Attorney seeks to expunge more than 100K court records - WSMV News 4

Attorney seeks to expunge more than 100K court records

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Attorney Daniel Horwitz Attorney Daniel Horwitz
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Anyone who’s ever had a criminal charge knows it can follow them in nearly everything they do.

For those whose cases have been dismissed with no costs, attorney Daniel Horwitz said they have a right to have their names cleared and their records expunged.

“In a lot of cases, people assume wrongly that their dismissed offenses have been expunged automatically when they haven’t,” said Horwitz.

“Right now you either have to ask for an expungement yourself or an attorney has to do it. That is the law,” said Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry.

Horwitz filed a class-action motion to get the process started for the more than 128,000 Davidson County residents who are currently eligible for expungement but haven’t gone through the process, which can take up to six months.

After a case is dismissed, the former defendant has to go to the criminal court clerk’s office to fill out an application for expungement.

Once a judge signs the application, the clerk’s office has 60 days to review it.

They then send it to police and the sheriff’s office, then to the TBI, which has 60 more days to review it.

All departments take time to clear their records of the charges.

“You’re talking about 128,000 people who have never been found guilty of anything, cases were either dismissed outright or were never prosecuted in the first place because there was not enough evidence,” said Horwitz.

District Attorney Glenn Funk and Gentry spoke before Judge Rachel Bell in support of the motion. 

They’re hoping to identify grant money for staffing needs so departments aren’t overburdened.

Bell has taken the case under advisement. The next court date is set for Nov. 9.

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