If you’ve been arrested or convicted of a crime, the last thing you want is for it to follow you throughout your life. But unfortunately, that’s often precisely what happens.
If you’re looking to expunge your criminal record—or remove records showing that charge from your paper altogether—you’re in luck!
Here we’ll explain expungement and how to get started with this process:
What Is Expungement?
Expungement is the process of removing criminal records from public view. In most states, you can expunge your paper if you were never convicted of a crime or had an expunged conviction (a case in which charges were dismissed).
In many cases, an individual trying to erase their record will be required to apply for relief at multiple levels: federal and state court. The application process varies by state but typically involves filling out forms, filing fees, and working with an attorney with experience dealing with these matters.
How Do I Get My Record Expunged?
There are several ways to get your record if you’re convicted of a crime. The first step is to find an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help guide you through the process and ensure that all your rights are protected.
A lawyer will generally file a motion with the court requesting that they remove or seal your criminal record. It may involve paying an application fee and other costs associated with filing paperwork with the courts.
In some cases, lawyers will represent their clients at hearings where judges decide whether or not records should be sealed or deleted from databases used by employers, banks, and others who require background checks on potential employees/customers (such as landlords).
Once approved by a judge—usually within 30 days—you must wait until the period specified in state statutes has passed before getting official confirmation from them via letter stating “this motion was granted.”
What Charges Can I Have Removed From My Record?
Most criminal charges can be expunged from your record. Misdemeanor convictions, including petty theft and shoplifting.
Felony convictions for most non-violent crimes (except murder), such as robbery or burglary. Sex crimes are excluded from being eligible for expungement because they usually carry a longer prison sentence than other offenses.
However, some states may consider them eligible if there has been no additional contact with law enforcement since the date of conviction or sentencing to delete this type of felony offense on your record.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Expunge My Criminal Record?
If you are wondering if a criminal record expungement is proper for you, it depends on the type of crime that was committed. If your offense were petty theft or drug possession, hiring an attorney to help with the process would be beneficial because they will know how to navigate the court system and ensure all paperwork is submitted correctly.
On the other hand, if your offense was something more severe like murder or rape (and any felony), it might be better not to hire an attorney because it can be difficult for them to get through these types of cases.
So, if you’re still wondering whether or not you can expunge your criminal record, then keep in mind that some crimes carry different degrees depending on how severe offenses were committed upon being read aloud from court transcripts. We recommend taking legal help from a criminal defense lawyer as they will guide you about it more efficiently.