Understanding Your Rights

Consider Criminal Record Expungement To Eliminate Your Record

When you apply for an apartment rental or job, do you dread filling out the application? If so, is it because you do not want to answer the question about your criminal record? If you have a criminal record, you are legally required to disclose this information if asked on any applications you complete. When you announce that you have a criminal record, though, it can thwart your chances of getting the apartment or job. If you are tired of being in this position, you might want to talk to a criminal lawyer about getting your record expunged.

What Is Expungement?

As of 2020, the courts have recorded over 100 million criminal records to date, which is a lot. If you have one or more criminal charges on your record, you might wonder what expungement is and how it works. Expungement is a legal process that courts allow people to use to remove the criminal charges they have on their records. The process may require an attorney, and it is not something the courts guarantee.

When the court approves an expungement request, they will hide the person's criminal record. Afterward, it is as though the crime never occurred. The person will have a clear criminal history and will not have to divulge the information when asked. If you can use expungement, you might feel relieved the next time you need to answer those questions on applications.

Why Do Courts Allow It?

Most of the states have expungement rules and laws in place, and courts offer it for one main reason. If a person committed a crime years ago, the courts do not want to hold the charges over the person's head for the rest of their life. Therefore, courts follow laws that let people file for criminal record expungement. If a person committed a minor crime 20 years ago, there is no reason to label the person as a criminal.

What Is the Process?

If you are interested in using the criminal record expungement process, you will need to learn the steps. You must then follow the steps. The first thing to start with is hiring a criminal law attorney. Lawyers that work in the criminal law field know expungement law. When you hire one, the lawyer will review your charges and criminal history. By reviewing it, the lawyer will know whether you can request expungement. The law only allows expungement for specific crimes, and the charges must be a specific age. For example, you might have to wait at least three years for some charges. For others, you might have to wait longer.

If your attorney believes that you qualify for criminal record expungement, they will file a motion asking the court to expunge your record. When the court receives this motion, they will review it to ensure that you meet the criteria. If you do, they will approve the expungement and remove the records from your file.

How Will You Benefit From It?

Getting your criminal records expunged benefits you in several ways. The main benefit is that you will not have to tell people about your criminal record when asked. For example, if you apply for a job that asks you if you have a criminal record, you can say no. Having your records expunged might also give you more freedom with the jobs you apply for or the organizations you want to donate time to as a volunteer.

Criminal expungement offers a wide variety of benefits, and it is not a difficult process to use. If you are interested in it, contact a criminal record expungement attorney today to learn more.