How Expungement Works With Criminal Charges
If you have criminal charges on your record from years ago, you might wish they were gone. Many people are eager to eliminate these charges from their records, but is this possible? Yes, it is often possible through a process known as criminal record expungement. You might be able to use this process to eliminate your criminal charges, but you must check with a lawyer to find out. Here are several things you should know about expunging a criminal record.
You Cannot Expunge All Crimes
The first thing to know is that you cannot expunge all crimes. Some crimes might allow expungement, while other charges might not. If you want to know if you can use expungement for your charges, ask a lawyer. States have rules and laws related to expungement and when people can use it, and your lawyer will know these rules. You might also have to wait for a specific timeframe before requesting an expungement. Some states allow you to do this right after serving your sentence or probation, while others have different rules.
How to Get a Charge Expunged
If you discover that the court might expunge your charges, you should talk to a lawyer. While you can request this without a lawyer, it might be helpful to have a lawyer handle the paperwork. It might not cost a lot for this service, as it does not involve a lot of work, but you can ask an attorney. To request expungement, your lawyer will complete a motion and file it with the court. A judge must review it and approve it before you can get the charges removed from your record.
Why People Use Expungement
It is important to know that expungement does not remove the charges from your record; it seals them. As a result, your charges still exist even if the court approves your expungement request, but you do not legally have to tell people that you have criminal charges. After the court expunges the charges, they are sealed away and hidden. No one will know about them unless you tell them.
People use this process for many reasons. A common reason is to avoid the embarrassment that criminal charges cause when applying for a job, loan, or apartment. If you can erase the charges, you will no longer have to worry about them.
If you have questions about this process, talk to a lawyer that specializes in criminal record expungement.