A criminal record can affect your future in many situations, such as finding a job, starting a business, buying a home, and more. However, your past should not harm your future, especially if you have continued to live a law-abiding lifestyle. There are ways to put your record behind and keep it out of public documents, primarily court records and criminal databases, and that is expungement. Below you will find tips to use when it comes to having a criminal record expunged.
Learn About Eligibility
The stipulations will vary from state to state when it pertains to expungement eligibility. However, most states that allow the procedure require individuals to have no pending new charges, complete any probation or parole requirements, and pay all fees and fines. The waiting periods must also pass before you can petition for expungement. It is critical to learn as much about eligibility as possible before taking steps to have your record expunged; one ineligibility could cause your application to be denied.
Your record will not be expunged without new fingerprints and a thorough investigation of the criteria required by the court of law. By being honest, you can avoid costly mistakes that ruin your chances of having a petition denied. You must also complete a background check first, and court appearances are generally required during the criminal expungement process.
Get Legal Assistance
Hiring an experienced attorney is necessary when it comes to criminal record expungement. Although you can work on the process alone, an attorney can save you time and money. She can also help expedite the process and get your paperwork filed entirely and accurately. Keep in mind that failing to provide all the correct documents could lead to a petition being denied. Still, with legal assistance, you will have someone working on your behalf in court, filing paperwork, and turning in other necessities by the required dates to the correct address and individuals.
Even if your application is denied once, you could choose to reapply in most states. New laws are passed, and certain restrictions are removed periodically, which means you may be eligible for criminal record expungement under new criteria. Therefore, if your expungement was denied in the past due to specific regulations, but new laws are in place, or you meet other requirements due to certain time frames passing by, it would be a good idea to reapply.
Even though times may be difficult, and it feels like your past is stopping you from achieving specific goals, you should maintain confidence and look for ways to clear your record, such as the tips mentioned above. Although there are no guarantees, it is essential to try to get your criminal record expunged if you can.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.