After an arrest, the details of the situation become a part of public record. This information may create problems in the future, especially when searching for an apartment or a job. These applications usually include a question about legal history, including arrests and/or convictions. For this reason, some people contact an expungement lawyer for assistance with sealing these files.
Expunging a criminal record means that the information is sealed and cannot be opened in inquiries. This means that details in connection with both arrest and any resulting conviction would be inaccessible to anyone making an inquiry at a later date. Potential employers or landlords would perform a search for legal history in connection with a name. Even though an arrest or conviction occurred, the information would not appear in connection with the search, because the expungement sealed the information and prevented it from being disclosed.
An expungement lawyer can assist a client with this process. Every jurisdiction has different requirements and procedures to follow for this process. The attorney will understand local requirements to assist a client. The procedure involves determining first whether an offense is eligible for sealing. Some offenses are so serious that they are not eligible. Sometimes a specific period of time needs to elapse or the person needs to have finished serving a sentence or probation first.
Applying for an expungement may be as simple as filling out a form and submitting it to a court. Submission may also involve paying a fee. The court may just approve the request, especially for minor misdemeanors. However, in some cases, a district attorney might oppose the request. This would be a situation when an expungement lawyer would be helpful.
Having a record wiped clean with no worry of others finding damaging information about a criminal past can be an effective chance to start over with a blank slate.