You might find yourself on the wrong side of the law and eventually convicted of a crime. This outcome may affect many aspects of your life, and you might see the need to get your criminal record expunged and sealed so that you can have a second chance. Having a criminal record can impact your professional and personal life, but the good news is that there is hope for expunction.
However, not all criminal cases can get an expunction because each case is unique. Even if a judge threw out your case, you still have that on your criminal record. It’s also important to note that for one to qualify for an expunction, they must have completed the terms of their sentence such as time served in prison, completed probation, followed through on their parole, or supervised visits.
Additionally, the laws of expunction are different in each state; that’s the reason why you might want to get yourself a criminal lawyer and go through your options.
How Do You Get an Expunction?
1. Arrested, but Not Charged
You might have been arrested, but it’s the prosecution’s responsibility to bring forth evidence that directly ties you to a crime. Another scenario is where you were arrested, and the statute of limitations for the crime has already lapsed. Since your arrest details and information are on file, you might need to have them expunged.
2. Arrested, but the Case Was Dismissed
You might be arrested and accused of a crime while the case is ongoing, and later, they find the actual culprit of the crime. There may also be insufficient evidence that ties you to the crime, and the prosecution can't build a strong enough case against you.
You might have been arrested and spent some time trying to prove your innocence in the courts. If the courts clear you of all charges, then you can apply for an expunction of your criminal record.
A person convicted of a crime and is serving a sentence may apply for a pardon either from the governor of their state or the United States President. If their request is granted, then they can apply to have their criminal record expunged.
5. Cases Involving Minors
If a minor commits a crime, their criminal record can be expunged depending on their crime. Some crimes are one-time offenses or misdemeanors that are punishable by either probation or light sentences.
Examples of such crimes include failure to attend a public school, buying alcohol while underage, driving under the influence as a minor, etc. These charges are crimes, but they can be expunged to protect the minor’s future.
6. Stolen Identity
Some malicious people steal other people’s properties such as IDs, bank cards, and driver’s licenses and use them to commit crimes. With a good lawyer, you can distance yourself from such crimes by proving that another person committed them. However, you will still have to clear your name since it’s attached to a crime.
7. Recommendation by the Prosecutor
Depending on the outcome of a criminal case, the prosecutor might propose that your record be expunged, making the process much easier for you.
Get Legal Help With Your Expungement Process
The expunction process exists to give people a second chance at life without being haunted by their crimes. Some crimes are committed from temporary judgment lapses, accidents, and mistakes that don’t define who a person is at all. An experienced lawyer can help you get your life back on track if they determine that you are eligible for an expunction.