One bad decision or a mistake that lasts just a minute can leave you with a criminal record. And once you have been labeled as a criminal, you will face bias and discrimination for the rest of your life. Instead of letting your past haunt your future, reach out to an expungement lawyer.
Many people think that their criminal record is permanent and can’t be changed. But with the help of an expungement lawyer, it is possible for people with certain kinds of criminal records to close off the information so that they are not judged unfairly. Expungement is not always easy to do, and perfect outcomes are never guaranteed. The key is to work with an experienced expungement lawyer who can provide you with effective counsel and guidance from start to finish.
What is Expungement?
Expungement is a process of “erasing” information from a criminal record. Certain types of charges can be permanently removed, making it almost like the conviction never happened. The information does not disappear entirely. But it is sent to a file of “expunged information” that is kept in a separate location and largely inaccessible when someone puts in a records request. They will receive a notification saying that no records are available, and you will not be legally required to admit to a conviction.
What Records Cannot Be Expunged?
When you work with an expungement lawyer and successfully get your criminal record sealed, it is off-limits for most people who request a copy of it. But there are certain convictions that cannot be expunged. An expungement lawyer may still be able to help you clean up your reputation, but the process will not be as easy or immediate as expungement. These are most of the crimes that cannot be expunged:
- Criminal Homicide
- Criminal Sexual Conduct
- Human Trafficking
- Endangering the welfare of a child
- Criminal Restraint
- Motor Vehicle Offenses
What Records can be Expunged?
Part of what an expungement lawyer will do for you is determined exactly what information on your criminal record can be expunged. You will want to remove as much as possible, but the laws only allow a narrow category of crimes to be expunged. These are the types of charges that have the best chance of coming off your record:
- Many juvenile delinquencies
- Many low-level “violation” offenses like loitering or trespassing
- Arrests with “no conviction.”
- A select number of felonies and misdemeanors if approved by a judge
As you can see, an expungement lawyer can help you with a lot, but your record will not be wiped clean. If there is information on your record that cannot be removed, there are other avenues you can pursue with the help of an expungement lawyer. Do not give up until you have explored every option.
You will have to wait for a prescribed period after being charged before you move forward with the expungement process. At the low end, you will need to wait a year, but for more serious crimes, the waiting period is up to 10 years. No matter where you are on the timeline, it is worth reaching out to an expungement lawyer who can help you understand your record and prepare for expungement.
Why Work with an Expungement Lawyer?
If you are debating whether or not to contact an expungement lawyer, just consider all the situations when a cleaned-up criminal record will not hold you back:
- When you apply for a job
- When you try to rent a place to live
- When you want to get approved for a loan
- When curious parties look into your past
Considering that it is relatively simple to get a record expunged when you have a quality expungement lawyer, there is no reason not to go through the steps. You will not be completely free and clear of your criminal past. But it will not continue to be the setback, hurdle, obstacle, and disappointment that it is now.
An expungement lawyer will closely study your records and apply a careful understanding of the law. Then that expungement lawyer will help you to follow the procedures, fill out the forms, and meet all the obligations necessary to have your applicable records scrubbed. The devil is in the details, which is why you will want to work with an expungement lawyer who is experienced, careful, and committed from beginning to end.
If you are interested in having a conversation about your record and what can be done about it, reach out to expungement attorney Douglas Herring. With the help of quality legal counsel and the resources of a good firm at your disposal, you can feel confident that your record is being rehabilitated as much as legally possibly. Don’t wait to get the process started. Schedule a free consultation by calling 609-256-4098.