Having a criminal record cleared, or expunged, is different in every state. This is why it is important to know your state’s process and hire a good attorney who knows how to handle these cases.
Every state has different requirements to determine who is eligible for expungement. The process is designed for people who it is thought will not re-offend. Here are some of the conditions under which you may be eligible to have your records expunged:
- Having a drug offense
- Being a first-time offender
- Being a juvenile at the time of conviction
- Having an arrest or misdemeanor conviction, as opposed to a felony conviction
- Going a year without further offenses
- Having already served the sentence
In certain cases, defense attorneys will work with prosecutors regarding future expungement. For instance, the prosecutor may set requirements for the defendant to meet, and if those obligations are met, the record will be expunged.
Every situation is different so you may want to speak with someone at your county courthouse to find out if you’re eligible to have your record expunged. You can also visit your state’s website, but talking with someone will be more helpful. Then you’ll know whether or not to hire an attorney.
There is a lot of paperwork in an expungement process, and if your case has a hearing, you will want an experienced attorney speaking for you. Even cases that seem straightforward can be very complicated.
Having a criminal record, even a record of arrest in which you ultimately were not convicted, can make it difficult to get a job, buy a home or even rent an apartment. If you can have your record expunged, you will have a clean record. With the exception of just a few things, such as security clearances, you should then have no problem when you apply for a job.
If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.