If you have been charged with a crime in the past, you will likely feel that you have already faced the consequences of the crime, and in many respects, you will still bear the burden today. While your prison sentence or probation may have been completed many years ago, you may feel that your criminal record still holds you back from living the life you want to live.
You’ll likely need to disclose your criminal history every time you apply for a job or a place to live, and the fact that you have to disclose this may prevent you from achieving your full potential. This is why many people in this position engage in the process of expungement.
What is expungement?
Expungement is the process of sealing an ordinarily accessible part of a person’s criminal record. This means that, while the criminal offense is not completely erased from a person’s record, it is not accessible for the majority of purposes, and a person does not have to disclose it.
How do I know if I’m eligible for expungement?
There are many different factors that will be taken into account before you are able to get part of your criminal record expunged. Whether you are able to will depend on the jurisdiction, the nature and severity of the crime and the charge, and the amount of time that has passed. Your criminal history will also be taken into account: You are more likely to have your criminal history expunged if you have only ever been convicted or charged with one crime.
The laws relating to expungement differ greatly between jurisdictions. Therefore, if you want to get a fresh start from your criminal history and have all or part of your criminal record expunged, you should take action to understand the laws in your jurisdiction. The process can be a lengthy one, so it is a good idea to take action sooner rather than later.