Expungement is a process in which the criminal records of a person are destroyed, erased, sealed or ignored as if these records never exist. Most of the states in the United States allow juveniles and adults to seal, expunge or hide the orders of conviction for some of the criminal offenses.
Each state has different requirements and qualifications for expungement. Typically, the eligibility for the expungement will involve:
- Expungement application to the court in writing, where the conviction occurred
- The person needs to completely serve the sentence and/or
- There are no additional criminal offenses being faced by the applicant
Generally, the person applying for the expungement needs to show that his/her probation and other requirements related to the offense are completed and the expungement application is only applicable for one case. If a person has more than one criminal offense against him, he needs to file a separate expungement application for each.
Once the application for expungement is submitted along with the form and documents, the judge will review the expungement petition and will check for the eligibility of the person. There are often some additional procedures and processes for expungement in individual courts.
Can A Juvenile Record be Expunged?
In many states, juvenile criminal records are eligible for expungement and are expunged automatically. Nevertheless, the law varies in every state. For this, you should get professional advice from Galveston expungement lawyer who is specialized in handling juvenile records expungement.
Usually, the option of expungement is only available to the person who has maintained a clean and clear criminal record during the past. However, the individual courts mostly have their own processes and procedures for filling for the expungement application.
Difference between Expungement and Sealing Records
The word expungement is often interchangeably used with terms like “record sealing”. However, the expungement of offense is different from sealing of records in a number of ways. When the charges are expunged, it means that they are treated as if they never existed. It means that these charges have been no longer associated with the person filing for expungement.
However, the record sealing termed as a process where the charges exist but these cannot be accessed. These records are closed for the general public. The employers or another person cannot access these records although the records technically exist in the court system.
In many of the states, the sealed records sometimes are used to increase the severity of punishment in the future. It is applicable in the cases where the person is found to be a repeat offender.
Can Felony be Expunged?
Felony charges are considered a very serious crime and involves punishment of more than a year imprisonment and high criminal fine. The felony charges usually are quite difficult to expunge. While some of the states do not allow expungement of felony charges and some states only allow only certain felony charges for expungement.
If you are looking to expunge the criminal offenses that you think might be used against you, you should consider contacting Galveston expungement lawyer to help you get the cases expunged for you. A professional expungement lawyer can provide you with all the necessary details about the law and make you understand the eligibility and qualification for expungement.