If you are still dealing with the effects of a prior arrest or conviction, you can get it erased to start again. While the expungement process might be complicated, the court will keep some or all of your records if you get permission. Background checks will no longer reveal it. If you have some previous convictions, a criminal defense lawyer can help you erase the records.
How to get your criminal record expunged?
Parts of your criminal history can be “cleared up” in several methods. You can ask the court to seal some types of court and criminal records via the process known as expungement. Generally, records not part of a conviction are eligible for expungement; however, some crimes are unacceptable. Depending on how the issue is resolved, there are minimum waiting periods before filing for expungement.
You must have one of the numerous requirements for your criminal record to be eligible for expungement like:
- You have been acquitted.
- The conviction against you was confirmed on appeal after it had already been reversed.
- DNA evidence proved your conviction to be false.
- You earned a complete pardon from the governor.
- You received a misdemeanor conviction, a punishment of a fine of under $501 with no prison time or suspended period of time, and you paid the fee. No charges are pending against you, and you have not been found convicted of a felony.
- You received a misdemeanor conviction, served your term, and were not found guilty of a crime. Your sentence was carried out five years ago, and no charges are still remaining against you.
Why is it essential to expunge criminal records?
Several organizations, businesses, and officials check the background of individuals. A conviction for a crime on your record can hinder the following:
- Admissions to colleges and universities, and
- Other government services.
What happens after you file for expungement?
After you apply for expungement and the court sends the State’s Attorney a copy of the filing, the State’s Attorney has a month to file a response to your petition. The court may order the removal of police and court records associated with your case if the State’s Attorney fails to comply.
If the State’s Attorney submits an objection, the court will schedule a hearing to hear your petition and decide whether you are qualified for an expungement. Expungement takes about three months to complete.