Mon. Sep 26th, 2022
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A criminal record might cause problems in the future, whether a person has just been arrested or has been arrested and convicted. For example, landlords and employers frequently inquire whether job applicants and renters have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.

Depending on the offences on the person’s record, they may be able to have an arrest or conviction erased. What Is Expungement? Expungement can refer to a variety of things.

It simply implies wiping out, burning, or destroying the records related with the criminal charge that is erased in some jurisdictions. It could also mean “sealing” or otherwise concealing this material from public view in other jurisdictions. In each case, the goal is the same: to conceal the commission of any crime from public view.

Expungement does not have to be based on a claim of innocence by the defendant. Because he or she has already been convicted of the crime, it is assumed that he or she committed it.

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Expungement Procedure

State law governs how a criminal record is erased. The defendant, on the other hand, must apply the court to have his or her record expunged. Expungement is frequently granted for a single crime rather than the whole criminal record of the person.

The petition describes why the defendant is seeking expungement, the nature of the allegations against him, and why the expungement should be granted. It is frequently accompanied by court paperwork from the defendant.

Proof of rehabilitation may be required as part of the expungement application.

Each jurisdiction has its own set of offenses that can be erased. Only minor crimes, misdemeanors, and juvenile offenses are eligible for expungement in some places.

Others provide for the expungement of additional offences if the defendant is a first-time offender. Certain offences, such as DUIs, sex crimes, and violent felonies, may be exempt from expungement. The case and the application are reviewed by the court. In most cases, the criminal must have fulfilled all aspects of his or her sentence, including any required probation.

Similarly, the defendant may be required to wait a specified amount of time following his or her conviction or the completion of all parts of sentencing to prove that he or she will not engage in criminal behavior.

Expungement’s Impact

Most public institutions will not be able to see the conviction or examine records relevant to the case if the court granted an expungement.

These records may still be accessible to law enforcement. A prosecutor may also be able to examine these records and use the conviction as a past offense when sentencing for a subsequent offense.

Expungement’s Advantages

Having a criminal record wiped has a number of advantages, including: College Many expungement requests come from young people who have a juvenile record as a result of a mistake they made when they were younger. Having a felony record expunged may keep this unfavorable information from being seen by colleges.

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Employment Having an arrest record

Expunged records can assist people avoid the job hurdles that many convicted people experience. If an employer runs a criminal background check, an erased record will prevent them from seeing this information. If the defendant applies for a job with the federal government or law enforcement, he or she should anticipate this information to be available to these organizations.


Landlords may also do background checks, which may prevent a person from renting property and living in a decent neighborhood. This information can be hidden behind an expunged record. Social Factors Many free and low-cost resources allow you to look up other people’s criminal records by filling in some basic information about them.

The impact of a conviction on a person’s friendships, family relationships, and community interactions can be mitigated by having the conviction erased. Assistive Legal Services Expunction may be sought for a variety of reasons. Many states allow for expungements for a variety of offenses.

However, just because an expungement is feasible does not indicate that the court will grant each and every petition. Many criminal defendants choose to engage a criminal defense lawyer in order to increase their chances of victory.

When Can A Person Apply For A Criminal Record To Be Expunged

When ten years have passed since the date of the conviction for such crime;

within those ten years, the person has not been convicted and sentenced to a period of imprisonment without the option of a fine.

If the person has been condemned to one of the following sentences:

  • Punishment by force.
  • The person’s sentence was either postponed or cautioned and released.
  • Imprisonment with the option of paying a fine rather than serving the sentence.
  • The sentence was completely lifted.
  • Section 276(1)(h) of the Act mandates correctional supervision.
  • Section 276(1)(i) of the Act provides for imprisonment.
  • Section 276(1)(c) of the Act provides for periodic imprisonment.

Legal Effect of an Expungement

For most purposes, an expungement implies that a court seals or erases an arrest or conviction from a person’s court record. The person who was arrested or convicted is not legally compelled to reveal the occurrence once the expungement procedure is completed.

(A person may be expected to disclose an expungement in certain circumstances.) When someone is testifying under oath, they may be required to divulge an expungement, but not their entire legal history.)

Background checks may benefit from an expungement. People frequently encounter situations that necessitate a background check, such as while looking for housing or applying for new jobs. It’s natural to question whether expunging a record will prevent a previous incident from showing up on a background check.

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