If you have a criminal record, you may be wondering what to do next. After all, even an arrest record with no conviction can make it difficult to get your dream job or otherwise move through life.
Depending on the severity of your crime, you may be able to have your record expunged, or erased. In order to have your record expunged, you must go through a process that will involve the court and a number of other agencies. If you meet the requirements, you may be able to have your record cleared, so that it will not appear on background checks.
The Expungement Process
The first step in the expungement process is to determine if you are eligible. In order to be eligible, you must meet certain requirements, which may vary depending on the state in which you reside. Generally, you must have been convicted of a crime that is not considered a felony, and you must have completed your sentence, including any probation or parole. You may also be required to wait a certain amount of time after completing your sentence before you are eligible to have your record expunged.
Once you have determined that you are eligible, you must file a petition with the court. This petition will include information about the crime you were convicted of, as well as any information about your criminal history. The court will then review your petition and make a determination about whether or not you are eligible to have your record expunged.
If the court decides that you are eligible, they will send a copy of the petition to the district attorney and the law enforcement agency that was involved in your case. These agencies will then have an opportunity to object to the expungement. If there are no objections, the court will order the expungement of your record. If there are objections, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether or not to grant the expungement.
If your record is expunged, it will be removed from all public records, and it will not appear on a background check. However, it is important to note that the record will still be available to law enforcement and certain other agencies. Additionally, the expunged record may still be used in court proceedings if you are charged with another crime.
If you are interested in having your criminal record expunged, it is important to consult with an attorney. An attorney can help you determine if you are eligible and can guide you through the expungement process.
Other Next Steps
If you are not eligible to have your record expunged, there are still a number of steps you can take to improve your situation. You may be able to have your record sealed, which will limit the amount of information that is available to the public. You can also try to have your record pardoned, which will clear your record and restore your civil rights.
Pardons are rarely granted, but they may be an option if you have a clean criminal record and can demonstrate that you have been rehabilitated. You can also try to have your record restricted, which will allow you to state that you have never been convicted of a crime.
If you have a criminal record, you should always talk to an attorney before taking any action. Criminal records can impact your life in many ways, including making it difficult to find a job, get a loan, or obtain housing. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and options, and may be able to help you get your criminal record expunged or cleared.