Getting arrested, charged, and found guilty of a crime has serious and negative long-term effects on your life for years to come, if not forever. Your future employers, landlords, loan officers, and others will have access to your public criminal record and will judge you accordingly. The consequences, stigma, and embarrassment that you and your family may feel as a result can be a very hard thing to live with over the course of your life, which is why looking into an expungement attorney is something to think about.
Having a clean record will go a long way when it comes to leaving your past behind and moving forward into a more promising future. An experienced expungement attorney can help you do just that.
What is Record Expungement?
Record expungement is the act of completely removing a charge and/or arrest off of your permanent public criminal record, making it as if it never existed. This allows you to legally and honestly tell employers and others that you have a clean record.
You may be eligible for expunction if you:
- Were arrested but not charged or your charges were dismissed
- Had an offense that was a qualifying juvenile misdemeanor
- Were arrested but not found guilty or found guilty but later acquitted
- Successfully completed your probation
- Received a pardon
You may not be eligible for expunction if you:
- Were arrested and found guilty
- Received a “guilty” or “no contest” plea deal
- Have not passed the statute of limitations (usually 3 years)
- Were charged with or convicted of a felony
Even if you were found guilty, you may still be eligible. Just ask an expungement attorney for advice.
How an Expungement Attorney Can Help Clear Your Record
Getting a clear record isn’t necessarily a difficult process, but it does take time and very close attention to detail. Since it costs a few hundred dollars to even apply for an expungement, it’s in your own best interest to give yourself the best possible chance of being approved. That’s where an expungement attorney comes in handy.
A lawyer knows the laws, the system, and the judges, and he or she can walk you through the following steps in order to get your record cleared:
1. Contact the district court and ask for a copy of your criminal record file.
2. Review your record and obtain the proper paperwork.
3. Identify if you are eligible for an expungement.
4. Prepare a statement for the court on why you are seeking an expungement and how your life would improve if your request was granted.
5. Present proof of the steps you have taken to better yourself.
6. Attend your court hearing.
7. Get your petition notarized and copied if your expungement is granted.
8. Ensure your criminal record gets destroyed.
Again, going through this process isn’t difficult, but it is in your own best interest to ensure every detail is taken care of properly.
If you have a criminal record that you want to clear, contact one of our expungement attorneys at Harron Law as soon as possible!