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What To Expect: How Long A Record Expungement Can Take

You've gone to ClearMyRecord, set up an account, taken the free eligibility check and found out your criminal record can be expunged. You signed up to get the application, filled out the forms, sent them to the proper location as outlined by ClearMyRecord, and you're ready to have a clean slate and start fresh. How long will it take? How long can you expect to wait before you can say that you have a clean criminal record?

Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to this question. The wheels of justice turn slowly, and they turn more slowly in some states than in others. To give you some idea, here are a few places where expungement is possible and the typical amount of time before a decision is rendered:

Time to Expunge Florida Criminal Record

In Florida, a criminal record may be sealed, such that most entities will be aware that you have a record, but not the details, or expunged, such that there will be no record, and entities that would be entitled to see the contents of a sealed record may be told that there was a record, but it has since been expunged. The average time it takes to expunge a Florida record is five to seven months, which includes the month it takes to apply for and receive a Certificate of Eligibility.

Time to Expunge California Criminal Record

In California, you can apply for a dismissal of criminal charges. If your petition is successful, potential employers cannot ask you about your criminal record. You will need to appear in court to defend your petition. The whole process should take at least eight to ten weeks.

Time to Expunge a New York Criminal Record

New York only allows the sealing of cases where charges were dismissed or set aside, or non-criminal cases like disorderly conduct.

General Concepts Regarding Time to Expunge a Criminal Record

Expunging can be a long undertaking. There are forms to fill out. It may take some time to complete them. You may have to gather supplementary evidence to support your case. Then the forms must be processed. This can take a long time depending on the state and how clogged their system is. Individuals may then be asked to fill out supplementary forms, which they may have to wait for. They will often need to appear in court, in which case they will have to wait for their court date, and then wait for the judge's disposition of the case. All of this does not even take into account that there will in all likelihood be a waiting period before one can even apply for expungement.

What this all means is that if you start looking into expungement now, it may be some time before your record is clean. However, once it is clean, it will be clean for the rest of your life, assuming you do not commit another offense. A clean record means opportunities which may be closed to you, or at least very difficult to achieve, while you have a criminal record. Many people find that the amount of time and money spent in order to obtain a clean record, especially when done through a relatively cheap and easy service like ClearUpMyRecord.com, is beyond worth it.

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