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What is Expungement

In the State of Pakistan & U.A.E, there are certain instances where you can have your criminal records returned to you or destroyed.  This is referred to as “Expungement,” and is only available if:

  • You have been pardoned
  • A criminal charge against you has been dismissed
  • You have been found not guilty of a criminal charge
  • You are a minor charged with your first drinking offense
  • You are a minor who has successfully completed a deferred sentence.
  • Someone used your name when they were arrested (theft of your identity)

Additionally, if you have been involved in an alternative sentencing program (deferred adjudication) where you have been successfully discharged and dismissed, then you may get a “nondisclosure order” for them, if the charges involved some misdemeanors or felonies and a set number of years (5, misdemeanors; 10, felonies) has passed.  This is a recent alternative to Expungement.

Expungement is a great benefit to criminal defendants.  It is the position of many criminal defense attorneys that the opportunity to expunge criminal records should be taken if at all possible. Why?  For many reasons, such as:

  • beginning September 1, 2003, law changed to allow one—time offenders who completed deferred adjudication probation to get their records expunged
  • if you successfully expunge your criminal records you can legally deny that you were ever arrested or charged

How Karachi Criminal Defense Attorney Inamullah Ansari Can Help Expunge Criminal Records:

Criminal Defense Lawyer Inamullah Ansari helps many clients get their records expunged.  Of course, Expungement is only available if certain criteria are met.  As your criminal Expungement attorney, Inamullah Ansari will take the time to interview you and determine whether you are eligible to have your criminal records expunged.  If you are eligible, he will handle the expunction in a timely and professional manner.

Expungement is a very detailed topic and as a criminal attorney, Inamullah Ansari fields lots of questions about how Expungement can work for people.  Accordingly, he has provided more information on the topic of Expungement on this site for your convenience:

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WHAT IS AN EXPUNCTION?

Upon the petition of a criminal defendant, a court can direct certain law enforcement agencies to destroy all records associated with an arrest and subsequent prosecution. Many times the court will specifically direct law enforcement agencies to destroy jail records, police reports, prosecution reports and court files. In addition, a successful Expungement petitioner can legally deny ever having been arrested for or charged with the criminal offense for which he is receiving the expunction.

WHAT IS A PETITION FOR NONDISCLOSURE?

Upon the petition of a criminal defendant, a court can direct certain law enforcement agencies to refrain from disclosing to any third party any criminal records associated with an arrest, prosecution and deferred probation. A successful petitioner can legally deny the existence of his arrest, charge and deferred probation.

The order requires that any third party who buys criminal history information remove that information from their databases. If these third party vendors do not do so in accordance with the court’s order, they would be subject to civil penalties. Therefore, it would be required by law to remove criminal history information subject to the court’s nondisclosure order or face civil penalties.

Expungement of Criminal Records:

Under certain circumstances, you may be eligible to expunge your criminal record under law.

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  1. Dismissed Case or Grand Jury No Bill

If a case was dismissed by the District Attorney’s office or No Billed by the Grand Jury, you may be eligible to expunge your records.

For felony offenses that were no billed by a Grand Jury (the Grand Jury refused to indict), the same rule applies. The limitations period for felonies ranges anywhere between five years and ten years. However, some felonies such as Murder do not carry a limitations period. Upon the expiration of the applicable limitations period, the felony case can be expunged.

  1. Exonerated Defendants

If after a trial on the merits of any criminal offense the judge or jury returns a not guilty verdict, you may be able to expunge your records.

  1. Class “C” Misdemeanors. If you have a Class “C” Misdemeanor on your record, you may be able to expunge it from your record.

Petitions for Nondisclosure of Criminal Records:

Successful completion of deferred adjudication probation is the key to opening the door to a Petition for Nondisclosure. If you successfully completed deferred adjudication, you may be able to expunge your records.

What is deferred adjudication?:

There are two types of probation. Regular probation is a conviction in that the court actually finds the defendant guilty and suspends imposition of the jail sentence for a period of time. Under article of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a Judge can alternatively place a defendant on probation for a period of time and DEFER any finding of guilt unless and until the defendant successful completes the probation. If the defendant successfully completes probation, the court will dismiss the case.

I hope the above will help you evaluate your potential success on your Petitions of Expunction and Petitions for Non—Disclosure.

–   Inamullah Ansari

Karachi & Dubai Criminal Defense Attorney Inamullah Ansari is available to help individuals who would like a record seal or Expungement.