Posted on: 3 May 2018Share
If you have a misdemeanor conviction on your criminal record, then you're probably aware of just how much of an impact even a minor criminal conviction can have on your life. On the other hand, many states offer expungement opportunities for convicted criminals, meaning that you can have your charge sealed from your record. From there, you no longer have to disclose your conviction to potential employers or others because it won't show up on a standard criminal background check.
If you're interested in having a crime expunged from your record, there are a few things you should know.
Eligible Offenses Can Vary by State
For starters, be aware that not all convictions are eligible for expungement. Specific convictions will vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the state in which you were arrested and charged. In most cases, only certain misdemeanors (no felonies) will be eligible.
You Will Need to Meet Certain Criteria
Each state will also have some specific criteria that you will need to meet in order to be eligible for expungement of a crime. For example, you may need to wait until it has been at least five years since your conviction to be considered for expungement. Most states will also require that you have no additional arrests or convictions on your record since. Avoid wasting your time (and the court's) by making sure you meet all criteria before applying.
You Might Need to Appear in Court
There is also a good chance you will need to appear in front of a judge for an expungement hearing before a decision will be reached, though this can vary. Some courts, for example, may only require you to fill out some basic paperwork in order to apply for expungement; from there, you will typically be notified by mail if you need to appear in court for any reason.
A Criminal Lawyer Can Assist You
The process of applying for expungement can be a bit intimidating, especially if you've had less-than-ideal experiences with the court system in the past. This is where having a criminal lawyer to represent you can make all the difference, so consider retaining one for your case.
Having a crime expunged from your record can take a huge burden off your shoulders and open up your opportunities for employment, so be sure to keep this key information in mind moving forward!