An expungement letter is a letter written for the purpose of sealing an arrest or conviction record. An expungement letter is not the same as an expungement form. Typically, expungement letters are formal letters written in accordance with a general outline. Online examples of expungement letters are available.
Why is a letter preferred over a form?
When a person is arrested, most states keep a record of the arrest, which is known as an arrest record. When requested by the BCA or other law enforcement agencies, the public, employers, and landlords can view these records at their leisure.
Those who were arrested but not charged with a crime, or whose case was dismissed before a formal complaint was filed, have a different path to take. These individuals can request that the “identifying parts” of their arrest records be returned and that the arrest records be sealed by the law enforcement agency.
This type of expungement must be done through a letter sent to the agencies that hold the arrest records – the police department, city attorney, county sheriff, and the BCA. Eligibility for this type of expungement includes not having a felony or gross misdemeanor conviction within ten years of the arrest. Other rules stipulate that all charges be dismissed prior to determining probable cause, or that the prosecution declines to file any charges and a grand jury does not return the indictment. The final rule states that an individual did not participate in a diversion program following his or her arrest.
Those who qualify for relief under specific state jurisdiction may write letters to the record holders of their information. In these cases, an expungement hearing and petition are not required. Those who have had charges filed and dismissed for lack of probable cause, however, must file a separate petition for the sealing of court records.
An expungement letter, unlike an expungement form, can have varying content; however, the letter must be formally written. A letter of expungement is not a non-court process for expunging any arrest record. Because these letters contain personal information, it is recommended that copies of each letter be kept. Each letter should be sent Certified Mail-Return Receipt Requested so that the sender knows when and if the letters were received by the recipients.
What exactly is an Expungement Letter?
Because many people find it difficult to rent homes and find work because of prior criminal records, many choose to have their records expunged many years later. This typically occurs five to ten years or more after the arrest.
Expungement letters must demonstrate that the individual in question has been a responsible member of society for many years, which is why they are written so many years later. These letters inform a judge, a district attorney, and the signing probation officer of the case’s final disposition. These letters must explain the arrest and the changes that have taken place to correct the actions. Staying out of trouble and attempting to assist others are examples of these.