Having some type of criminal record follow you around can cause some problems in your life. You may not be able to get a certain job, might be denied a loan for a home, or may not be able to find a place to rent. In addition, having to declare a criminal record on any type of application can make life uncomfortable even if the application is accepted. There is a chance that you can change this though if you can get the record expunged. Here are a few things you need to know if you would like to attempt this.
Unfortunately, you will need to do a bit of research in your town to determine what type of crimes they will expunge. It is important to understand that you can only apply to have a record sealed by the court that created it. In other words, a judge in one court cannot seal the record for a crime committed in a different court. Once you are applying to the correct court, you need to know which crimes they will expunge. Not all judicial areas seal the same types of records. Finally, you must have finished any sentence from the crime completely. This includes any probation, rehabilitation, or programs you have to complete.
Certificate of Actual Innocence
Many people do not realize that even if they are not found guilty of a crime, if they were arrested and had to go to court for it, there will be a legal record of it. While you do not have to declare this on any application that asks if you have been convicted of a crime, it can still show up in a background check. When this is the case, it is best to ask for a Certificate of Actual Innocence be put in the record too. While an expungement can seal the record, it is possible that the seal can be broken by a police department or a licensing board. When there is the certificate in the record too, anyone who does get access to it will then have the whole story.
It would be a good move to always try to get any criminal record expunged if possible. Go over your legal record with a criminal attorney if you have been involved with the police. They will be able to tell you what can be removed or sealed and what cannot. Contact a firm, like Goodman Katz Koonce & Maroc, to get started.