Expungements 101: Are You Eligible to Have Your Record Expunged?
Criminal convictions can deeply affect all aspects of your life, from being approved for a loan to obtaining a job. Without an expungement, these convictions will remain on your record forever. Fortunately, there are many options available for people to petition the court to seal or dismiss their arrest record. If you are able to have your record expunged, the record is no longer accessible to the public and you can legally answer no to any inquiries about whether you have been charged with a crime. If you are interested in obtaining an expungement, is it vital to work with a San Jose criminal defense attorney who understands cases like yours.
What are the eligibility requirements for an expungement?
When evaluating your case for expungement, the court will examine the age you were at the time of conviction, the type of crime committed, and your current criminal record. First-time offenders who have completed all requirements of their sentence such as payment of fines, community service, or jail time, are more likely to be approved for expungement.
Also, misdemeanor charges are far more likely to qualify for expungement than felonies. While it is possible to obtain expungement for a variety of offenses, there are several crimes that will not likely be eligible for expungement including murder, rape, pornography involving a minor, and serious weapons charges.
How do I request an expungement?
First, you will need to determine whether your case is eligible for an expungement. Partnering with an attorney can help you understand your rights and whether you qualify. Once you have determined that you are eligible, you will need to submit a request to the courts by filing the appropriate paperwork including a copy of your criminal record and paying any necessary filing fees. Once these steps are completed, the court may automatically set a hearing date for you or you will need to request a hearing yourself.
Requesting an expungement can be a daunting task, so it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney for your case. Reach out to us at Nicholson Law to schedule your free legal consultation today.