Can a Federal Conviction Be Expunged?

A conviction could lead to serious, long-term consequences that affect a person’s ability to get a job, find housing, or even qualify for certain government benefits. Often, even after the individual has served their time and paid their fines, having a criminal record makes it difficult for them to readjust to society. For state crimes, convictions for certain offenses can be expunged from a person’s record, effectively erasing the information and giving the individual a second chance at life.

Federal Expungement Available for Certain Offenses

Unfortunately, if the individual was convicted of a federal crime, getting an expungement is all but impossible. Generally, the U.S. government will only allow for minor drug offenses to be cleared from the person’s record as long as they meet specific criteria. Under 18 U.S.C. § 3607(c), the individual must have been found guilty of a drug offense under section 404 of the Controlled Substances Act. Additionally, the person must have been less than 21 years of age when they committed the crime and had no prior offenses on their record.

Federal Pardons

Another course an individual can pursue to have their offense forgiven is through a federal pardon. A pardon is different from expungement in that it does not clear the person’s criminal record. Instead, they are absolved of the crime and are no longer subject to the penalties imposed upon them. Also, their rights to certain benefits and privileges may be restored.

Unfortunately, like an expungement, a federal pardon is challenging to get. It requires that the President of the United States of America review the case and issue the pardon.

Contact Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger for a Free Case Evaluation

If you have been accused of a federal crime, contact our team for solid legal defense. Understanding the serious consequences of a conviction, we will work toward obtaining a favorable outcome in your case. Backed by over 50 years of combined legal experience, we will provide the fierce and effective counsel you need.

To get started on your case, call us at (319) 499-5524 or contact us online.