Archive for January 26th, 2009

Can My Tennessee DUI Conviction be Erased from My Record?

A typical misconception in our society is that criminal convictions, including Tennessee DUI convictions, can be erased from a criminal record.  Tennessee law allows for a charge to be expunged, or erased, from one’s record only if the charge has been dismissed.  The passage of time alone, even for years, will not be sufficient to allow for expungement under Tennessee law.  This is why it is so important to obtain the best possible representation as soon as possible after a DUI, traffic or other criminal charge has been brought against you.  Once convicted, the record of that conviction remains on your criminal history forever – possibly causing the loss of job opportunities, and affecting one’s ability and or the rates of life and health insurance.

Once a charge is dismissed (whether by agreement, acquittal a “no true bill” or executive clemency), specific procedures must be followed to request expunction of public records relating to the arrest.  To ensure that the proper procedures are followed, one should retain a lawyer to assist with the process.  The process, however, can take up to 12 weeks due to the necessity of obtaining the necessary approval of the prosecution, the judge, and the various law enforcement agencies involved.