Having Your Arrest and Criminal Record Expunged
A criminal record, whether for a petty crime or a juvenile offense, can cause any person much difficulty when applying for a job, seeking for a house to rent or applying for a professional license. This is because the question of whether having been charged with a criminal offense is almost always asked by possible future employers, landlords, or other people concerned.
To be able to legally say “No” to such questions, many of those who have actually been charged with and convicted of crimes apply for the expungement, expunction, sealing (usually applies to records of juvenile offenders) or non-disclosure of their criminal record. These are court orders that people with records can receive with the help of an Appleton criminal lawyer that allow for the removal of a person’s arrest or conviction record due to the negative effects it has, or may have, in his/her life.
Removal of record from computers, files and other depositories may not, however, include depositories used by the FBI, police, public officials, immigration officers and other government offices as such record may be used by authorities for certain valid purposes.
Each state has laws which let people apply for the expungement of arrest and conviction records; these laws and the specific definition for expungement, as well as specific requirements to qualify for it and what particular criminal offenses may be removed from one’s record, may differ from one state to another, though.
When applying for the expungement of a criminal record, it is necessary that the applicant knows and understands his/her state’s specific expungement procedures. It may be a common rule in all states not to expunge serious crimes, such as aggravated assault, sex crimes, driving while intoxicated and murder, as well other crimes more serious than these.
In many other states, sealing of arrest and conviction records for minor and juvenile crimes may be allowed only after sentence or term of probation has been served or completed; in some others, it is allowed only if the applicant can prove a real change in his/her life and that commission of another crime would be very unlikely.
In some occasions, wherein a minor offense (like vandalism) has been committed, but charges have been dropped eventually, the person charged may apply for a Certificate of Actual Innocence, probably the highest form of expungement. This certificate does not simply seal an arrest record; it states that such record should not have been made at all.
The process of expunging one’s arrest and criminal records involves a court hearing and requires a lot of paperwork, besides being a really complex procedure. Thus, the Law Offices of Karen Alexander in Denton is accurate in saying that having an attorney, who fully understands your situation and who can help you prepare all the needed documents and a strong argument in defense of your rights and interests, is an indispensable necessity.