Having a criminal record makes it extremely difficult to rent an apartment or find a decent job. A number of landlords run a background check before allowing an individual to rent their property. On the other hand, the majority of employers are keen to hire candidates with a criminal history. In the end, the situation complicates one’s lives
To expunge criminal record, you have to follow specific procedures, which vary by state. Hence, the need to gather sufficient information in your state. However, some aspects are uniform regardless of jurisdiction. In states like California, the record stays in public view but the disposition will indicate a dismissal by a court of law. Conversely, the state of Michigan actually removes the record from the public domain.
In the event that your record is expunged, you should expect it to remain for other purposes, such as immigration and sex offender registration. However, the expungement allows you to take advantage of amnesty when it comes to new court proceedings. In such cases, previous criminal records are treated as if they never existed.
The other option is to seal the criminal record, which entails removal of the record from public inspection. It is also possible that the state may destroy the record. Once an expungement or sealing has been officially granted, you are allowed to declare that there is no criminal record under your name.
Getting a criminal history expunged
To instigate the expungement process, you need to lodge a petition with the court or law enforcement agency that handled the case. Traditionally, this involves filling and submitting relevant forms. If the concerned agency fails to provide the much-needed relief, you can approach the court.
Hiring an experienced attorney gives you the best chance of successfully expunging a record. They have the expertise to present formidable arguments that can swing the case in your favor.
On other hand, a pardon is another viable route when aiming to expunge a criminal record. This depends on whether the crime qualifies for a pardon. Taking this route can help restore a number of rights, including the right to bear arms or serve on a jury. In California, the pardon eliminates the need to register as a sex offender.
It is common for states to require that applicants should complete a parole or probation before being considered for a pardon. The pardon will only be considered if a predetermined period passes without any further criminal activity.
On the downside, a pardon does not have the same benefits as sealing or expungement. It does not completely remove the criminal record. In addition, it does not permit individuals to answer any questions regarding previous criminal convictions when filling employment applications.