In the United States, expunging federal crimes is handled under federal law, not state law. This means that regardless of which state you are in, like California or any other, the expungement process for federal offenses follows federal rules and regulations.
Many people ask whether federal charges can be expunged from their record in California. A criminal record can adversely affect employment prospects, educational opportunities, and overall personal and professional growth.
Unfortunately, expunging federal charges, especially with a conviction, is not a straightforward process and cannot be done easily. However, there are still alternative options available to address and deal with these charges.
Under federal law, a federal expungement differs from an expungement under California law. With a federal expungement, the conviction is completely erased, along with any associated information. It is as if the offense never occurred, and it is removed from your criminal record. However, this type of expungement is only applicable in very limited situations. On the other hand, a federal dismissal is similar to a California expungement, where the conviction is not completely erased, but it is hidden from public view.
How To Get A Federal Conviction Expunged
Please note; most federal convictions cannot be expunged or dismissed. Unlike in California and most other states, there is no general federal law that allows for expungement of federal crimes. Generally, under federal law, once someone is convicted of a federal offense, the record of that conviction remains permanent. However, there are a few federal laws that provide for expungements and dismissals in specific and limited circumstances.
Here are the limited options that exist for “cleaning up” federal convictions on your record:
- Firstly, if you committed certain drug offenses and were under 21 when convicted, you might be eligible for a federal expungement.
- Secondly, if you were convicted of certain drug offenses and were over 21 at the time, you may qualify for a federal dismissal, though not an expungement.
- Finally, it is possible to get your conviction expunged from your record by a federal judge, but it is known to be a difficult feat. This is referred to as a judicial expungement.
Other Options for Expunging Federal Charges
Apart from expungement, there are some alternative options available for addressing federal charges on your record:
- Certificate of Rehabilitation: You may be eligible for a certificate of rehabilitation, which provides official recognition of your rehabilitation efforts. While it does not erase the conviction, this certificate can demonstrate to potential employers or licensing boards that you have taken significant steps to turn your life around
- Pardon: Applying for a federal pardon is another option. The President of the United States has the power to grant pardons, which can forgive an individual for a federal offense. However, this is a rare occurrence and typically requires compelling reasons or evidence of rehabilitation.
- Federal First Offender Act and Youthful Offender Program: Certain federal statutes such as the Federal First Offender Act and the Youthful Offender Program offer special treatment for first-time or young offenders under specific circumstances. Completing these programs can result in reduced penalties or the avoidance of formal conviction records.
Get Expert Legal Help For Federal Charges
It is unlikely that federal charges can be removed from your record, but it’s best to speak with a lawyer who is knowledgeable about federal law. They can help assess your situation, review options, and suggest the best course of action. It’s essential to remember that the process of expunging federal convictions is complicated, and it requires a deep understanding of the legal procedures involved.
The eligibility for relief can vary based on individual circumstances and the specific federal offense involved, as every case is unique.
If you are currently facing federal charges, it is important to seek legal counsel immediately to protect your rights. Additionally, if you are exploring options for clearing your record, experienced legal counsel can assist you in that process as well.
You can rely on the years of experience of Cyrus Tabibnia, a criminal defense lawyer who will fight for the best possible outcome in your case. He approaches every individual’s situation with compassion and empathy and strongly believes in the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence. To request a free consultation, call 866-713-2159 or click here, and he will promptly respond to your inquiry.
Contact Cyrus Tabibnia from Tabibnia Law Firm. There is no risk or obligation when you contact him. He is available 24/7.
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