Under Tennessee law effective July 1, 2012, an individual can have certain prior criminal convictions removed from the public records. This removal process is called "expungement". The "expungement" process, subject to certain exceptions, is for either a low grade felony (where the punishment received was three (3) years or less) or misdemeanor convictions, it has been five (5) years since you were released from jail, parole or probation and during that five (5) year period you have not had any new convictions. Once these prior convictions are expunged from your record, certain civil rights which you lost upon your conviction are restored, such as your right to vote, possess a firearm and/or to obtain a firearm permit. Also, after expungement, if you are asked on a employment application if you have ever been convicted of a crime, then you may answer in the negative.

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