After receiving a criminal charge, starting over can be a real challenge. A criminal record can have significant effects on different aspects of your life, especially your employment status. Criminal charges can do a lot to a person’s reputation. Even if you were never formally convicted, bouncing back from established perceptions will take a lot of effort. One way you can mitigate these devastating effects is through the process of expunction.
Expunction is an option available for individuals looking to start over after a criminal charge. Through this legal process, an individual can ask the court to have past criminal records sealed from access of the general public. In some states, the court may even decide to allow certain individuals to answer no to questions regarding previous arrests or conviction that are typically asked during job interviews and other formal applications.
Circumstances that qualify for expunction vary from state to state. Most of the time, expunction is only granted to individuals who were charged or convicted of misdemeanors. However, based on specific circumstances, some states do seal criminal records that involve more serious charges. However, crimes such as murder, rape, and sexual battery are typically not eligible for the process. In some cases, certain states also require individuals to fulfill a specific waiting period before they can file an expunction case. Generally, as pointed out on the website of Ian Inglis: Attorney At Law, expunction is granted to individuals whose situations fall under the following conditions:
- Arrests without conviction
- Pardoned convictions
- Juvenile offenses
Depending on the circumstances of your criminal charge, a few other factors might also need to be considered before you can file for an expunction. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer is the only way to ensure that expunction is the right option for you.