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    How to Start the Expungement Process 

    It’s not often you get a chance to clear a criminal conviction off your record. With all the red tape you may face from having a conviction, it may feel like you’re getting a second chance at life. An expungement is the process of clearing a criminal conviction from a state or federal record. In other words, with a successful expungement, it’s like your criminal conviction never took place. This can be crucial for individuals who are trying to move forward with their lives and overcome the stigma of a criminal conviction. Keep in mind that each state has differing laws when it comes to expungements. Some states will have different requirements for those who are eligible, which offenses are eligible, and how to apply. 

    What is an Expungement? 

    An expungement is a court order that removes a person’s criminal record from public view. This means that the record is not accessible to the public, including potential employers, landlords, or other parties who might conduct a background check. In some cases, an expungement can also restore certain rights that were lost because of a criminal conviction, such as the right to vote or possess firearms. The process of obtaining an expungement varies depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, the first step is to determine whether the individual is eligible for an expungement. In many states, eligibility is based on factors such as the type of offense, the length of time since the offense occurred, and whether the individual has completed all the terms of their sentence, including probation and restitution. 

    How to Start the Expungement Process 

    Once eligibility has been established, the next step is to file a petition for expungement with the appropriate court. The petition typically includes information about the individual’s criminal history, as well as evidence of their rehabilitation and good conduct since the offense occurred. It may also be necessary to provide documentation such as certificates of completion for rehabilitation programs, letters of recommendation from employers or community leaders, and other supporting materials. After the petition is filed, the court will typically hold a hearing to review the case and determine whether to grant the expungement. In some cases, the hearing may be waived if the prosecutor and the court agree that the individual is eligible for expungement.  

    If the expungement is granted, the individual’s criminal record will be sealed or erased, depending on the specific laws in the jurisdiction. It is important to note that while the expungement may remove the record from public view, it may still be accessible to law enforcement or other authorized parties in certain circumstances, such as when conducting a criminal investigation. 

    If you have any questions about the expungement process, contact us today or call (909) 497-1349 to schedule your next appointment with our team of professional LDAs!