If you are planning on starting fresh and erasing your criminal record, you will need the services of an expungement lawyer. For those of you who do not know, expungement is the process of erasing past convictions from state records. Getting an expungement order will give you a fresh start and explore more opportunities.
This order directs the court to destroy the person’s criminal record. Upon completion of expungement proceedings, there is no need to disclose the legal mistake to anyone. Past convictions often haunt people their whole life when looking for a job or buying a house. Fret not, an expungement lawyer will help you qualify for statutory expungement.
What Does My Expungement Lawyer Need to Know?
First off, choose an expungement attorney whose significant percentage of their practice is handling expungements. Mainly, criminal defense attorneys will help you file for expungement, however, it is not similar to defending criminal charges.
Each state court has different laws and procedures for filing a petition for expungement. Once the court receives an order for expungement, the record for past convictions is either destroyed or sealed.
The attorney must know all the essential information to determine if you are eligible for expungement, if yes, prepare for the next plan of action. Each lawyer follows a unique procedure when interviewing the applicant, hence, be prepared to answer the following common questions.
It is a no-brainer that the attorney would need details relating to the criminal history, offense, and when it was committed. Each state has different laws when it comes to erasing criminal records. Getting a misdemeanor expunged is a lot easier than serious felonies (domestic violence, sexual assault, and drug offenses). Bring all the important documents relating to the offense to help the lawyer evaluate your situation.
Some states allow the removal of the criminal history of non-conviction claims. If you were proven guilty and convicted of a crime, the person has to meet additional requirements to be eligible. In this case, the criminal will qualify for expungement upon completion of the sentence and payment of fines.
Share the documents with the lawyer and do not forget to mention other criminal convictions, arrests, and pending criminal charges.
The Time When Crime Occurred
Lawyers need to know when the crime occurred to determine your eligibility for expungement. Based on the severity of the crime, the court may impose waiting periods, varying from a few months to several years.
Age of the Applicant
Inform the lawyer how old you were at the time of the crime. If you were under 18, it would be easier to delete your record. State courts often generously allow juvenile expungements.
Proof of Rehabilitation
Explain how you have changed, your lifestyle, and why expungement would be in the best interest of society. Provide sufficient proof that you have gotten your life back on track and have given back to the community. Prove that you have bagged a stable job, completed your education, and other positive changes.