A criminal record can cause problems in your day-to-day life. You may find it difficult to rent a home, secure your dream job, or obtain certain licenses with criminal convictions on your record.
Many people learn a valuable lesson from their criminal conviction and steer clear of trouble once the charges have been cleared. Unfortunately, a single mistake could haunt you for a lifetime.
Criminal record expungement is the only way to completely eradicate a criminal act from your public record.
Here are three important facts you need to know as you decide if criminal expungement is a worthwhile pursuit.
1. Both Misdemeanors and Felonies Qualify
Some people don't consider criminal record expungement because they don't think they are eligible to apply for this type of service. Most people know that misdemeanor offenses can be expunged, but you may be surprised to learn that some felonies can be removed from your public record through the expungement process as well.
In order to qualify for expungement, a felony must be classified as non-violent. These crimes typically include white-collar crimes like fraud, embezzlement, or identity theft. An attorney will be able to review your felony conviction to determine your chances of being granted expungement.
2. Only Expungement Clears Your Record
There is a common misconception that criminal convictions will fall off a person's record after a certain amount of time. This belief causes many people to forego the expungement process. Unfortunately, this belief is a myth.
Criminal convictions don't fall off your record on their own. If you don't work with an experienced attorney to file for criminal record expungement, past convictions will remain on your record for the rest of your life. The only way to remove past criminal convictions is to have a judge award you an expungement in a court of law.
3. No Future Disclosure Is Required
The questioning of a person's arrest record is common on job applications today. You will probably be asked if you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor when applying for any quality employment. Criminal record expungement eliminates the need for you to disclose your past criminal convictions to potential employers.
Expungement literally strikes your name and personal information from the public record. You can confidently check 'no' when asked if you have past convictions because the expungement process makes it like that conviction never occurred.
Although it may not be legal for employers to deny you a job based solely on your criminal past, it's hard to overcome the stigma associated with a criminal conviction. By working with your lawyer to have your record expunged, you won't have to deal with any unnecessary bias when trying to land a new job in the future.
4. Expungement Covers More Than Just Convictions
Depending on the state where you live, your public record can contain a wide range of information pertaining to criminal activity. People have a tendency to believe that only convictions show up on a public record, but this isn't always the case.
Your state may choose to record arrests, pending charges, and dismissals. While none of these are associated with a criminal conviction, they will appear on a background check.
Expungement gives you the ability to petition the court to remove all criminal notations from your record, not just the convictions.
If you are looking for a way to wipe your slate clean and free yourself from the burden of a criminal past, consider filing for expungement. Expunging your criminal record can help you open the door to new opportunities and eliminate past mistakes from your permanent record. Talk to a criminal record expungement attorney to get started.