Can My Criminal Conviction Be Expunged?

You can ask the court to expunge a conviction after your sentence is complete. These records do not disappear, but they are removed from public records and only used for court purposes. Whether you qualify depends on the state and the charge.


Your record can be expunged if you are a juvenile with a non-violent misdemeanor or ordinance conviction who is turning 18 with no other convictions. For adults misdemeanors, you must:

  • Have a misdemeanor conviction for assault, battery, reckless endangerment, or breach of the peace that doesn't involve a firearm
  • Wait 5 years after your sentence is completed
  • Never have been convicted of the same crime on another occasion
  • Never have had another conviction expunged

If you have a felony conviction you must:

  • Have a felony conviction that is non-violent, doesn't involve a firearm, and doesn't require sex registration
  • Wait 10 years after your sentence is complete
  • Never have been convicted of any other felony

South Dakota

Your criminal conviction can be expunged if you:

  • Wait 10 years after the offense occurred
  • Are at least 75 years old (for felonies)
  • Have no other convictions
  • Were not convicted of a Class A, B, 1 or 2 felony
  • Undergo an alcohol evaluation and submit records of recommendation (for DUI convictions)