New Tennessee Expungement Law Effective July 1, 2012

In Tennessee, the law permits the expungement–or destruction–of criminal records within the court system for defined crimes.  Related documents maintained by law enforcement agencies and prosecuting attorneys, such as arrest reports, investigations, and prosecutors’ files, are not destroyed but are maintained as confidential records for law enforcement purposes and are not viewable by the public.  

Effective July 1, 2012, a new Tennessee expungement law took effect allowing the expungement of certain misdemeanor convictions and Class E felony convictions for nonviolent offenders.  The law allows those who have completed all sentence requirements and have no violent convictions to petition (meaning request) the court for expungement. There are significant filing fees–there is a $350 expungement fee PLUS a $100 petition filing fee, for a total of $450 in filing fees alone.

Tennessee law also allows the expungement of successfully completed judicial diversion (which excludes offenses of sexual or violent sexual nature as defined in 40-39-202). Again, there is a $350 expungement fee and $100 petition fee.

The new law is believed to allow thousands to expunge their criminal records of minor offenses, clearing a path for better employment and educational opportunities.  

The new law complements existing law which allows expungement for those arrested or charged with a crime that was ultimately dismissed or resulted in a not guilty verdict.  

One Response to “New Tennessee Expungement Law Effective July 1, 2012”

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  1. J.D. Smith says:

    Recently there has been all this hype about the Governor’s new Bill. That would be House Bill 2865. When you read the news articles they emphasize what a great thing this bill is (rightly so considering the Tennessee Legislature). They also imply that one couldn’t have had their record expunged before this bill was past by the gracious Governor. WTF? Are you kidding me? This reminds me of what it must have been like to live in Massachusetts during the Salem Witch Trials in 1962. People were probably afraid to fart incorrectly. House Bill 2865 really solves very little because people get wrongly charged and convicted in this Podunk place all the time. The other thing that is implied in this news article is that if you have ever had more than one conviction you are totally screwed. I say WTF again. These bastards openly and blatantly use someone’s arrest record against them to get a second conviction without having any evidence. They openly allow character assignation to rule the day in court instead of evidence.

    The sad reality is I have never been convicted of a crime in a court of law. However, I have had more than my fair share of persecution the Kangaroo Courts of Tennessee. I truly feel that I have been robbed of life’s abundant opportunities because of liars and thieves. I believe I’ve been denied the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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