Maui Business

Talking Law: Expunging a Criminal Charge

November 26, 2018, 3:33 AM HST
* Updated November 26, 10:26 AM
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Nobody wants a lingering criminal charge following them around as they try to get jobs, travel and so forth.

Removal of that record, a process known as expungement, can help if you’ve been arrested or charged with, but not convicted of, a crime.   Expungement is also possible you if were convicted of DUI when you were under age 21, or convicted on a first-time drug or property crime offense.  Your arrest record must meet certain criteria as specified by certain Hawai‘i Revised Statutes; if it does, you can apply for expungement without an attorney’s involvement (unless it’s a complicated case) using a one-page, fill-in form and paying a $35-$50 fee.  Get more important details from attorney David Sereno in our Talking Law video above.

Your record will usually be expunged within a few weeks, though there is an exception: if you received what’s known as a deferral, or deferred acceptance plea.

“There are times in criminal cases when the court will defer acceptance of your plea, which basically says, ‘If you do what I tell you to do for a year or four years or five years and you’re arrest-free and you’ve done well, we’re going to dismiss the case,'” explains Sereno.  “In that case, you have to wait a full year from that dismissal date to apply for the expungement.”

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Every state has some sort of expungement process, and Sereno advises you to do some research, see whether or not it’s on the record, if it was a deferral and so forth, then go through the method to expunge.  For criminal charges in our state, along with DUI, first-time drug, property crime or under-21 convictions, visit the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center for more details on Expungement.

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See other Talking Law videos, like our interview on Medical Marijuana and Guns, throughout our Business section.

 

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