One of the main motivations for avoiding crime (or at least getting caught) is to keep from getting a criminal record. Even if an individual is merely arrested for a crime and not convicted, it goes on the record, and that can be a real drag especially if it is for a misdemeanor.
In the US, there are states that allow employers to ask about an applicant’s criminal conviction and arrests, and to run a background check to verify the information given. While in most states it is illegal for an employer to deny employment to an individual because of a criminal record, it can be very hard to prove that this was the deciding factor. In order to avoid the hassle, it may be a good idea to petition for expungement, which if successful will seal the criminal record and to all intents and purposes make it go away.
However, not all criminal records can be expunged. The requirements can be pretty stringent; convicted violent or sexual offenders can pretty much forget it, and so can habitual offenders. In most cases, a petition is best made with the assistance of an expungement attorney to make sure that all is in order.
Eligibility criteria are different from state to state, but typical requirements may include one or more of the following as applicable:
- No incidents between petition and expungement
- The crime is non-violent in nature
- Sentence has been served
- No pending proceedings
- Charges were dropped or case was dismissed
- Probation requirements were fulfilled satisfactorily
If you believe that you deserve to have your criminal record expunged, contact an expungement attorney in the state where your record was acquired as soon as possible. It may mean the start of a new life, and you may miss once-in-a-lifetime opportunities if you wait too long.