What Is The Criminal Record Expungement Law And How Does It Benefit You?

If you have charges on your criminal record, you may have noticed it's harder for you to get a job than the average person without a record. If you're struggling with this, it may be a good idea to look into the criminal record expungement laws in your state. 

What Is a Criminal Record?

A criminal record is a public record of someone's crimes. Depending on the jurisdiction you're in, different things can show up on your criminal records. 

It's possible for arrests, convictions, traffic violations (e.g. speeding), dismissed charges, acquitted charges, and pending charges to show up on your criminal record.

Who Can See Your Criminal Record?

Your criminal record often acts as a way to measure how trustworthy you are. Employers, lenders, landlords, and adoption agencies are the most common people to check criminal records.

What Is Expungement?

To expunge something means to erase it. There are criminal record expungement laws that vary in each state that may allow someone to expunge the charges on their criminal record. Once something is expunged, court and law officials are required to act as if that crime had never happened. When something is expunged, it is removed from the public record (excluding any press reports or social media posts), but law officials still have access to the information. 

The Expungement Process

It is important to remember that the process will vary by state. Always remember to research your state's criminal record expungement law before proceeding or reach out to a criminal record expungement attorney for help getting started. 

The criminal record expungement law in some states requires a person to file a motion or petition with the court of convictions to start the process for expungements. Other states have laws that allow automatic expungements. This means depending on your state's law, and if you meet the requirements, the expungement process may be started for you on your behalf.

What Is the Purpose of Expungement?

With charges and convictions on your criminal record, it can cause complications that those without a criminal record do not struggle with.

For example, you could struggle with getting a job, receiving a loan or credit cards, getting approved to rent, and adopting.

Once something is expunged from your record, the chances of getting denied for something because of your criminal record decreases. Even if you're not sure if you are qualified for expungement, reach out to a criminal record expungement lawyer to learn more.