There are some hard and fast waiting periods that must be met to be eligible to have your record sealed.
Let’s go through the various categories:
If you have a dismissed case, you can apply to have the record sealed immediately after the order is docketed!
Even if a case is dismissed and does not result in a conviction, it is still important to seal that record. This is for two reasons: 1) You were accused of something that did not result in a conviction, and there’s peace of mind in sealing that from public view, and 2) a background check would still likely show the case, even if as an arrest, and that could be damaging.
Think about it like this: if you were accused of theft, but it was dismissed- wouldn’t you want it sealed?
You may also immediately apply to have a not guilty or acquittal sealed.
A No bill occurs when the grand jury declines to issue an indictment against an individual. The opposite of this is a true bill which is when the grand jury does issue an indictment against an individual. There is a two-year waiting period after a no-bill is issued to apply for expungement.
You must wait one year from “final discharge”- final discharge means when all obligations imposed have been met, meaning after community service, jail, fines/costs, restitution, etc. have been met.
***Some courts are stricter about the definition of final discharge than others. In some courts, if everything is taken care of, even if the waiting period has not been met, the court will allow the expungement. Other courts take the approach that the waiting period starts to run from the true definition of final discharge.
If you have one eligible felony, you must wait three years from final discharge.
If you have two eligible felonies, you must wait four years from final discharge.
If you have three, four, or five eligible felonies, you must wait five years from final discharge.
If you have questions regarding final discharge, a waiting period, or eligibility, please seek a case evaluation.