If you or someone you love was convicted of a felony in North Dakota, you already know the consequences can be severe.
A conviction can stay on your record long after the case is closed and you have completed your sentence.
Perhaps a mistake from your past is now hindering your future, and you cannot secure a mortgage or land your dream job.
Let the criminal defense professionals at the Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka help.
You may be eligible to have your criminal record sealed.
Our Fargo, North Dakota criminal defense attorneys have decades of experience helping individuals revamp their reputations and find their freedom.
Contact us today to get started.
Can a Felony in North Dakota Be Expunged?
In North Dakota, the law generally only allows criminal convictions to be sealed rather than expunged.
You might be thinking, what is the difference between an expungement and sealing?
Expungement is the actual destruction of a criminal record.
On the other hand, sealing a record does not destroy it but makes it confidential under most circumstances.
In other words, sealing the record does not make it disappear altogether but prohibits disclosure of the contents without a court order.
The process for sealing a felony record or obtaining an expungement is lengthy and meticulous. An experienced expungement attorney can help you navigate the process.
How Long Does a Felony Stay on Record?
Technically, a felony will stay on your record indefinitely unless you take action to change that.
However, you may be eligible to have your felony criminal record sealed after a certain crime-free time frame.
Generally, a felony record can be sealed five years after the date you complete your sentence.
A violent felony will not be eligible for sealing until 10 years from the date you complete your sentence.
Certain offenses, such as sex offenses, can never be sealed or expunged.
How Long Does it Take to Expunge a Felony?
To get your criminal record expunged, you must file a petition with the court explaining why your record should be sealed.
After the petition has been filed and all proper parties are served, a hearing will be scheduled to review the expungement request.
The hearing will be scheduled at least 45 days after the petition is filed.
The 45-day period gives the prosecutor time to review the file and consult law enforcement, victims, witnesses, or any other parties involved in the original case.
The court will then take into consideration several factors including, but not limited to:
- The seriousness of the underlying crime,
- Indications of rehabilitation since the offense,
- Any potential risk still posed to society,
- The petitioner’s employment history,
- The petitioner’s community involvement, and
- A recommendation of the victim (if there is one).
If you are unsure of whether you qualify to have your record sealed, call us today, and we will be happy to answer your questions.
Our Criminal Defense Attorneys Are Here for You!
If you have a criminal conviction in your past, you may be wondering, how long does a felony stay on your record?
We are available to answer any eligibility questions you may have. Our criminal defense attorneys are well-versed in the expungement laws of North Dakota.
We provide personal attention to each and every case. Let us help you get your life back!