Can I get my criminal conviction expunged?

The Answer to that question is more positive than you might expect. 

The majority of our clients interest in expungements have one or more misdemeanors on their records, some from long ago.   Public Drunk, Shoplifting, Petite Larceny, Simple Assault, Disorderly Conduct are just a few we have dealt with at our firm.

Mississippi Code Annotated, Section 99-17-1 provides that "any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor that is not 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".

In addition, their are other statutes that deal with expungements in other circumstances, if Section 99-17-1 does not fit your situation.  We can tell you about those.  

How Do I Get A False Arrest Off My Record?

The practical problem of an arrest without a conviction, plea or trial, is frustrating for anyone who has been through the system.

We have seen that happen in Criminal Cases, Divorce Cases, Custody Cases, and probably any other case you can imagine.

Part of the problem lies in the system itself.  Here's an example:

Step 1:  Someone calls 911 and says: My boyfriend/girlfriend hit the wall of our apartment and scared me, so I had to lock myself in my bedroom. 

Step 2:  Officers will be sent to you residence.

Step 3:  You may very well be arrested if they believe the caller.

Step 4:  The case is dismissed by the Court, either because there was actually no reason for the arrest or the caller did not appear.    

This is where the problem comes.   NCIC Reports  (The national data base containing your arrests, etc.) are notoriously difficult to

interpret.  As a Judge, many, many times I could not tell whether a case was dismissed, the Defendant was found guilty, not-guilty 

after trial, etc.   

Perhaps the worst part is that when you are applying for a job, employers see that you were charged with public drunk or simple 

possession, for example, but don't care whether both or either were dismissed.   The charge itself affects their judgment, which we

believe is fundamentally wrong at our law firm.  

We can solve that problem for you through the expunction process.

Are There Certain Criminal Offenses Which Cannot Be Expunged?


For example, the legislature in the State of Mississippi has exempted sex offenses (other than certain of those-type matters handled by Youth Court for Juveniles) from our laws regarding Expungements.  

The reasoning behind this exception is found in a recent Mississippi Supreme Court Case where a Defendant in 2011 pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor offense of disseminating sexually oriented material to a minor.   Chelsey Ferguson vs Miss. Dept. of Public Safety, 278 So. 3d 1155 (Miss. 2019)

The Court there pointed out that the Miss. Code Annot. Sec. 43-33-55 reads, in part: 

"Except for juvenile criminal history information that has been sealed by order of the court, this chapter exempts sex offenses from the laws of this state or court orders authorizing the destroying, expunging, purging or sealing of criminal history records..  Ferguson at Page 1158.  

The Court also stated that the legislature purposefully kept sex offenses out of the expungement possibilities  "in the interest of protecting vulnerable populations, and, in some instances the public, from potential harm."  Miss. Code Annot. Sec. 45-33-21

The bottom line is that sex offenses cannot be expunged,even if they are misdemeanors.

If My Record Is Expunged, Can The Charge Still Be Used Against Me? 

This is a very good question.   If a charge or conviction is expunged, it is removed from any local, state or federal records.  Even the physical court file at the lower court may be shredded or destroyed. Thus, any job you apply for in the private sector would be unable to see that you were ever charged or convicted. You are entitled to answer "No" if that question comes up on a job application.    (There are very limited exceptions to the rule, such as seeking employment by certain government agencies, etc.  Also, if the charge involved domestic violence, there may be other instances where it can rear its ugly head.  As an example, see my latest entry in "Recent Family Law Cases".