Statute

Tenn. Code Ann. 40-32-105

Effective July 1, 2019, human trafficking survivors can file petitions for expunction of public records involving offenses related to their status as a victim. Prior to this date, survivors who were arrested and prosecuted as adults had no remedies in Tennessee.

However, the law allowing for expunction has several conditions survivors must meet. Survivors must have served or fulfilled the entire sentence, including any terms of incarceration, probation or supervised release. Survivors must also wait a year after completing the sentence before they can seek relief. They cannot have been convicted of another criminal offense during that time and cannot have any pending charges. The law also requires that at least one of the convictions to be expunged was for prostitution and none of the convictions can be for offenses that involve the use of physical force or a deadly weapon. There are additional limitations on which charges qualify and which do not.

Survivors cannot seek expungement if they have previously had any records expunged. To obtain expungement, they must show that the convictions resulted from having been a victim of human trafficking.  If a court grants the petition, the survivor is restored to the legal status they had before the arrest and conviction. The law specifically provides that survivors who have had records expunged should not face any collateral consequences as a result of the expunged conviction. If the court denies the petition, the survivor must wait two years to file another petition.

This webpage was produced by Freedom Network USA under Grant Number 2017-VT-BX-K018, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.