Trying to pretend that a criminal arrest never happened to you might be possible, but only in certain instances. Known as expungement, this act can wipe your record clean, or at least practically clean. Read on and find out more.
1. If you were arrested for a crime but were not convicted, a record expungement might be more likely. Here, it's important to know whether or not you were convicted for a crime. You can be arrested, booked, charged, and jailed for a crime and still not be convicted. A conviction happens when you agree to a plea bargain in which you plead guilty or stand trial and are found guilty of a crime. So, if you are found innocent at trial or your charges were dropped and you went free, it's almost as if you were never convicted.
2. Unfortunately, there is more to the process than not being convicted. For example, the seriousness of the crime to which you were charged may affect your chances of wiping your criminal record completely. That means that even if you were found innocent of the charges, being charged with certain felony offenses like homicide, rape, kidnapping, etc could make it more difficult to expunge the record.
3. If you meet the qualifications for record expungement, there are mandatory waiting times before you can apply. The waiting period varies, but it can be years after the arrest.
4. Once you have applied for an expungement, there are no guarantees. All record expungements are up to the discretion of the judge. The judge takes into consideration several issues, such as the seriousness of the charges and how the case was deposed. For example, being found innocent after a trial may not be as favorable as having the charges dropped entirely. Also in question is the totality of your record. For the best outcome, you should have little to no criminal record before you were convicted of your current arrest.
5. Finally, understand what an expungement can and cannot do. It will make your record virtually invisible to the general public but not to law enforcement. Some levels of background checks may not turn up the arrest, but those having to with the federal government might still reveal your arrest. Judicial officials will also have access to your full record.
You will need help with your record expungement. Speak to a legal professional who knows what to do. Speak to a local attorney about your expungement.
When I was younger, I had a hard time following the rules. I got in with a bad group of friends, and I found myself in juvenile detention more than a few times. When I was sixteen, a teacher sat me down and explained where my life was leading. That teacher was the first person that believed in me, and I decided not to let him down. That day, I decided to change my life, and I did. Because of his sound advice, I was able to finish high school, get into a great college, and become a criminal attorney. I understand the uphill battle that troubled youth face, and I want to use this website to teach other people what they need to do to turn things around.