3 Useful Facts About Criminal Record Expungement
Everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, some mistakes can result in an arrest for criminal activity.
Having a criminal record can be detrimental to your future. You may lose out on employment or housing opportunities if you have a criminal record. Expungement is an option for most people looking to wipe their slate clean and eliminate a criminal background.
The more you know about the expungement process, the better prepared you will be to take advantage of this service when trying to clear your own criminal record in the future.
1. Expungement Eliminates All Information
Some people might be hesitant to invest in a criminal record expungement if their case was dismissed. This hesitation is based on the belief that only convictions show up on a criminal record.
The fact of the matter is that a wide range of information can be listed on your criminal record. Some states include arrest notes and pending charges on criminal records. Information regarding any deferred sentencing or plea and abeyance deals you engage in can also be found on your criminal record.
Expungement will eliminate all of this information from your public record, ensuring that no evidence of prior arrests can be uncovered by individuals running a criminal background check.
2. Non-Violent Felonies Can be Expunged
Criminal activity is divided into two separate categories: misdemeanor crimes and felony crimes. Felonies are more serious and carry harsher punishments than misdemeanors.
Although a felony arrest is serious, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to live with that arrest on your record for the rest of your life. The expungement process can be used to eliminate all misdemeanors and non-violent felonies from your criminal record.
You may be required to maintain a clean record for a specified number of years before you can request the expungement of a non-violent felony. The help of an attorney with experience handling criminal record expungement cases will be essential if you want to eliminate both misdemeanors and non-violent felonies from your public record.
3. Two Types of Expungement Cases Exist
Expungement is a broad term that can apply to a wide range of cases. It helps to evaluate expungement in terms of mandatory or discretionary cases. These two types of expungement cases can result in the clearing of your criminal record, but each is handled differently in a court of law.
A mandatory expungement is automatic. If you meet all of your state's requirements to have your crime expunged, the judge must automatically approve the expungement request.
Discretionary expungement is more nuanced. A judge has significantly more control over a discretionary expungement case. Discretionary cases arise when an individual has met certain requirements for expungement, but not all requirements for a mandatory expungement have been met.
The judge will evaluate the case individually to determine if the person is a candidate for expungement. You will need the help of an experienced criminal attorney if you plan to file a discretionary expungement case.
Your attorney can help collect and present evidence that will support your assertion that you should be granted an expungement. Without this assistance, it can be difficult to persuade a judge to sign off on the expungement of your criminal record.
Eliminating criminal activity from your public record can make it easier to secure good employment and quality housing in the future. Don't let myths and misinformation prevent you from taking advantage of the benefits that the criminal record expungement process can offer.
Schedule a meeting with a criminal record expungement attorney in your area to discuss your background and determine if you are a good candidate for an expungement case.