If at one time in your life you broke the law and were convicted of criminal charges, you might want to get those charges off your record. While this is not always possible, there are times when it is; however, to get charges off your record, you would have to go through the process of expungement. Before you decide to pursue this option, here are several things you should understand about it.
What is expungement?
Expungement is a legal term that involves the court issuing an order to seal crimes away. When a person is convicted of a crime, this crime is always on this person's criminal record. A crime does not simply go away after enough time has passed. If you are tired of having a crime on your record, you could consider looking into expungement. While this is not a guaranteed event, it can be worthwhile to give it a try.
Are the crimes really gone if they are expunged?
If a court ends up agreeing to expunge a crime you have on your record, the crime does not completely go away. Instead, the crime is hidden away. It is sealed off, and it is like it did not happen; however, there is still a record of the crime hidden away in sealed documents. The benefit of getting a charge expunged, though, is that it will not be visible on criminal background checks. After expungement, you can legally answer the question no if you are asked if you were ever convicted of a crime. The crime is sealed off, even though there is still some form of record of it. No one will ever be able to see it, though.
How can you get a crime expunged?
To get a charge expunged, you should begin by hiring a lawyer. The lawyer will first research the case to determine if there is chance the court will agree to it. If the lawyer feels that the court is likely to agree to it, he or she can file the necessary documents with the court to request a hearing for expungement. From that point, it is up to the court to decide whether or not to approve your request.
Getting a crime expunged is not always a simple and fast procedure, and it is not even always possible. If you want to pursue this for a crime you committed years ago, contact a criminal defense attorney for help. It is much easier to get a crime expunged if you have legal representation than to attempt to do it on your own.