Expungement of Criminal Records Made Easy

Everyone makes mistakes, even the law understands that. Whether due to poor judgment, being at the wrong place at the wrong time, befriending the wrong people, or being wrongly convicted, at the end of the day one is left with a tainted record that limits their societal participation. For this purpose, the law provides the opportunity for the expungement of criminal records to offer the chance to obtain a clean record once again.

Expunging a criminal record is basically the process of clearing you of all charges, if you were ever convicted of a crime. Some states allow for complete destruction of the record, inclusive of court cases, fingerprints, mug shots and all, thus offering you a fresh start on life. However some only seal those records that are made available to the public, or tweak them to show that you were once charged but the case has now been dismissed.

Why you need to expunge criminal record possessed by you

Expungement of criminal records provides a new lease on life to those who are constantly reminded of their notorious past, regardless of whether they’ve seen the error of their ways. As criminal records are available to the general public, one may find it difficult to participate in normal activities if the society views them as a criminal. You may be guilty of a petty crime or may have been wrongly convicted, but that won’t stop anyone from shunning you once they learn of your criminal record.

By possessing a tainted history one may find it hard to:

  • Vote, as some states deny offenders from doing so
  • Acquire a bank loan, since financial institutions may be wary of lending huge sums of money to those whose name pops up in a criminal record search
  • Rent a house, as landlords rarely are willing to take the chance of housing a possible criminal
  • Get a job, as employers tend to run background checks on prospective employees. Even if they’re sympathetic to your predicament, having a criminal record will automatically make you ineligible for certain positions.
  • Adopt a child, since no organization would allow a law-breaker to foster a child.
  • Travel to other places as many countries have various rules in their visa eligibility process.

The only solution to such conundrums is to have your criminal record expunged. Since state laws vary in terms of expungement, how clean your record will be will depend upon the place you reside in. While some may not impose upon you to be completely honest of your criminal past (expunged or not), others may do so in an attempt to protect the people of their nation.

However, even if it is necessary to be revealed, the fact that your case has been seen fit by the law to be expunged is proof enough of your credibility.

How to expunge a criminal record

The rules revolving around expungement of criminal records varies from state to state. However, the general gist around it states that those guilty of heinous crimes like sexual acts against minors may not file for expungement. Also, those currently under probation may not do so either.

However, those who may be eligible for acquiring expunged criminal records are:

  • Those who were pardoned by the court
  • Those guilty of a crime but have completed their probation and have no other criminal charges against them, may apply for the expungement of criminal records
  • Those who were wrongly convicted may also be entitled for expungement.

Once you determine your eligibility for a clean record, you can apply for expungement by following these steps.

  • First, obtain a copy of your criminal record from your attorney, or the court you were charged in.
  • After that you may acquire an expungement form which you will have to fill out and submit to the court, along with the copy of your criminal record and other documents that you may be asked to furnish.
  • Some states may then require you to attend a hearing to defend your plea. If not, you may simply have to wait for the judge to form a verdict based on your case and your past records.

To apply for expungement, it isn’t always necessary to hire an attorney to do it for you although some states may advise you to do so.

Once you apply for expungement, it may take a few months for the final verdict to be revealed and for you to lead a guilt-free life. One can’t rush a good thing after all.

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