Q: I was never convicted in an Administrative Hearing in 2002 USMC, but my CO recommended Discharge anyway.
I received an Honorable Discharge. When applying for a job, the arrest record of 2002/2003 shows. Can I get that arrest record expunged? If so what are the steps?
A: Yes. It is possible to have the record expunged or at least amended to make it clear that you were never charged with or convicted of a crime. We have had success assisting clients with this process. It begins with a petition to the law enforcement records centers for your service. In your case, a petition would need to be submitted to NCIS. The petition must outline why you should never have been "titled" initially and/or why the record should be amended now.
The process of expunging an arrest record can vary significantly based on jurisdiction, the nature of the offenses involved, and other factors.
In general, to pursue expungement, you would likely want to take the following steps:
Review your Eligibility: Different jurisdictions have various criteria to determine who is eligible for expungement. Usually, it depends on the nature of the offense, the time elapsed since the offense or since completing your sentence, and your criminal history. Given that you were honorably discharged and were not convicted in the administrative hearing, there is a chance that you might be eligible, but you would need to check the specific requirements in your jurisdiction.
Obtain Your Criminal Record: Before you can proceed with the expungement process, you will generally need to obtain a copy of your criminal record. You can usually do this through the state police or another state law enforcement agency.
Prepare the Necessary Documents: You would likely need to prepare a petition or application for expungement. This may require filling out forms that are provided by the court and gathering supporting documents.
File the Petition: Once you have all your documents ready, you would generally file the petition in the court that has jurisdiction over your case. There might be a filing fee, although sometimes these fees can be waived based on financial hardship.
Attend a Hearing: Depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of your case, you might be required to attend a hearing. At the hearing, a judge might ask you questions about your petition, and you would have the opportunity to explain why your record should be expunged.
Wait for a Decision: If the judge approves your petition, they will issue an order of expungement, and your record will be expunged. This doesn't happen instantly and might take some time.
Consult with a Legal Professional: Considering the complexities of the legal system, it is generally advisable to consult with a legal professional to guide you through the process and to help ensure that everything is done correctly.
I would recommend reaching out to a legal aid organization or a private attorney to discuss your specific circumstances and to get advice tailored to your situation. Remember to act promptly, as these processes can sometimes be time-consuming.
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