Having a criminal record can negatively affect your life. It can make it almost impossible to rent an apartment or even get a job. If you want to advance your education, you may find it hard to get college admission. Today, most employers will run a background check, and if you have a criminal record, there is a high possibility your application will be declined. The same case may apply to college administrators and landlords. However, you can get the record expunged by hiring a criminal record expungement attorney.

Why Should You Hire an Expungement Lawyer?

Expungement is the process by which your criminal records are treated as if they no longer exist. Once a particular crime has been erased, it will not come up if someone performs a background check.

Contrary to many people's beliefs, you can have both felonies and misdemeanors expunged from your criminal record. However, there are some exceptions that typically vary from state to state.

For instance, sex crimes, violent crimes, or repeated offenses are often exempted from expungement. In most US states, considerations for expungement include:

  • The severity of the crime(s).
  • The time that has elapsed since your conviction or arrest.
  • Whether you were convicted or acquitted of the said crime.

Even when acquitted or charges dismissed, these records can show up when someone performs a background check. Often, the legal record of conviction or arrest will affect various aspects of your life, such as:

  • Having trouble getting hired.
  • Losing a job.
  • Being denied child custody.
  • Higher rates of personal and car insurance.
  • Immigration issues.
  • Loss of the right to possess a firearm.
  • Denial of student aid.
  • A tarnished reputation.
  • Revocation of professional license

If you don't want past charges to affect different areas of your life, it's advisable to hire a criminal record expungement attorney to help seal the record so that the public cannot view it.

You should never handle expungements alone since they are not guaranteed. Having a lawyer thus increases the chances that the court will grant your application.

Hiring an expungement lawyer is the right course of action for the following reasons:

  • Expungement can be a lengthy and time-consuming process that should only be handled by someone experienced with it.
  • Expungement attorneys understand the paperwork that needs to be filed to increase the chances of success of your application.
  • Expungement laws are constantly changing, but an attorney understands current laws that apply in your state of residence.
  • If you need to appear in court, a criminal record expungement attorney will be your advocate.

The Takeaway

Yes, it is possible to get a felony or misdemeanor conviction sealed (that is, removed from your record). But the process can be complicated and lengthy, and you need the help of a criminal record expungement attorney.