If you made some mistakes when you were younger and wound up with a criminal record that has made it difficult to get the jobs, education or even rental apartments that you are seeking now, it is important to note that in some instances, you may be able to have those events removed from your permanent record. However, the laws that will impact your right to expunge something from your record will vary tremendously from one state to the next and are not automatically available to each person. Therefore, it is a good idea to ask a criminal defense attorney the following questions.
Is The Charge Eligible For Removal?
Although few people like having a criminal record of any kind, you will find that expunging something from your record is not always an option. For instance, you may find that if you were convicted several times on similar or identical charges, expunging them is not possible. The same is true if you have multiple, non-related felonies. There could also be a time limit that impacts the possibility of having the charge in question removed.
For instance, some states require that the charge in question be at least five years old. In addition, crimes that were dealt with prior to a person's 18th birthday are often sealed and therefore, cannot be accessed after that time. Notable exceptions to the automatic sealing of a minor's record in many states includes rape, murder and other serious charges that were determined adult, not juvenile, court. Therefore, it is essential to have a clear understanding of what can or cannot be done to help you.
Who Will Be Able To Access Records After Expungement?
One of the more common misunderstandings when seeking to have something removed from a criminal record is often the belief that the charge and conviction will entirely disappear. Unfortunately, that is not actually true and you should remember that law enforcement personnel, the courts and other involved parties will often have access to all of the information.
The successful expungement will remove the pertinent information from the records that other people will be able to access. For example, it may be easier to get the job you want or to be approved for your dream apartment without the DUI conviction from 10 years ago slowing you down. The expungement typically allows you to improve the criminal record that is seen by the general public.
For more information, contact Sam Douglas Young Attorney at Law or a similar legal professional.