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Can a convicted felon move to another state to clear his background?

Farmington, MI |

My friend has a armed robbery felony and wants to know if moving to another state will clear his background.

Attorney Answers 3


No. Criminal records are reported to the federal agency that reports it to all states. That's why they call it a permanent record and moving to another state won't wipe the slate clean.


He may be able to make an application for a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disability which may help him not be automatically denied employment in various positions.

Good luck.

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Your friend will not be able to run from his criminal record. Additionally, if your friend is on probation or parole, he or she will need to seek approval before any move can be made, otherwise, your friend may be in violation of the probation or parole conditions and face further criminal penalties.

The previous attorneys advice is accurate. The felony will show up on his record no matter where your friend decides to go. He may be able to get it expunged after a period of time, a clean record and a petition to the court.

Disclaimer: This response is designed to provide general information only. The information provided is presented for informational purposes and should not be construed to constitute legal advice nor is it intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is recommend that you seek the advice of independent counsel regarding your individual legal issues.

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I will be the third attorney to say, 'No.' This conviction will be available in many, many law enforcement databases. And, while applying to expunge the record is a strategy, it is not fullproof or applicable in all jurisdictions. For example, if that felony is in Arizona then there is no expungement. There is only the request to set aside a conviction -- and that would be in Arizona. Finally, I must underscore the previous attorney's advice who commented on the subject. To your friend: DO NOT relocate out of state if you are on probation or parole. More than likely, your conditions of release or probation/parole terms include the prohibition from relocating out of state (and maybe even out of county) without expressed written permission from the court, parole, or probation departments. Always be safe and check. Good Luck!

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