As human beings, we are all vulnerable to making grave mistakes at least once in our lifetimes. The majority of us, however, don’t get affected by the mistake in the long run. We manage to get past our mistakes with nothing more than a lesson in life and perhaps a reprimand from our elders. However, there are a few of us, who on the account of a simple wrong decision have to deal with its repercussion throughout their lifetime because they lead to a criminal record. If you had been thinking, “How can I expunge my record?” then here is more information about the eligibility criteria and its benefits.
Let us first define expungement before looking into its criteria for eligibility. Expungement is a process of approaching the courts to conceal your criminal records, provided you satisfy the eligibility criteria for expungement. Your expunged records will not be accessible by the public. These records will cease to be a part of public knowledge. It means you won’t have to worry when you undergo an employee background check because potential employers, landlords, loan agents, colleges, professional institutions and other organizations will not be able to access any information about your criminal records. When you successfully expunge record, then you will find it easier to get jobs, obtain loans and qualify for promotions.
The process of expungement, the rules and regulations vary from state to state. Each state has its own set of procedures and laws governing expungement, so it is important that you understand the specific rules of your state before petitioning for expungement. Moreover, you can petition for expungement in the same courts where your case was tried. When you are looking for information on how to expunge my record, you should also know that not all criminal cases can be expunged. The courts usually look into many aspects before finally allowing or denying expungement. Some of the aspects that the courts look into are:
- Severity of the case
- Age of the offender
- Benefits to the offender in case of successful expungement
- Complexity of the case
The eligibility to expunge criminal record in any state usually depends on these criteria:
- The criminal act should not be serious or heinous in nature. However, some states allow expungement of misdemeanor charges as well.
- Petty crimes that are non-serious and non-heinous in nature are eligible
- Cases where you had been found to be ‘not guilty’ or where the case against you was dismissed by the courts
- In case of juvenile expungement, you should at least be 18 years of age
- You should have paid all fine due to you
- You should have completed your probation period as ordered by the courts
- You should have a minimum intervening period (as prescribed in the state laws) between the conviction and the expungement process
- You should not have any new charges or convictions against you during the intervening period
- You should not have applied or granted expungement in this state or any other state
- You should not currently be under house arrest, probation or pre trail release
When you have got information on how to expunge your record, it is important that you also know the basic rules for denial of expungement:
- If you were convicted or adjudicated guilty of a serious crime
- If you are a registered sex offender
- If there are requests for expungement pending in courts
- If you had had a prior expungement for any other case
- If some charges that are related to the criminal offense are still being tried in courts
Learning everything about expungement before petitioning the courts or seeking attorney’s help is very important. While it may be easy to say, “I want to expunge my record”, the process of expungement is not very easy. It is a time consuming process that involves a lot of paperwork and documentation.
To make sure that you do not prolong the process, you have to be doubly sure that the forms are filled properly and that there are sufficient supporting documents so that the courts don’t reject your petition.
In order to be able to get past the mistakes of your past and to be able to avail all the opportunities, expungement is the best recourse. The process of expungement may be long and tedious but there is help. When you want to get assistance and more information on expungement, you can reach us immediately. Call us now and we will give you case by case answers to your questions on, “How to expunge my record”.