Having a criminal conviction in your background can be a great burden on your personal and professional lives. Expungement could provide you with a way to minimize the damage.
Expungement is the process to seal a criminal record so that it is not accessible to the public.
The first step in the expungement process is to determine whether your conviction is eligible for expungement. You cannot have any pending criminal charges and you must have completed all conviction requirements, such as jail time, probation or parole.
Then, you will need to request a copy of your criminal record and complete an application. You will also need to file a petition with the court and if the court requires it, attend a hearing where you can present evidence about why your conviction should be expunged.
If the court approves the expungement, your record will be sealed. You may also need to notify law enforcement agencies of the expungement.
There are several benefits of expungement, including employment opportunities. Sealing the records may increase your chances of finding a job and advancing in your career. Also, housing can be easier to find when a conviction would have otherwise made it difficult to rent an apartment or home.
An expungement may also help you remove barriers to education programs and financial aid, as well as maintaining your professional license, if it is applicable to your work. You may also be eligible for community services or other opportunities that would have been unavailable to you with a criminal conviction.
In addition to these benefits, it can help you regain your personal reputation with family, friends and co-workers.