What Is Expungement?
If you've been in the unfortunate position of receiving a criminal conviction, you'll want to know as much as you can about expungement. Expungement is a legal proceeding that you can use to clear a criminal record. Clearing your criminal record isn't always easy, but it can be done, and can make a huge difference in your life.
A clean criminal record can make the difference in whether or not you get the job you want or the loan you need to buy a house or car, and other areas of your life you may not have even considered. If you don't want one mistake to haunt you for the rest of your life, you should learn everything possible about expunging a criminal record.
What Exactly Is Expungement?
The law recognizes that a first offense, even a felony, may not always be indicative of a person's character. Even if convicted, there can be extenuating circumstances that a judge may take into consideration. In a successful expungement proceeding, the criminal record is sealed or destroyed, so it is for all intents and purposes as if it never existed, effectively giving the subject a clear arrest record.
Who Qualifies for Expungement?
The qualifications for expungement vary from state to state, but usually require an intervening period of probation where no further crimes have been committed, a single or minimal number of offenses, a low level of severity to the offense and that the crime does not fit into certain special categories, such as rape, child pornography and other sex crimes and crimes against minors.
Is an Expungement Like a Pardon?
No. A pardon is forgiveness for a criminal offense. That offense would still be on your record, though you would not be required to serve any penalties for it. A pardon can only be granted by the Executive of the state or the country (Governor or President).
How Can I Get My Record Expunged?
You probably can't do it by yourself. You'll need professional help. Your first step should be to go to the ClearUpMyRecord.com home page and go through the Free Eligibility Check. That'll get you on the road to finding out if you qualify for expungement and how ClearUpMyRecord.com can help. Once you've verified your eligibility for expungement in the state where the charges were brought against you, you'll receive an application packet. Remember that expungement rules are different in every state. The requirements to expunge a Florida criminal record may be very different than the requirements to seal arrest records in New York. An expungement proceeding can mean anything from setting aside a verdict, to a dismissal, to striking out the record entirely, to sealing the record so that virtually no one can access it.
Once you get the application packet, ClearUpMyRecord.com can tell you how to fill it out and where to send it. You may have to appear in court for a hearing in order to complete the expungement process. If the expungement proceeding is successful, it can be like the criminal judgment never happened at all.
Benefits to Expungement
In addition to the psychological relief expungement can provide, there are some very real physical benefits. You may find it easier to get a job, rent an apartment, or buy a car. You may have rights such as the right to vote and bear arms returned to you. You can live with the confidence that your past is unlikely to be “dug up” by those looking to use information against you. All that aside, many people find that the peace of mind of starting with a clear slate is easily worth the cost.
Top 10 Reasons
- 1. Employment
- 2. Education
- 3. Housing
- 4. Loans
- 5. Licensing
- 6. Insurance
- 7. Firearm Rights
- 8. Federal Assistance
- 9. Adoption
- 10. Volunteering
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