Approximately one in every three adults has a criminal record. A criminal record might be a misdemeanor or a felony. However, felonies are more severe than misdemeanors.
People with felonies on their records might experience challenges getting jobs or renting apartments. As a result, many people turn to criminal record expungement.
Getting your criminal record expunged removes it from your record, leaving you with a clean criminal history. If you have a felony on your record, applying for expungement is a smart move.
Here is a guide to help you learn how to get a criminal felony charge expunged.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
The first step of the expungement process is to hire an attorney. As you search for one, look for a criminal defense attorney or expungement lawyer. These types of attorneys know expungement law.
Many criminal defense attorneys offer free consultation appointments, so you might want to ask about this when you call for an appointment.
Consider if the Charges Can Be Expunged
Secondly, you should work on creating a list of questions to ask. The first one to include is how to get a criminal record expunged. The second question is what factors affect your ability to expunge a crime.
An attorney can explain the factors, which include the following:
- Your state
- The types of charges
- When they occurred
It’s easier to expunge misdemeanors than felonies, yet you can petition the court for both. It’s also easier to get the expungement if you have a clean record since the charge you want to expunge.
Wait the Appropriate Time
The next thing to know about the expungement of criminal records is that most states require waiting periods.
For example, you might have to wait for one to five years after the charge to request an expungement. Of course, it depends on the charge and its severity.
You should also know that the court won’t expunge all charges. You can ask your lawyer about your charges to determine if you should proceed with petitioning the court.
File a Petition to Get Your Criminal Record Expunged
If your attorney believes that your charges meet the criteria for expungement, they will suggest petitioning the court. Petitioning the court creates an expungement case, which is the first main step.
When you petition the court, they will schedule a hearing for the matter. You can your attorney must attend the hearing to present your case. The court will review the charges to determine if you meet the criteria.
If the court approves it, they will hide your criminal charges, leaving you with a clean record.
Get a Clean Record Through Expungement
How would it feel to have a clean criminal record? You’ll no longer have to admit you have a criminal record on applications, and you’ll probably feel better about yourself.
You can accomplish these things if you follow these steps to get your criminal record expunged.
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