If you have a criminal conviction in Tennessee, then you probably understand the repercussions of such a conviction. It can make your life more difficult. Everything from getting a job to finding a place to live is made a little more difficult when you have a criminal record. That is why the state does allow for expungement, which the American Bar Association explains is a sealing of your records that prevents most people from knowing that you have a criminal conviction in your past.
With an expungement, you are treated as if you never had a criminal conviction. There are some exceptions, though. Law enforcement and others who are allowed by law can still access your record. So, it does not completely disappear, but for employment purposes or for getting an approval on a housing application, your record will appear clean.
There are certain restrictions and qualifications you must meet to have your record cleaned. Each state sets its own rules. If your conviction occurred in another state, you may have to go back to that state to have it cleared. In addition, certain crimes will exclude you from being eligible. You may also not be eligible due to other aspects of your criminal history.
You do have to apply for expungement. The final decision comes from a judge who will look over all the evidence and information about you and your case to make a determination under the law. A judge can issue it or deny it. This information is for education and is not legal advice.