Understand “What is an Expungement”and its Importance

If you have a criminal record, than you may have wondered at one time or another “what is an expungement?” Expungement is the process of requesting the court to remove all records pertaining to a person’s arrest, the trial and conviction, including probation and fine if ordered by the court. The next thing you may want to ask is why get my criminal record expunged. The existence of a criminal record against your name can be very damaging to your reputation. Chances are that if you have a criminal record showing in databases, you will be denied employment, home or student loan.

Those who understand expungement and the benefits of filing for expungement get it done at the earliest possible. Leaving it in the databases of government websites can be very damaging. The more time you leave it there, higher are the chances of other databases picking it from there are putting them in their databases. Soon the story about your arrest and conviction will stray far and wide over the internet. It is not only stigma for you but also for your whole family.

When people with criminal record understand “what is an expungement,” they will get it removed at the earliest possible. This ensures not all will have access to your criminal records. If some wants a background check they will not be able to find your dark past. But expungement is ordered upon application by a competent court only once in the lifetime of the applicant. This ensures that the culprit does persist with his nefarious activities. It is kind of an incentive to reform and live a peaceful life within the confines of a decent community.

Expunging is a state subject. It means that different states will have different procedures and rules to following within their territory. Each statue will define “what is an expungement” within the meaning of the state law. Laws in some state are liberal than others. But there is however a common thread that runs through all the state laws pertaining to the process of expungement in NJ.

That some state laws are more liberal than others doesn’t mean you can apply for expunge orders in a state away from where you committed the crime for which you were initially charged and sentenced. In fact your present state of domicile is not at all a consideration. The place where the police arrested you and the place where trial was conducted are the two important factors that determine the competent court to grant you expunge order.

On the face of what appears on statue books don’t be tempted into believing that you can get an expungement order by yourself. That you have understood “what is an expungement” is not enough experience to apply for one. You must before filing the petition, determine the competent court, have copies made of your original arrest, get the case number, get proof of having completed a probation successfully and then file the petition.

Due to the voluminous work involved in filing a petition for expungement, NJ residents choose to hire the services of a lawyer well versed in expungement law. By hiring the service of a lawyer, you will be able to save time and money. If you ever tried to do it all by yourself you may lose substantially because you will be learning the whole process only through trial and error. But lawyers will be able to tell you instantly how much of chance you stand in getting an expungement order without a delay. Some crime records, felony especially, cannot be expunged in most states including NJ.

There is however some sections in the law that allows a felony to be classified as misdemeanor. By getting felony classified as misdemeanor, you will be able to ask for expungement of your criminal records. But lawyers will not promise you that or anything else. The law pertaining to BAR, in most states, prohibit lawyers from making such a promise to their client. You must also understand that the court is the only competent authority to sit in judgment on issues like expungement.

Normally your lawyer should be able to get an expungement order in your favor in 90 days. Things can however be delayed. Expungement is not high in the priorities list of courts, and to compound matters further judges may be even ignorant about expungement laws. Your lawyer may even have to educate judges and law officers about it, and even provide citations to press your case for grant of expungement. Once expunged, be careful not to repeat the same offence. Expungement will not be allowed for second or subsequent crime records, and your first expungement may even be reopened for public to view.


About Angela

Hello, Cyber world! I currently work as the Web Content Editor for the Expunge Center page and through my whole life writing and blogging has been in my Top priorities.

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