Effective October 1, 2019 – You can now expunge any misdemeanor you have ever received IN YOUR LIFE – even if you have later convictions!
In 2017, Montana created a law through which a misdemeanor criminal conviction could be permanently expunged. Expungement is a process where an offense is removed from your permanent record. With an expungement you can legally answer NO if asked about past criminal convictions, like when applying for a job or mortgage. Expungements can also help you get your gun rights (and ability to hunt) restored.
In 2019, the law was expanded and opened up a whole new world of possibilities and the possibility of expunging multiple convictions.
Here are the big changes and updates for 2019:
- OLD Law: Only the most recent conviction could be expunged
- NEW Law: Any misdemeanor conviction, even those in other courts in other years can be expunged.
- OLD Law: Only the Department of Justice record would be expunged
- NEW Law: In addition to the Department of Justice record being expunged, all court records, police reports, notes, investigations, etc. will be permanently sealed.
What does this mean?
It means you can attempt to completely clear your criminal record of misdemeanor crimes, including:
- Speeding tickets
- Other traffic offenses
- Drug crimes
The prior law only allowed the most recent conviction to be expunged. Now you can expunge every single misdemeanor conviction on your record – If you follow the correct steps.
The BIG rules to remember:
- At least five (5) years must have passed since the completion of your most recent conviction.
- You cannot currently be accused of a new crime or criminally charged.
- Lastly – you can only attempt expungement 1 time ever.
- Only misdemeanors can be expunged in Montana, NOT felony crimes.
If you have attempted an expungement and failed, you can never attempt it again.
It also means that having an experienced attorney with intricate knowledge of this process is the only way to give yourself the best possibility of a successful outcome in expunging multiple cases. If you mess it up trying it yourself, you can’t go back and fix it later – you’ve blown it.
You only get one shot at this, so make it count – hire an experienced attorney that handles many expungement petitions, like we do at the Judnich Law Office.
This expungement petition process is not a guarantee. The courts have the ability to deny an expungement petition for a variety of legal reasons, or no reason at all. For this reason alone it is the best idea to hire an experienced attorney to handle such complicated legal pleadings.
Get more info today!
If you want to know more about the expungement of criminal records in Montana give the Judnich Law Office a call today. (406) 721-3354 or contact us online.
Marty is a former criminal prosecutor in the Cascade County Attorney’s Office and now uses that experience to defend those accused of crimes. A University of Montana School of Law graduate, Marty focuses his practice on personal injury and criminal defense and is a premier DUI defense attorney. He is also well versed in the insurance claims industry and has negotiated significant settlements with nearly every major insurance company.