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Annulments

How can I annul my conviction is a common question. The answer depends on a few factors. One is the level of offense. Felonies, misdemeanors and violations each have different time frames. In addition, depending on the charge itself, the time to Petition to Annul may be extended. For instance, a violation level offense can normally be annulled a year after the sentence has been served. For instance some motor vehicle violations cannot be annulled for five years.

A Petition to Annul cannot be filed until the sentence has been served. What does that mean? Most commonly we think of the person who is sentenced to some form of incarceration and then is released. However, if you have a suspended sentence, whether that relates to a fine or imprisonment, you need to add the time that the sentence is suspended to the statutory time for an annulment. For instance, let’s say the law requires a waiting period of seven years to file a petition. If you have a fine that is suspended for two years, you now must wait nine years.

One of the factors to consider in negotiating or accepting a plea is what impact it may have on the length of time you must wait to file for annulment. If an individual has no previous criminal history, he or she may accept a longer period of incarceration or a higher fine to avoid having a suspended sentence. While the initial punishment may be harsher, in the long run that person is able to annul that conviction more quickly. If an individual has a lengthy criminal history, the time frame to petition to annul is probably not a factor.

The law provides that if a Petition to Annul is denied, for any reason, that individual must wait three years to refile. It is important to be certain that the petition is not filed prior to the statutory time limit and that it is drafted correctly.  If you have questions about annulling a conviction, give us a call.