A felony has a big impact on a person’s life and if you live in Vermont, you’ve come here trying to find out how to get the felony off your record. Realize that with all felony records, there are three options you can take. 1) Expunge Your Record 2) Seal Your Record 3) Request a Pardon of Your Record. The problem though is that all states don’t offer all three of these options. But before we get into what Vermont offers, let’s review what each of these options actually mean.
If you get your record expunged in Vermont it’s as if your arrest and/or charges never happened. Your record is completely destroyed, including all physical and public records. When asked if have a criminal record, after expungement, you can truthfully answer “no”.
Sealing your record in Vermont is similar to expungement, but your record still exists in a limited form. The public does not have access to your record, but there are some exceptions. Your records can still be accessed by law enforcement and the courts. Record sealing is not as secure as expungement, but it is a reasonable alternative that is comparatively easier to obtain if your state offers it.
If you receive a pardon in Vermont, you still have record of your arrest or charge, but your guilt is exonerated. That is, you have proven that you are rehabilitated and forgiven for your crimes. You can also get relief in terms of having various rights restored, such as your right to vote. The requirements for pardons vary between states, but typically there is a lot of documentation required, and includes lengthy waiting periods to apply and receive a pardon.
- Things to Know Before You Start
- Can You Expunge a Felony in Vermont?
- How to Expunge a Felony in Vermont
- Can You Seal Your Criminal Record in Vermont?
- How to Seal Your Criminal Record in Vermont
- Can You Apply for a Pardon in Vermont?
- How to Apply for a Pardon in Vermont
- How to get a Felony off your Record in Surrounding States
- Other Helpful Resources for Felons in Vermont
Things to Know Before You Start
First: It’s important to understand that every state is different in terms of what methods are available for felons to remove their record and the information below will help you understand what you can do in Vermont.
Felony Expungement in Vermont
Yes, it is possible to expunge your felony in Vermont but it depends on the felony.
Sealing a Record in Vermont
Yes, it is possible to seal your record in Vermont but it depends on the felony.
Getting a Pardon in Vermont
Yes, it is possible to get a pardon off your record in Vermont but it depends on the felony.
Second: When trying to clear your record, you really have two options. The first is to get a free consultation from a lawyer to see what they think of your case, and the second is to try to do all of the paperwork yourself.
Third: We HIGHLY recommend that you get a free consultation from a lawyer prior to taking any action. We say this because whether you want to expunge, seal, or pardon your record, it’s an extremely complicated process. Failure to follow the process properly can end up with you being denied for the request and having to wait additional time (sometimes several years) before you can file again. In addition, getting an expungement lawyer can increase your odds of succeeding and sometimes it’s more affordable than you think. The first step is to click on the button below to confirm that you’re eligible for the expungement/sealing off your record.
Can You Expunge a Felony in Vermont?
An expungement in Vermont is ordered by the court, signed by a judge, and requires all information pertaining to the specific charges be removed from all records. An expungement results in the complete and permanent removal of all information that has anything to do with the criminal charge or the individual. Vermont law prohibits keeping any documents that pertain to an expunged record. After the expungement you are free to apply for jobs, housing, or permits without worrying about your criminal file.
You can ask for record expungement to the court of jurisdiction, but you will need to write down and sincerely justify your reasons for the expungement. Make sure you are going to the right jurisdiction and follow their rules.
CANNOT EXPUNGE IF…
Your crime is not a qualifying crime and does not meet the time specifications. (10 years) You committed a felony. Misdemeanors can be expunged except DUI, domestic assault, reckless endangerment, neglect, abuse, stalking, certain sex crimes. Do not pass the eligibility test. Most felony crimes are not able to be expunged.
How to Expunge a Felony in Vermont
Before you begin this process, we insist that you take this eligibility test to determine if you’re eligible to expunge your record. If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you. If you are not eligible for expungement based on our test, then you should stop here. If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading. Request your criminal file from the court. There will be fees. Fill out this form with all details and file it with the clerk. Fees will apply. File a copy of your petition at the court where you were convicted for the clerk to give to the prosecutor. A hearing will be scheduled and the victim will be notified. Your expungement petition is either granted or denied. In the case of denial, you cannot petition again for a minimum of five years.
Can You Seal Your Criminal Record in Vermont?
Sealing your record in Vermont is a bit different from an expungement. The record information is not permanently destroyed, it is only moved to a “sealed” storage where access can only be obtained via a court order. Information in a sealed record can be viewed if a court order demands it be unsealed.
CANNOT SEAL IF…
If the court rules against you because conditions have not been met. Your crime is not a qualifying crime and does not meet the time specifications. (10 years) You committed a felony. Misdemeanors can be sealed Crimes except DUI, domestic assault, reckless endangerment, neglect, abuse, stalking, and certain sex crimes cannot be sealed. Do not pass the eligibility test. Most felony crimes are not able to be sealed.
How to Seal Your Criminal Record in Vermont
When your record is sealed, it cannot be accessed by trying to find criminal records. If you are being considered for employment or trying to get a loan these records cannot be looked at during a background check. You are legally able to deny the criminal records. The records still exist, but only a court order to unseal the records can make those accounts accessible.Before you begin this process, we insist that you take this eligibility test to determine if you’re eligible to seal your record. If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you. If you are not eligible to seal your record based on our test, then you should stop here. If you are eligible to seal your record based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading. The sealing process needs to be started within thirty days of the two-year anniversary of the completion of Court Diversion. All fees and restitution has been paid. Request your criminal file from the court – you can find all court listings here. Fill out the form with all details and file it with the clerk. Fees will apply. File a copy of your petition at the court for the clerk to given to the prosecutor.
Can You Apply for a Pardon in Vermont?
A criminal record can be removed from the Criminal History record if the governor’s office issues a pardon. In Vermont, this is an order signed by the Governor and requires all information be removed. Governor’s Pardons are rarely given and require quite a bit of justification.
Pardons are granted to the governor by Chapter 11, section 20 of the Vermont Constitution. The governor can us the power of pardon to mitigate punishment of a crime for almost all sate offences. The court does not have to review a pardon. The act of pardoning a crime by the governor allows the governor to place any type of condition on the pardon.
CANNOT PARDON IF…
You have not earned the right for a pardon. You must prove that you are now a productive and law-abiding citizen after your conviction. You cannot be pardoned for a conviction in Vermont from another jurisdiction. This means if you were convicted in another state or at a federal proceeding you cannot be pardoned in Vermont.
How to Apply for a Pardon in Vermont
A pardon in Vermont “forgives but does not forget.” If you are granted a pardon you must make sure you lead an exemplary life. You can have the pardon revoked, you can be rearrested, and thrown back in prison if you commit another crime. Before you begin this process, we insist that you take this eligibility test to determine if you’re eligible to request a pardon for your record. In most cases, if you are eligible for expungement on our test, then you’ll be eligible for a pardon. If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because requesting a pardon is mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you. If you are not eligible based on our test, then you should stop here. Obtain your criminal back ground history for crimes committed in Vermont. Describe the circumstances of every offense. Demonstrate you are a god citizen and have lead an exemplary life since your conviction. Write this statement on a separate sheet of paper. Make it detailed and genuine. Explain how the conviction has negatively affected you and your family. Explain if you have been denied housing or employment because of your conviction. Stress that your conviction has prevented you providing a decent living for you and your family. Submit proof. Don’t make excuses for your crime. Four letters of recommendation from those who know you other than your family members. Have your application notarized and return to: Governor Phil Scott, 109 State Street, Pavilion, Montpelier, VT 0509-0101.
So, there you have it. Three separate ways to get rid of your record in Vermont. As we’ve said numerous times throughout this page, this is a really complicated process and we highly recommend that you take this eligibility test prior to taking any action to determine if you are eligible for any of these options.
Please note, the information contained here is not legal advice and is strictly informational. If you have any further questions about the information above, or in general, you need to contact a lawyer directly.