A criminal record can hold back employment, credit, and other opportunities. Expungement is a great opportunity to jump that hurdle.
Expunging a record is an important step to being able to leave behind an arrest or conviction. An arrest or criminal conviction can hold back applications for schools, jobs, and more. The good news is that aspects of this unwanted documentation can be erased after a certain amount of time, depending on the offense. There are a few quick questions to ask to figure out if a record can be removed.
If the incident resulted in an arrest, there are state-by-state guidelines governing the waiting period to request expungement. If the charges were dropped or there was an acquittal, the process can be much quicker. Some types of arrests, such as a DUI, have more restrictive rules on removal. A good rule is to speak to a qualified attorney in your state to determine your eligibility.
If the incident resulted in a conviction, it may still be eligible for expungement. Violations, misdemeanors, and even some felonies can be removed. There is often a waiting period before citizens can request that any action be taken, but this period varies state by state. In addition, more serious offenses often require a nearly spotless record (although sometimes minor traffic tickets are allowed). If you meet all of these criteria, it is probably worthwhile to speak to an expungement lawyer to see if your record can be cleaned up.
What Can Be Expunged
This varies state by state, so be sure to consult a knowledgeable, local expungement lawyer. As a general rule, citations, misdemeanors, and even certain types of felonies may be eligible. Serious felonies and crimes of violence may be ineligible or have restrictive limitations. An attorney can provide you with more detailed advice about your particular situation.
A criminal record can follow you for the rest of your life, but it doesn’t need to. Talk to an expungement lawyer to see if you would qualify to have your record cleared.