If you were arrested when you were under 18, you might have a juvenile record. A juvenile record does not go away on its own. Having a juvenile can make it hard to get a job, get into college or the military, or rent an apartment. The good news is that most juvenile records can be erased. Visit ErasURecord to find out of you can erase your juvenile record.
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It basically proves that a legal record should have never existed at all in any form. Another possible avenue for someone who has been convicted and seeking expungement is to obtain proof of rehabilitation. This proof can stand on its own or be used as part of the petition. It provides evidentiary proof that a person has taken the necessary steps to live a life of exemplary conduct, taking steps to be proactive in correcting any past possible wrongs they may have committed. This includes demonstrated remorse and full payment of any restitution due to victims.
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Expungement may also take the form of a pardon from state law enforcement officials. A pardon does not erase the crime you committed, but it does provide an official notice that you have been forgiven for that crime. You will still need to disclose information about past criminal activity when required, but a pardon will offset the impact of that record to some degree. The single biggest benefit of a successful expungement is that you can truthfully and legally say you were never arrested, accused or charged with a crime.
It is as if the entire incident never happened and restores you to your state in life before you were ever arrested, charged or convicted.
When you apply for a job, or if you are already working for an employer, they are not allowed to ask about an expunged conviction. It cannot be used against you in any employment decision either. An expunged conviction will also not show up in most all employer background checks as well.
In addition, many landlords not only run credit checks, but criminal background checks as well. The same also applies when making an application for a mortgage or a credit card in some cases as well.
Expungement and related actions regarding court records are handled at a state level, so each state will have different guidelines, processes and procedures. However, there are some aspects of expungement that are common in most all states:. In all cases, to be eligible for consideration of having records expunged, a person will need to meet several criteria. Those criteria may include:. Minors vs. Most states treat the expungement of records for minors differently than they do for adults. In some states, the expungement of records for minors is even mandatory.
Many states also seal records of minors automatically and immediately. The premise is to not have a youthful offender suffer the consequences of a legal record follow them around into adulthood, negatively impacting them for an extended period of time. The process.
Criminal Record Expungement Eligibility Guidelines
With few exceptions, and if all conditions are met, the expungement process will typically start by filing an application or a petition for an expungement. A prosecutor may challenge the expungement by filing an objection before your expungement hearing.
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Possible reasons for denial. While reasons may vary from state to state, some things that may cause an expungement petition to be denied may include:. Expungement proceedings almost always take place at the state level. There is no federal law governing expungements. Each state, however, has its own qualifications and procedures for expungement, usually requiring a waiting period and a low level of severity to the offense.
Once expungement is granted, states differ in whether they will seal or destroy the record. A sealed record may remain available to a law enforcement agency, but unavailable to the public. If a record is destroyed, all relevant documentation is removed from the state court system. Many states allow for some felony convictions to be expunged. Serious felonies—including sexual offences such as rape or child pornography, or other violent crimes—are almost never eligible for expungement.
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Generally, a petition for expungement must be filed with the court that convicted you of the felony. The process can be lengthy and sometimes complicated, more so with felonies than with misdemeanors. Ultimately, it is up to the judge to decide whether expungement is granted. The likelihood of clearing a misdemeanor from your record will vary from state to state.
Less serious misdemeanors, especially if they are a first offense, are not usually too hard to clear. Generally all it takes is filling out the proper paperwork check with the court in which the conviction occurred , and possibly making a court appearance. More serious misdemeanors, however, can be closer in nature to felony crimes.
Some states prohibit any expungement of DUI convictions. Most states that do consider expungement for a DUI require that the DUI sentence must have involved probation only, no jail time. In addition, all provisions of the DUI probation must have been fulfilled, and there cannot be any other criminal charges pending. A DUI case affects not only your criminal record, but your driving record as well. The criminal case is separate from the administrative or civil case. Expungement does not apply to your driving record, and will not affect a license restriction or other matters handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles or equivalent state agency.
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An attorney experienced in both DUI arrests and expungement might be able to help you clean up both your criminal and your driving record. The most reliable place to obtain a full criminal history is from the FBI. This summary will include all fingerprint submissions and related data reported to the FBI by state and local law enforcement agencies. Citations and fines may or may not appear depending on whether they were reported to the federal authorities.
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If the fingerprint submissions are related to an arrest, the Identity History Summary includes the name of the law enforcement agency that submitted the fingerprints to the FBI, the date of the arrest, the arrest charge, and the disposition of the arrest, if known. Only you may request a copy of your own Identity History Summary.