MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Most people who walk through the doors of the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center are good people. Maybe they ran a red light, or were driving too fast. Maybe they got tanked up on some sort of refreshment and did something really stupid. It happens. Under a new law that takes effect next month, there’s going to be a way to keep your criminal record from getting into the hands of anybody but the police.
“Convictions keep people from finding employment,” according to Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich. “They keep people from being able to rent an apartment or do certain things. So if you’ve lived your life the right way since that mishap in your college years, or when you were a younger person, sure, let's reward you, and get it off your record so you can move on.”
The expungement law takes effect on July 1st in Tennessee. It will cover most misdemeanors and some felonies, but not many. If you’ve been convicted of a sex crime, or a DUI don’t even think of trying to get the records wiped clean.
It’s also going to cost $350 to get your criminal record cleaned and pressed. “You know we are preparing for a flood of people coming down,” Amy Weirich says. “We’ve already had people coming by, wanting to get their records expunged. We had to post a sign saying give us until July 1st, because that’s when the law goes into effect.
It has to have been five years since the case was handled. People must have completed what the judge ordered them to do, community service or whatever. All fines and fees ordered by the court must be paid in full. “A lot of people are going to think they’re eligible,” Weirich says, “come down here and find out it’s going to cost a lot more than they thought.