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How does expungement happen at the federal level?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Expunging your criminal record can help you to overcome the issues that may come with it. But expungement requirements and rules differ based on where you received your conviction.

If you have a federal crime, you have to follow federal expungement rules. Unfortunately, there are limited rules for expunging a federal conviction.

Limitations to only certain cases

You are only eligible for an expungement at the federal level if you have an unlawful conviction. If you cannot prove an unlawful situation occurred, then you will not be eligible unless you meet very specific conditions.

The first is if you had a drug possession charge and the conviction occurred before you were 21 years old. You cannot have anything else on your criminal record. The next is if the law that was the basis for your conviction is now considered unconstitutional. You may also qualify if the prosecutor used inaccurate information to secure your conviction. The last situation is if there was government misconduct in your case as ruled by a judge.

Additional conditions

It is also difficult to know where to file for an expungement. Some federal appellate courts will handle these cases, but some will not. Even when you find a court that will take on the case, it is still unclear the exact process for clearing a federal conviction.

Due to the ambiguity of the federal criminal record expungement process, it is very difficult to make it happen. You may have to invest a lot in the process to reach a favorable conclusion.