Criminal Law Lawyer
Once the time has been served for a crime committed, by conviction or simply being arrested, by paying fines, or completing community service, when you are done you would like to be completely done. And while serving your time should be enough, it is not enough to have your record sealed. To make matters more stressful, it is even harder as an adult simply because you are an adult and are held accountable, to the fullest extent, for your actions. There are several reasons someone would like having their criminal record sealed; most commonly is employment and housing. Several places of employment run background checks on applicants before they offer jobs, and housing properties do the same before approving an applicant for housing. No matter why you need your record sealed, there are instances where criminal records and arrests can be sealed.
This process is called “expungement”. Expungement laws vary from state to state, in where specific criminal offenses cannot be withheld from the public. For many, an expungement is considered a second chance. However, not everyone is eligible to have his or her criminal record to be sealed. Before speaking with an attorney that may charge you for a consultation, research the laws in your state or county and speak with the police agency that arrested you. Below are a few questions to ask when trying to determine eligibility for expungement.
Does my criminal offense qualify for expungement? As previously mentioned, not every offense is eligible. For example, a simple arrest may be eligible to be sealed. However, a conviction may not be.
If my criminal offense is eligible, when can the expungement process begin? There are specific conditions for each criminal offense that would either make it eligible or ineligible to be sealed, such as probation terms or whether or not the sentence for said crime had been served completely. This would ultimately be up to a judge, prosecution, and possibly the arresting agency.
While you may not entirely need an attorney to have your record sealed, it does help. Courts will provide paperwork that needs to be completed for the requests and the right criminal offense attorney will be able to walk you through the steps to ensure everything is submitted properly. It is tough to get an adult criminal record sealed but not impossible, speak with a skilled Decatur criminal law lawyer to discuss what options are available to you.
Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and sealing adult criminal records.