If you are charged with a crime and are found guilty of the charges you will have a “record.” This negative blot on your history can and will follow you around, impacting employment opportunities, your ability to obtain a scholarship, or perhaps to get into graduate school.
What is surprising to many people is that even if you are not convicted or if the charges against you are dismissed, there will still be a record of the arrest and charges. This can have an impact on your future similar to the impact a conviction might have. In fact, I recently had a client, who despite us having the charges against her dismissed, still was delayed in taking her nursing boards.
It is important that after you have dealt with the charges against you or have complied with the court’s requirements following a conviction that you follow through and have your record expunged.
Mississippi Code Title 99. Criminal Procedure § 99-19-71. Expungement of conviction; eligible offenses; notice; procedure; order; effect; expungement of arrest record
(1) 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 from all public records.
(2)(a) Any person who has been convicted of one (1) of the following felonies may petition the court in which the conviction was had for an order to expunge one (1) conviction from all public records five (5) years after the successful completion of all terms and conditions of the sentence for the conviction: a bad check offense under Section 97-19-55 ; possession of a controlled substance or paraphernalia under Section 41-29-139(c) or (d) ; false pretense under Section 97-19-39 ; larceny under Section 97-17-41 ; malicious mischief under Section 97-17-67 ; or shoplifting under Section 97-23-93 . A person is eligible for only one (1) felony expunction under this paragraph.
(b) Any person who was under the age of twenty-one (21) years when he committed a felony may petition the court in which the conviction was had for an order to expunge one (1) conviction from all public records five (5) years after the successful completion of all terms and conditions of the sentence for the conviction; however, eligibility for expunction shall not apply to a felony classified as a crime of violence under Section 97-3-2 and any felony that, in the determination of the circuit court, is related to the distribution of a controlled substance and in the court’s discretion it should not be expunged. A person is eligible for only one (1) felony expunction under this paragraph.