A letter to judge requesting dismissal of charges is one way for consumers to seal or remove unwanted items from their criminal records. There may be a criminal arrest on their record that is inhibiting their loan applications, rental agreements or job applications.
If the person was arrested but not charged with any crime, they have the option of requesting that identifying parts of their record of arrest be returned and the arrest record sealed. This needs to be done through an expungement letter that is sent to the police department, county sheriff, city attorney and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
In order to receive this kind of expungement, the applicant must not have a felony conviction or a gross misdemeanor on their record within the past 10 years. Other rules are that all charges were dismissed before determining probable cause, or the prosecution did not file any charges and a grand jury did not return the indictment. The applicant must also not have participated in a diversion program after the arrest.
If the above conditions are met, the person may be allowed to write letters to the bureaus and agencies that hold records. This type of expungement does not require a hearing and a petition. If the person had charges filed and dismissed for a lack of probable cause, a different petition must be completed to seal their court records.
A letter to judges requesting dismissal of charges are different from expungement forms that require detailed information. The letter should be written in formal business style and must show that the person in question is a responsible member of society and has been for many years. This is why they are usually written five to 10 years after an arrest.
State the Case
The letters are addressed to a district attorney, a judge and the signing probation office of the final disposition of the applicant’s case. The letter must state the case and explain the changes that the person made in their life to correct their actions. Examples of life changes are helping others and not getting arrested again.
The tone of the letter should be polite and professional. There should be no complaints or recriminations against the police about the arrest because no charges were filed. The aim of this letter is to get the arrest removed from the applicant’s record and not to criticize the legal system.
Letter of Support
It may be useful to include a letter of support from a respectable person in society who can vouch for the applicant’s arrest-free life. If the applicant participated in any social or volunteer work, it should be mentioned, and a letter of support from someone else in that work that demonstrates the applicant’s desire to live a crime-free life may help.
If it is possible, the applicant should get a copy of their criminal record. This will have information such as the case number, which may make it easier for the officials who will receive the request.
By Andre Bradley