Being arrested for a crime can come with a variety of negative consequences, but one of the most difficult to deal with is having a criminal record. In the vast majority of cases, being arrested for, charged with and convicted of a crime will become a part of a permanent criminal record, and this means that no matter where you go or how much time passes by, people will still be able to see your past.
Why Have Your Record Expunged?
One of the main reasons for having a criminal record expunged is employment. Unfortunately, many employers will refuse to hire people who have a criminal background, regardless of the circumstances. Even if you’ve turned over a new leaf and left your past behind, an employer won’t know that, and instead, he or she will only see your record. In fact, some positions, such as those found in law enforcement, can’t even be obtained at all due to certain criminal convictions.
How Can You Have Your Record Expunged?
The expungement process can be long and difficult, and it often requires appealing to a judge. As a result, if you don’t have much experience representing yourself in a courtroom, you may want to turn to an attorney for help. An expungement attorney will know the specifics of the expungement process, and he or she can handle all of the paperwork for you. In addition, your attorney can also speak for you in court, and this is especially important if you’re unsure of the courtroom process.
Can All Records Be Expunged?
There are a number of rules that come along with the expungement process, and this means that not all records can be expunged. For example, if you’ve been convicted of a serious felony, such as murder, you more than likely will not be a candidate for expungement. On the other hand, many lesser crimes, such as misdemeanors, are possible to be expunged. To find out if your record qualifies, contact an expungement attorney.
What About Having My Record Sealed?
In some cases where expungement is not possible, you may be able to have your criminal record sealed. Having a record sealed differs from having it expunged in that a sealed record will still exist, but it simply won’t be able to be seen without a judge’s approval. Expungement, on the other hand, completely wipes away the record in its entirety, meaning no one will be able to see that the incident even occurred. Once again, all situations are unique, so to find out what options may be available to you, contact an expungement attorney.
What Can You Do?
While you can certainly live the rest of your life with a criminal record, most people turn to expungement instead. Our attorneys at orlandocriminalteam.com add that having your record expunged essentially means that it will be erased from your past, almost as if the incident never took place. This means that anytime someone completes a background check on you, no record of your arrest or conviction will appear.
Finally, keep in mind that living with a criminal record is not the end of the world. Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes, people are even wrongly charged and convicted. If you aren’t able to have your record expunged or sealed, you can still live a normal life, but you may need to be prepared to discuss your past if asked.
Author Georgina Clatworthy writes on topics relating to law and consumer issues. She contributes this article for www.orlandocriminalteam.com, an Orlando based law firm. If you want to expunge your record do seek professional legal advice first to help you understand how the process works and also to ensure that your rights will be protected.