven years; not been convicted of a misdemeanor during the past five years.

Thirty-one eligible offenses.

 

At least 10 years have passed since the completion of the sentence for the conviction; person has not been convicted of a felony arising out of a new incident in the last seven years; not been convicted of a misdemeanor during the past five years.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

Sex offenses not eligible.

 

Cannot seal or expunge violent or sex-related misdemeanors, violation of a protection order, and prostitution.

Virginia

§ 19.2-392.2

 No provisions for expunging adult conviction records.

Washington

§ 9.94A.640

 An offender whose conviction has been vacated may state for all purposes that he or she has not been convicted of that crime. The court file is not destroyed and, unless it is sealed, it is still accessible to the public.

 

Vacated record may be sealed under General Court Rule 15 if the court determines the need for privacy or safety outweighs the public interest in access.

 

Ineligible if convicted of a new crime, if there are any charges pending, or if the offense was a violent offense or a crime against a person (a class A felony, some Class B felonies, and felony DUI offenses).

 

Eligible Class B convictions must wait 10 years after sentence completion to obtain a certificate of discharge, and Class C convictions must wait five years.

Vacating misdemeanors after three years:

Except for the offenses in § 9.96.060(2)(e), a sentencing court may vacate a conviction for a misdemeanor or a gross misdemeanor. The offense must not be a violent offense, a DUI offense, a sex offense or an offense involving domestic violence.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

Not eligible: a violation, including attempt, of obscenity and pornography; sexual exploitation of children; sex offenses; and failure to register as a sex offender.

West Virginia

§ 61-11-26

Nonviolent felonies eligible for expungement after five years.

 

Only a single felony offense or multiple felony offenses arising from the same transaction or a series of transactions may be expunged.

One misdemeanor: Eligible for expungement after one year from completion of any sentence or period of supervision.

 

Multiple misdemeanors. Eligible for expungement after two years from completion of any sentence or period of supervision.

 

Certain offenses listed as ineligible in § 61-11-26(b).

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

Not eligible for expungement: incest; sexual abuse in the second degree; sexual abuse in the third degree.

Wisconsin

§ 973.015

No general authority for expunging adult convictions, but some expungable offenses if under the age of 25 at the time the offense was committed § 973.015. 

Wyoming

§ 7-13-1501 et seq.

May petition for expungement of a single felony if at least 10 years have passed since the expiration of the terms of the sentence imposed by the court, the completion of any program ordered by the court; and any restitution ordered by the court has been paid in full.

 

Petitioner is ineligible if they have previously pled guilty or been convicted of a prior felony or if the offense that the petitioner is seeking to expunge involved the use of firearms.

 

List of specifically excluded offenses § 7-13-1502(a)(iv).

May petition for expungement if the misdemeanor did not involve the use or attempted use of a firearm.

Substance related offenses are not specifically listed and would fall into either felony or misdemeanor categories.

Sexual offenses ineligible including but not limited to: sexual assault in the first and second degree; sexual abuse of a minor.

[1] Expungement, which is defined differently than sealing in Massachusetts and is only available for offenses that happened before a person turned 21, with limiting criteria.

[2] 2020 HB 4980 expands eligibility to petition for an expungement in several ways and creates a new process that will automatically seal certain non-violent conviction records if a person has remained conviction-free for a period of time (seven years for misdemeanors, 10 years for felonies).  For more information see Automatic Clearing of Records.

Additional Resources