How to Write a Letter of Expungement

By Peter Grant - Updated June 05, 2017
A woman judge holding a letter in her office

If you have any records of arrests, writing a letter of expungement can be one way to have your arrest records cleared so that no potential employers, landlords or other people performing a background check can see them. Depending on your locality and the law under which you were arrested, there may be different stipulations that determine if you are eligible for expungement. While there is no sure-fire template for expungement letters, you can create one that has a chance of being accepted.

The Introduction

Write the name and address of the recipient along with your name and address following traditional business letter format. Alternatively, simply include the name and address of the recipient along the right margin if you are using personalized letterhead that contains your contact information.

Always begin the letter with a formal greeting, such as "Dear Judge...", before composing the rest of the letter. Then, write the first paragraph of your letter by explaining why you are writing, what charge you wish to have expunged, and a short description of why you feel it should be expunged.

Give Evidence

Write a second paragraph that explains why you are a productive member of society who no longer associates with crime. Focus on the positive things that you have achieved since the time of your original arrest, despite having an arrest record. You might also want to explain that having the record appear on background check results in keeping you from furthering your career and achieving more goals.

The Conclusion

Conclude the letter with a third paragraph thanking the recipient for the time and consideration. Underneath the final paragraph, sign your name and print it below the signature.

Tip

It can be helpful to include letters of support written by people in your community and who you've supported and aided since your arrest. Note any volunteer or charity work that you've performed on your own time since your arrest to help demonstrate your positive intentions.

About the Author

Peter Grant has been a professional writer since 1998 and software engineer since 1995. He has contributed to academic papers, open-source software projects and technical documentation across several industries. Grant holds a master's degree in public policy from National University.

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