court house buildingLet’s say that you have served your time in prison for a crime – you probably wonder how you can get a fresh start and leave it all behind. In these cases, many people will attempt to qualify for something known as an expungement. With an expungement, you will be able to make your criminal conviction disappear from much of the public eye, making it a good decision for many people who have committed crimes. However, there are some things that you must first understand.

For instance, not all criminal convictions can be expunged. If you have made a mistake in the criminal system, the courts may be more likely to help you expunge your record and start from scratch. However, for those who have been charged with many of the same crimes, this may not be an option. There are many severe penalties that may keep you from expungement for the rest of your life. These might include felonies such as rape, child molestation, or other sexually based offenses that involve children. In these specific cases, you may find that expungement is not for you. The truth is, each state has specific rules for expungement and it really all depends upon the state.

Am I Eligible? 

As previously stated, it will really depend upon the circumstances surrounding your case. What amount of time has passed since the arrest or conviction? What was the severity or nature of the event? What are some of the events that occurred in your criminal record? What is the severity or nature of other events in your criminal record when you attempt to apply? If you were a juvenile or a sex offender, different eligibility requirements may apply.

How Does the Expungement Process Work?

The process will vary depending on which state and country you live in; however, generally, there are many things that remain the same. It typically starts with filling out an application or petition for expungement. California sees this as “cleaning your record with a dismissal.” No matter what a state decides to call it, it’s all the same – removing or sealing criminal records.

Courts use standard forms and will usually provide a checklist of documents and information that you will need when you make your request. In some cases, certain documents will be available and you will find out how to obtain them for your needs. Depending on the jurisdiction, you may need to obtain approval from the prosecutor’s office before you even make it to court.

The last step before court is the granting of a petition or application. When this happens, you will be issued an order of expungement that can be served on other agencies. This means that, any records that this agency has, will be sealed or removed. These agencies will usually include the arresting agency, the booking agency, and the state’s department of corrections.

If you have questions or concerns about the expungement process, you can talk to your attorney today. If you don’t have an attorney to handle your case, give us a call today so we can handle your case from the very beginning! At The Law Office of Peter Blair, we care about you and your claim.