An expungement letter starts with a paragraph explaining the charge and reason for the expungement request, then follows with a second paragraph explaining the individual's contributions to society and a final paragraph offering thanks for the reader's time. The purpose of an expungement letter is to request that an arrest or criminal conviction record be sealed.
According to the Expungement Guide, an expungement letter should show the judge, district attorney or probation officer that the writer is now a responsible member of society. The letter should included details of the case and the steps that the person has taken to correct the actions. These changes can include public service and maintaining a clean record. Expungement letters should be written in a business format, which includes a personalized letterhead and formal language. Such letters are usually written several years after the arrest or conviction, which allows the individual to make amends and life corrections. To ensure proper delivery, expungement letters should be sent by certified mail with a return receipt requested.
The Legal Action Center offers a sample expungement letter in a Word document format. The Law Office of Nancy King provides a free "sample letter of reference for expungement," which is a template for use by others willing to offer support and recommendation on behalf of the prior offender.
Criminal records can prevent people from finding employment, having access to safe and affordable housing, acquiring financial aid for higher education and receiving public assistance such as welfare. Writing an expungement letter to have the records sealed can potentially remove those barriers.