Published On: Tue, Jul 23rd, 2019

Guidelines about Expungement

A person cannot enjoy civic life with the tag of a criminal record. An individual has to confront multiple restrictions in different occupations, including the right to vote, student financial aid, education, and employment. Do you want to clear your criminal record? Yes! Expungement is the solution. The procedure of expungement mitigates the negative impacts of a previous criminal record and improves one’s image in the public view. People may take the pleasure of full-fledged rights, as they never committed any crime.

What is Expungement?

It is a process of removing all corrections, court, and police records. A person has to file a petition in the superior court to get the clean chit. Get the services of the expungement lawyer who knows, and experience to handle the case. It is a productive option to hire a lawyer to eliminate the previous criminal record. Remember, It is very difficult to hide the record when we are living in the age of technology.

Power of Expungement

Many people do not know how powerful expungement is. Variation exists regarding expungement laws from state to state. However, individual can honestly answer “no” when he is asked on a mortgage application or interview about the criminal record.

Public domain image/Piotr VaGla Waglowski, http://www.vagla.pl

Types of Expungements

Mandatory and Discretionary are two types of expungements.

Mandatory Expungement

Mandatory expungement is automatically awarded to a person if he accomplishes the requirements. Judge takes into deliberation either you deserve or not for the conviction expunged. A person may get the fruit of expungement when he fulfills its certain requirements.

Discretionary Expungement

The court has the right to dismiss your conviction if you do not fulfill the additional requirements of mandatory expungement. However, the individual still has chances to win the case.

  • Individual who successfully received probation as part of the sentence, and he completed it successfully.
  • Neither you are involved in any crime nor police filed any case recently.  

It becomes imperative for the court to award you expungement.

Certificate of Actual Innocence  

It is the most effective form of expungement. The investigation team finds that the defendant is not guilty in the matter. It drops the charges and gives Certificate of Actual Innocence. The certificate proves that the individual has no connection with the crime. He might show it to the court if specific reopened in the future.

Obtain Proof of Rehabilitation

The court analyzes the character of a person who involved in any crime. The convicted person provides proof of his good character. Individual shows how he has taken productive measures to abide by the law. The court takes into deliberation the efforts that a person taken to address the previous wrongs.

Pardon from the State Law Enforcement Officials

The legal bodies award power to officials of state-law enforcement to pardon a person. Remember, a pardon does not mean that you have never committed a crime, but it is an official proof of forgiveness. One may enjoy the right of education, employment, a mortgage with the notice of pardon.

Difference between Expungement and Sealed Record

Expungement term is used for the destruction of criminal records. The previous records have no value or the connection if a person commits a crime again. Many states do not allow destroying the criminal record permanently. They seal the criminal history of people. They may reopen them under specific conditions. Some understand that “expungement” and “sealed” terms are a synonym, but that is not true.

Benefits of Expungement

Expungement is very beneficial for a person who committed a mistake in the past that caused criminal charge and his arrest. A person has to confront block roads at every opportunity when he has the tag of criminal. Enjoy the desired benefits with the expungement.

Job Opportunities

It is very difficult to hunt the desired job with the criminal record. No organization happily welcome criminals. Numerous jobs are out of the picture for such people. Consequently, they have relied on menial jobs. Expungement allows people to apply and get the job whatever they like.

Voting Rights

The past slip-up deprives individual to enjoy the fundamental rights such as voting. It is a keen desired for every person to choose the favorite leader. You are feeling frustrated because the law does not allow you to cast a vote.


Misdemeanor or felony on record proves an obstacle to getting more education. Education institutes only enroll peace-loving students. Do not be panic because expungement allows you to go back to school.


Criminal history also affects insurance plans. You may not avail the cheaper insurance with the baggage of criminal record. Hire an expungement lawyer to get the insurance benefits.


The Internet exposes one’s silly mistakes that he committed years ago. No one likes it that family members, relatives, or colleagues may know about it. Expungement is the answer to the problem as it ensures that no one may get access to your record. Moreover, an individual may legally deny that he had been arrested.

Have a Beautiful Family

You want to build a beautiful family with foster parenting or adoption. However, the mistake of youth does not let you give true form to the dream. A person who has been booked in the sex offender registry; he/she cannot adopt a child. Seal the criminal records with expungement and live with a family.

Find the Desired Apartment or House to Rent

Homeowners dig into the criminal record before handing over the keys of apartment/house. No one would like to give you an apartment if you have been involved in illegal activity. They may easily obtain the record from a court. It is a wise investment to get the company of expungement lawyer to remove the criminal past.

Weapon Rights

An individual cannot buy, carry or repair the weapon if he has a stain of a criminal record. That is means; you may not enjoy the hunting trips or take precautionary measures to save yourself in the critical matters. Getting the right of weapon is difficult even for the peaceful citizen. Get the assistance of a lawyer to remove the criminal blot and enjoy the complete rights.

Eligibility Criteria for Record Expungement

The state frames rules and regulation to manage affairs fall within its orbit. The related expungement laws may differ from state to state. However, states share some common characteristics when we talk about criminal record expungement.


It is imperative for a person to fulfill numerous requirements to cultivate the advantages of the record expungement. The procedure may include;

  • Particular state’s laws should have approved the type of infractions and crimes for expungement.
  • Some states allow reopening the case even a person was convicted. However, other states have strict rules as the court takes into consideration the case if proceedings were dismissed.
  • An individual has completed the waiting times.
  • There should not be any pending charge against the individual.
  • An individual should pay the required fine or restitution.

Adult vs. Minor  

States have different expungement rules for the adults and minor.  Some states consider it necessary that minor person should qualify the mandatory requirements. On the contrary, other states give relaxation to minors due to age factor. They close minor’s case so children may grow as good citizens.

How to Start the Expungement Process?

You may see the variation in rules of different state regarding expungement. However, filing petition or application is the first step to march on the road. It is a time-sensitive and tiresome procedure. Get the services of the lawyer who is an expert in the respective field. You also need some important documents including the certificate of eligibility, victim checklist, petitioner’s reply, prosecutor and victim statements, acceptance of services, consent, and waiver of hearing.

State’s probation department will help you to prepare the report to submit it in the court. The probation report talks about your behavior, character, and lifestyle since the legal problem. The court will scrutinize it to determine either it could proceed for expungement or not. Prosecutor has complete right to challenge your application even before the first hearing.  

Reasons for Denial of Expungement Petition

The denial of expungement petition depends on the laws of the state. However, the common reasons for the rejection of the expungement petition discussed below:

  • Did not pay fines
  • Do not fulfill the terms of probation
  • Court did not deliver its decision
  • Federal crimes could not be expungement  
  • Any pending arrest of the petitioner
  • Petitioner convicted of another offense
  • Category of crime not included in the eligibility of expungement

How to Obtain Criminal History

You may utilize different sources to check one’s criminal history. However, the most reliable means of criminal information is the FBI. You have to pay a fee to get a criminal history record. Local law enforcement agencies provide data to the FBI. The FBI might not provide fines and citations if law enforcement agencies did not submit it. Finger submission gives detail about the arrest, the identity of the criminal, name, and the title of the law enforcement agency that shared information with the FBI.

There are dozens of websites on search engines such as  Google, Yahoo, and Bing that provide criminal history free of cost. But, they do not provide complete data.  

Author: Michael Wright

Jackson Man, Justin Darby Sentenced to 13 Years for Armed Carjacking


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