Restoring Your Child’s Future

What To Know About Record Expungement

Many people have a criminal record, and even convictions for minor crimes can lead to major problems, especially when you're trying to get your life back together after serving your time. Luckily, expungement allows many people to clean their criminal record. If you would like to learn more about expungement and the many benefits, keep reading.

What Does Record Expungement Mean?

Any crime you commit is listed on your criminal record, which will follow you around for life. This can drastically affect your life. For example, it can make it hard to find a good job. For this reason, courts often allow people to expunge or clean their criminal records.

With an expunged criminal record, most people who perform a background check won't see your past charges and crimes. However, the courts and police will still have record of these past charges. In addition, people may still be able to find other public documents like social media or press releases about the crime.   

For this reason, expungement is not entitled to privacy protection. For example, if you are applying for a job with an expunged record, the employer may not see the past conviction when they run a background check. However, if they suddenly come across an article about a crime you committed, they can still use it against you.

Can Anyone Have Their Record Expunged?

There are two main check boxes to meet before you can get your record expunged. First, the crime needs to be eligible for expungement, and the state decides which crimes are eligible. Some states may prohibit anyone from having felony charges expunged, but other states may decide based on the specific charges.

In addition, you can't get your record expunged right after you've been convicted. You'll need to serve your time, and some time may need to pass to show that you are not likely to commit another crime. As long as you qualify for expungement, the process is simple, but you may still want a skilled attorney, especially if there are special circumstances or considerations.  

What Are the Benefits of Record Expungement?

There are many benefits of having your record expunged, but one of the biggest reasons people do it is so they have a better chance of getting a job. When applying for a job, you are legally allowed to say no when you are asked if you've been convicted of any crimes if your record has been expunged.

Even if you already have a job, getting your record expunged is a good idea because you never know when your employer may do a random background check. Most states allow your employer to legally fire you in this case.

Besides employers, many other people perform background checks. In fact, 27 housing authorities reported that they make eligibility for public housing based on arrests. Even worse, these arrests never even led to a conviction. Similarly, most states ban people with convictions from getting federal assistance like food stamps.

In many cases, you can lose rights after an arrest. For example, some states won't allow you to vote or serve on a jury after you've been convicted of a felony. In some states, these rights are automatically returned after you've served your sentence, but in some states, you have to expunge your record to regain these rights.

Expungement may not fix all your problems, but it will help you regain control of your life again after a conviction. With a clean record, you'll have an easier time getting a job and staying away from crime and bad influences. If you would like to learn more, or if you're ready to have your record expunged, contact criminal record expungement attorney in your area today.