When you have a criminal record, it can be difficult to move forward in your life. An expungement may be able to help you with this problem, though it will depend on the specific crime, among with many other factors. Whenever you intend to seek an expungement, you should ensure that you consult with an experienced attorney for professional guidance. Our team at the Rocky Mountain Law Office can help to provide you with the right services to make it through the expungement process. Here are a few of the things that you need to know about expungement to enable you to make the best decision for your particular situation.
A Criminal Record Stays with You
If you have a criminal record, you likely understand how much of an impact this can have on your life. Your past criminal record can get in the way of obtaining employment, finding a rental property in which to live, qualifying for loans, or many other things. If you are eligible for expungement, this process can help you to move forward with your life. This can go a long way toward limiting the impact that your criminal record can have on your life.
What is Expungement?
In order to decide if expungement is right for you, it will be important to understand what expungement is. In general, expungement is a process where, if awarded, the record of criminal conviction will be destroyed or sealed from the state or federal record. When this happens, the court is ordered to treat the criminal conviction as though it had never occurred, which minimizes damage to your life. Juvenile records and drug convictions are the most likely to seek expungements.
Determining Eligibility for Expungement
It is important to note that there is an array of specific requirements that have to be met in order to be eligible for expungement. The exact criminal charge will have a substantial impact on the eligibility for expungement. For example, felonies are often much harder to have expunged and some crimes, like homicide, may not be eligible for expungement. Expungements are often held at a state level, so eligibility will depend on state laws in the specific area. It is also important to note that timing will be crucial in determining eligibility for expungement. Most states require an individual to have completed their sentence or paid any resulting fines before they are eligible.
Benefits of Expungement
Expungement can provide many long-term benefits to both individuals and the community. When you obtain expungement, you can help to prevent your criminal convictions from impacting your ability to get a job or rent out a property. In addition, it is beneficial for the community to have citizens that are better able to work. This provides economic advantages for seeking expungement, as well.
Limitations of Expungements
While expungements can be extremely beneficial, it is important to note that there are limitations of expungements. These processes generally only concern the court system. Without additional legal steps, the expungement will not remove information about the crime from Google, the press, or social media. This can allow information about the conviction to be found by people outside of a legal setting.
A Legal Pardon
Legal pardons are not the same things as expungements. While an expungement involves removing the conviction from the official record, a pardon extends forgiveness for a crime. This usually involves admitting guilt to the crime.
When a record is sealed, it is a different process from expungement. A record that is sealed won’t be available to access from the public. This also means that the records will still exist in the legal system. When you have a record sealed, it may still impact your long-term life.
The expungement process can be complicated. When you work with an experienced attorney, you will often be able to simplify the process. At the Rocky Mountain Law Office, we can help you to determine if you are eligible for expungement. Our team can also help to guide you through other types of cases, such as DUIs. Contact us at the Rocky Mountain Law Office for more information about our DUI services or how to handle expungement.