NYC Expunge Criminal Records Lawyers
Being charged with a crime is always a very stressful and scary experience. Those that are charged and convicted with a crime could end up facing severe financial penalties and could even end up spending time in jail. While penalties and imprisonment are serious near-term concerns, there are also many long-term concerns that come with a crime as well.
One of the biggest concerns that come with being charged and convicted of a crime is the impact that it will have on your reputation for years to come. Those that are charged with certain crimes could find that the crime will be listed on their permanent criminal record for the rest of their lives. This can make it nearly impossible to get a good job in the future and will continue to have a big impact on your life for years to come. For those that are struggling to get back on their feet, one of the best things that they could work to receive is a full expungement.
What is Expungement?
The legal term “expungement” refers to either having your criminal record related to a certain crime wiped clean or fully sealed. Almost all states across the country have some laws in place that allow for certain crimes and situations for a crime to be cleared from your record. This means that when someone runs a background criminal check, the crime that has been sealed will no longer be found. Furthermore, most states do not require that you disclose a past crime if it has been expunged, even if the application requests it. This can effectively give you a clean record going forward and allow you apply for jobs without concern.
In order for you to be able to receive an expungement, there are a variety of factors that need to be taken into consideration by the legal system. One of the most common reasons why a crime will not quality for an expungement is if someone is charged with a felony. However, many non-violent misdemeanors will allow for someone to qualify for an expungement within a few years.
Another factor to consider when it comes to expungement is when eligibility begins. In most situations, you will be able to qualify for an expungement after you have served and sentence, paid fines, and have successfully gotten through your probationary period without any additional charges or crimes being filed against you.
When you are going through an expungement process, you also need to understand what the consequences will be. This largely pertains to whether these initial charges that have been sealed can still be held against you in the court of law. Depending on the situation, prior charges will still be taken into consideration if you are later charged for an additional crime and found guilty.
Alternatives to Consider
While expungement can provide you with a lot of freedom from past convictions and charges, it is not the only option available to you. When you are charged with a crime, you could also consider going for a legal pardon. These normally will require you to obtain a pardon from a local official and could allow you to end your sentence much earlier than you would have otherwise.
Another alternative to expungement is for you to apply for a Certificate of Innocence of a Certificate of Rehabilitation. With a Certificate of Innocence you will receive some validation that you were actually innocent the whole time and never should have been charged to begin with. A Certificate of Rehabilitation will state that you have gone through the full rehabilitation process and are now able to be a functioning member of society. While these are good to have, they will not result in your records being sealed.
Need for Legal Assistance
Since getting an expungement, or an alternative to it, is so important and beneficial you need to make sure you receive the right legal support and assistance. Your attorney should be able to provide you with the legal support necessary to apply for the expungement, handle any deliberations during the expungement process, and ensure that you receive the fair decision that you deserve. This will greatly speed up the process and increase your chances of approval.