One of the first things that must be considered if a person is trying to expunge his or her arrest records is the age of the victim in the case. If the victim was under 18 years of age at the time of the crime upon which the arrest record is based then it will be virtually impossible to expunge that type of arrest record.
Also in some states misdemeanors that involve driving while intoxicated and sex crimes offenses cannot be expunged.
If the victim in the arrest warrant was an adult 18 years or older and the arrest does not involve a DUI or sex offense then expunging the arrest record is a much easier process. Most states have a waiting period that must be observed before the arrest record can be expunged. The waiting period is usually two to five years in most states.
If a person does not have a prior criminal record expunging an arrest record in many states is just a matter of filling out the appropriate form or petition along with verifiable reasonable proof and filing this information with the appropriate court.
One word of caution should be noted because even if the person requesting the expungement of his or her arrest records does not have a prior criminal record, the request for expungement can be denied if the person has been arrested for or committed another crime after the arrest for which he or she desires an expungement.
Courts ultimately can and will at their discretion decide whether to allow a person's records to be expunged so whereas there are rules for each state the Court canmake modifications within his or her discretion if the Court deems that there are extenuating or mitigating circumstances that would warrant modification or exemptions.
Persons seeking to obtain an expungement of their arrest records usually have to provide a set of their fingerprints that should accompany the form or petition. In addition to the forms or petitions and the fingerprints, information proving that he or she does not have a prior criminal record and information proving that although he or she was arrested for the crime that they desire to have expunged they were never convicted of the crime.
If there was an order from the Court that contained a finding which stated that the person desiring the expungement was released from the charged or found not guilty of the charges then a copy of the Court order must be filed along with the fingerprints and form or petition.
Unless otherwise indicated requests for expungements from charges in state, county or municipal court are sent to the division that handles expungements which is usually located in the capital city of that state. For example, requests for state as opposed to Federal expungements in Pennsylvania would be filed in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the state capital.
Once the request for expungement is received when and whether it will be granted is a function of the Court's docket and schedule. In a jurisdiction that does not have a lot of cases that need to be heardthe decision regarding therequest for expungement will rendered quickly and if the petition is filed in a jurisdiction that hears a lot of cases then the decision will be delayed.