Record Expungement in Mississippi
Before 2012, no felony conviction could be removed from a person’s record in Mississippi. (This process is known as “Expungement”). However, thanks to a new law passed in 2012, a number of felony and misdemeanor convictions can now permanently removed (expunged) from a persons record. That means a person can have a conviction and/or an arrest go away like it never happened!
Why You Want a Clean Record
A clean or expunged record can help people get jobs, restore voting, guns, and hunting rights. They may also be eligible for many government benefits, such as student loans, that a felony conviction or even an arrest is causing them to be ineligible for.
Also, even though you may never have been convicted of a crime, you may need to have an arrest cleared from your record. Almost all arrests, regardless of the outcome of the case, will appear on routine background checks. Most cases that involved the charges being dropped, completion of a pre-trial diversion program, or even the person being found not guilty at trial, will not contain this information on a background check. The arrest will show up and it will often look like a pending matter. A old arrest can be just as detrimental to an employer or others, as an actual conviction.
Get Your Record Expunged by Mills Law Firm
Even if you are charged and do not get convicted, there is a record of your arrest. Although the judge may have dismissed your case or the prosecutor dropped the charges, if you were ever arrested, your "arrest" is recorded and will show up in a background check unless you get it expunged. An expungement erases all history of an arrest or conviction from your record. When our law firm handles an expungement, they personally make sure the Mississippi Criminal Information Center (MCIC) and all arresting agencies get a copy of the expungement. The MCIC then forwards the expungement to the F.B.I. and the National Criminal Information Center to clear the person’s record.
As a result, an employer conducting a background check should not be able to locate your previous offense or arrest record since it has been expunged. Under Mississippi law, an expungement will restore a person to the same status before the arrest and charge.
A misdemeanor arrest or charge can be expunged from a person’s record in Mississippi. A misdemeanor is a "minor" crime, or one which does not result in prison time. A misdemeanor can carry up to a year in the County Jail and a fine. So, misdemeanors are not really "minor" crimes. The majority of people who encounter the criminal justice system are charged with misdemeanors and these charges can be devastating on a person’s future.
First Offense: Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. §99-19-71(1), "Any person who is convicted of a misdemeanor, excluding a conviction for a traffic violation, and who is a first offender, may petition the justice, county, circuit or municipal court in which the conviction was had for an order to expunge any such conviction from all public records." There are some situations that provide for expungement of additional misdemeanor convictions obtained in municipal court. Miss. Code Ann. § 21-23-7(6) provides that upon prior notice to the prosecuting attorney and upon a showing in open court of (1) rehabilitation, (2) good conduct for a period of 2 years since the last conviction in any court and (3) that the best interest of society would be served, the court may, in its discretion, order the record of conviction of a person of any or all misdemeanors in that court expunged.
Non-Adjudication: Under Mississippi law, a misdemeanor charge that has been non-adjudicated shall be dismissed upon successful completion of court-imposed conditions. Upon dismissal, Mississippi law directs the Court to expunge the record upon petition to the Court. However, Courts and prosecutors do not expunge or erase your record for you. You must do it yourself.
Expungement after Dismissal or No Charge: Mississippi law requires the Court, upon petition, to expunge the record in which an arrest was made, the individual was released and the case was dismissed or the charges were dropped or there was no disposition of the case or the individual was not formally charged within 12 months of being arrested.
Upon 5 years after successful completion of all the terms and conditions of the sentenced imposed by the court, the individual can petition the Circuit Court in the county of conviction were convicted to have the DUI expunged if (1) it was a first offense DUI under Miss. Code Ann. §63-11-30(2) or (3); (2) the individual is not a holder of a commercial driver license holder (CDL); (3) the individual did not refuse to submit to a blood or breath test; (4) the individual’s blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) tested below .16% (if available); (5) the individual has not been convicted or does not have any pending charges of DUI; and (6) the individual provides the court with justification of why the DUI conviction should be expunged.
Some felony charges can be expunged, even after a guilty plea or a conviction. Any felony charge that was dismissed, not prosecuted or the individual was found not guilty can be expunged. Expungement of Certain Felonies: Mississippi law allows for the expungement of the following felony convictions:
A bad check offense: Miss. Code Ann. § 97-19-55;
Possession of a controlled substance: Miss. Code Ann. § 41-29-139(c);
False pretense: Miss. Code Ann. § 97-19-39;
Larceny: Miss. Code Ann. § 97-14-41;
Malicious mischief: Miss. Code Ann. § 97-17-67; or
Shoplifting: Miss. Code Ann. § 97-23-93.
An individual is only eligible to expunge one of the above felony convictions. Any person convicted of one of the above felonies must wait 5 years from the successful completion of all terms and conditions of the sentence before petitioning the court for an expungement. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-71(2)(a).
Expungement of Felonies Committed While Under the Age of 18:
Mississippi law allows for the expungement of additional felony convictions if committed while the person was under the age of 18. In such cases, any one felony conviction may be expunged except for the following:
Rape: Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-65 and 97-3-71;
Sexual Battery: Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-95;
Murder: Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-21;
Manslaughter: Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-25;
Carjacking: Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-113 through 97-3-117;
Burglary of a commercial establishment or occupied dwelling;
Cyberstalking: Miss. Code Ann. § 97-45-15;
Exploitation of children by the use of computer or other means: Miss. Code Ann. § 97-5-31 through 97-5-37;
Armed robbery: Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-79;
Any felony that, in the determination of the circuit court, is a violent crime or felony that is related to the distribution of a controlled substance and in the Court’s discretion such should not be expunged. An individual is only eligible to expunge one felony conviction committed while under the age of 18. Any individual with such conviction must wait 5 years from the date of successful completion of all terms and conditions imposed in the sentence before expungement is available. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-71. Beginning July 1st, 2015, a person who received a felony conviction under the age of twenty-one (21) may obtain an expungement.
Expungement for Non-adjudication or Pretrial Intervention:
When a felony charge has been non-adjudicated, Mississippi law allows that upon successful completion of the court imposed terms and conditions, the charge is to be dismissed. Upon dismissal of the charge and upon petition to the Court, the law instructs the Court to expunge the record.
Expungement after Dismissal or Case Retired to File:
Mississippi law requires, upon petition, the Court to expunge the record of any case in which an arrest was made, the individual arrested was released and the case was dismissed or the charges were dropped or there was no disposition of the case. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-15-26 (5) or §99-19-71(4).
Crimes That Cannot Be Expunged:
Mississippi law does not allow for expungement of the following crimes.
Killing of an unborn child