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Published On: Thu, Jun 20th, 2019

Everything You Need To Know About Expungements

It is an undeniable fact that if you have even a tiny blemish on your criminal record, it can affect your life like, forever. For example, it can be difficult for you to find a job, it can be difficult for you to get a loan and well, you’ll even face problems at security checkups. The point is that a juvenile record or a criminal record can affect your life a lot so you should make sure to get that record of yours cleared. If you were ever involved in crime then yes, that’s not good at all, but we all make mistakes, and the mistakes we made in the past must remain there and make sure that this happens, you need an attorney. In a nutshell, you’ll have to get your record expunged, and that’s exactly what we are here to talk about today.

What Does Record Expungement Mean?

When something gets expunged from your record, it can never come back to haunt you again, and you can then obviously qualify for loans, and you can even get hired easily. But the process of expungement isn’t as easy as it seems to be and you’ll have to put in a lot of effort. Another thing that you must know is that not all the crimes qualify for expungement, so it’s better to hire a record clearing lawyer first and then talk to him about the blemish on your criminal record. He will guide you on what you should do about that mistake that you made in the past and not only this, in fact, he will help you in this process of expungement too.

How Are Record Expunged?

Honestly, as said earlier, record expungement isn’t an easy job to do, and it takes quite a lot of effort to make that happen. You have to fill in quite a lot of complex forms, and well, you even have to make some court appearances. Your criminal defense attorney will be helping you throughout the process, and he will be making an appeal to the judge on your behalf. There should be a very compelling reason to get your record cleared, and that’s something only your attorney can deal with so make sure to hire the best one for this. During this process, you and your lawyer will have to work on coming up with a proper explanation and evidence that explains why the court should rule in your favor.

The three major outcomes of your case can be;

  • The judge can deny your appeal for expungement
  • He can order to destroy your record completely
  • He can restrict the access to your record and make it available only for law enforcement agencies.

What Happens After A Record Is Expunged?

When your criminal record gets expunged or sealed, that information on it won’t be available to the public. Long story short, your criminal record won’t be holding you back anymore, and you can then easily land on a good paying job or apply for higher education study in your desired institute.

photo/Piotr VaGla Waglowski, http://www.vagla.pl

Expungement Requirements

Of course, it’s not an easy case to deal with, and there are some requirements for it too. Most importantly, a felon is considered eligible for expungement only if he has kept his record clear for at least 10 years. In fact, if you have been a good citizen and if you haven’t had any additional crimes added to your file, then you can even qualify for an expungement just after a period of 5 years. Also, if you have done more than two offenses that have been added in your criminal record, then no, you cannot file for an expungement.

Here are some conditions mentioned for certain crimes;

DWI Expungement: You cannot get drunk driving offenses expunged. Yes, after ten years you won’t be facing any DUI sentencing if you’ve been clean, but that record cannot be destroyed, and it will stay there forever.

Drug Crime Expungement: The charges for the possession of drugs can be expunged but within certain limitations and circumstances. For example, if you’ve kept more than 25 grams of marijuana or more than 5 grams of hashish, then you won’t be considered eligible for expungement.

Sex Crimes: If you have offended someone sexually or if you have been involved in a rape case etc. then that cannot be expunged from your record no matter what. Once you are convicted and registered as a sex offender, you’ll remain one forever no matter what you do.

Violent Crimes Expungement: It is quite obvious that if you have been charged for murder or kidnapping etc. then that won’t get expunged out of your record and you’ll always remain a criminal.

Who Can See Your Criminal Record?

Once you commit a crime and get convicted for it, the details of your crime become a public record. In other words, anyone with a justified reason to have a background check on you can have access to your record and see whether you are a felon or not.

Law Enforcement

Yes, law enforcement can access your record easily, but as said earlier, there need to be some important reasons behind it, and this is something we are talking about even when your record is expunged. For example, if you ever apply for a law enforcement position or if you get involved in crime again, then these people can access your expunged record. Not only this, in fact, a judge can also review your record at any future hearings.

Employers

When you get your record expunged, your professional career will not be affected, which means that no employers will be able to see and have access to your record. Even if they want to perform a background check on you, they won’t be able to do that, and your record will be sealed for them.

Military

Yes, the military can access all of your records, whether it’s medical or criminal. They even have access to your expunged and pardoned records so you can’t technically do anything about it.

The Cost Of Expungement

You’ll have to pay for two things, the filing fees, and the lawyer fees. Now usually the filing fees is somewhat around $75 and well as far as your lawyer is concerned, well, it all depends on your offense. If you’ve been involved in a bigger offense, then it’s but very obvious that it’s going to take weeks or a whole month for the lawyer to work on it. So, discuss it all with your lawyer and decide whether you want to pay him on an hourly basis or monthly.

Can You Own A Gun After Expungement?

If your record gets expunged, then it’s very obvious that yes, you can own a gun and apply for a license for it, etc. The local detectives always review these applications first and if they ask you about a criminal record, you can clearly say that you are all clean ( in case of record expungement ). However, if your record is not eligible for expungement and if you are a felon then no, you cannot own a gun or any other firearms.

Is A Lawyer Necessary?

We’ve said this before and we are saying it again that getting your record expunged isn’t an easy task to do and it’s a whole long process that involves filling tons of forms and on top of everything, you need a proper justification to why you are applying for expungement and why should the court make a decision in your favor. Now, honestly, you cannot deal with all of this all alone, so it’s better to hire a lawyer for this task. Even a small mistake can get your appeal rejected, and once the judge decides not to expunge your record, you can then do nothing about it. Long story short, yes, a lawyer is necessary, and the second thing is that you should be hiring the best possible record cleaning lawyer to fasten up the process.

Overall Verdict

We hope you now know how to record expungement works and what you need to do to make an appeal in the court. So, now without wasting any more time just hire the best lawyer in town and get the process started especially if you are trying to become a better person and if you want to get on with your life. Getting your criminal record cleared can open a lot of doors for you and you can easily apply for a job or get approved for a loan etc.

Whatever the case is, you shouldn’t let your past mistakes haunt your present and your future, so make this investment and get your record cleared as soon as you can. You can easily find a lot of record cleaning attorneys around, so do some research and then just hire the best one who you know can fight the case for you and help you with expungements.

Author: Michael Wright

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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