How To Get Crimes Expunged From Your Record Tips for Expunging Crimes From Your Record
Did you know that more than 30-percent of adult Americans have a police record? This means that the US has about the same number of people with criminal records as it does people with college degrees. The Department of Justice reports that state criminal history repositories contain more than 100 million criminal records, and while these numbers may seem staggering, they chronicle virtually every arrest regardless of if it led to an indictment or conviction.
In the past, criminal records were only accessible in hard copies, meaning it would take a significant amount of time to search for and access incriminating documents. Today, however, police records are entered into national databases that are accessible to the public over the internet, enabling employers to conduct background checks in a matter of seconds. For those who have been convicted of a crime, this means that their likelihood of receiving a job offer is reduced by more than 50 percent.
Fortunately, there are various steps that can be taken to expunge or remove items from your permanent record. And while the details of this process may vary from state to state, the general guidelines are as follows:
Hire an Attorney
The first step in getting a crime expunged from your record is to hire a reputable attorney in your area. For example, if you live in the Southern California area, you’ll want to look for a San Diego Criminal Defense attorney that has a good track record. By having the support, guidance, and representation of a criminal defense attorney, you’ll be able to stick to the strict guidelines outlined by the courts. Furthermore, hiring an attorney will help you determine if you’re even eligible for expungement in the first place and they can assist you in navigating your various legal options.
Complete Your Probation
Before you can get a conviction removed from your record, you have to complete everything that’s required throughout your probation, including the completion of all terms and agreements and attendance of all court orders. Furthermore, you cannot commit any new offenses during the probation period. If you happen to violate your probation, you still have a chance of getting your record expunged if the court determines you’re still in good standing to receive the expungement.
File A Petition for Expungement
Once you’ve completed your probation, you will work with your attorney to complete a Petition for Dismissal, an Order for Dismissal form, and a Declaration. And, as always, you’ll also have to pay a fee. After the court processes your paperwork, you’ll receive a hearing date to meet with a judge and have your record expunged.
Benefits of Having Your Record Expunged
Though the expungement process may seem time-consuming and costly, the benefits far outweigh the burden of having a criminal record. First and foremost, having a clean record will vastly improve your chances of being eligible for and landing a job. You’ll also have the opportunity to earn various state licenses that require a clean record, such as a Real Estate License, and be qualified to work with professional organizations.
Most of all, however, having a clean record can offer peace of mind knowing your slate is wiped clean. After being convicted of a crime and working through the consequences, there is often nothing more motivational or positive than getting your record expunged and having a fresh start.