Attorney explains new law making clean record more affordable

JACKSON, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Haslam signs a bill to make it more affordable to have your record expunged.

“Tennessee has always allowed people to clean up their record,” Attorney Mark Donahoe said.

Donahoe said having your record wiped of what are considered “low-level offenses” after five years isn’t a new law. He said it’s helpful for those looking for a brighter future.

“If you apply to restore your rights and get your record expunged at the same time, it’s really helpful to you and a lot of people going forward with a career or with school or something like that, so it’s a very important thing,” Donahoe said.

The price to fill out an application is going from $450 to $270 in total fines.

Attorneys say not every offense can be erased from your record. There’s a whole list posted online of offenses which you have and can’t have cleared.

“For instance, any sexual-related offense pretty much is not something you can expunge later, and you almost always have to have a lawyer take a look at it for you to know if you can or can’t,” Donahoe said.

This law also excludes most charges related to drugs and violence.

The new law takes effect immediately. Attorneys said once the application is filled out, it doesn’t take a long time for a judge to clear offenses.