Expungement is the legal process of erasing or sealing a criminal record from public access. Expungement offers a fresh start and a chance to move forward with one’s life without the stigma of past criminal offenses. However, there are several myths surrounding criminal expungement that can hold people back from pursuing this legal remedy.
Myth #1: Expungement means that the criminal record is completely erased.
Expungement does not completely erase a criminal record. Instead, it removes the record from public access. Law enforcement agencies, courts, and certain employers will still have access to the record. However, the expunged record will not appear in background checks performed by most employers or landlords.
Myth #2: Only people with minor criminal offenses can have their records expunged.
Expungement is not only available for minor criminal offenses. In many states, people with felony convictions can also have their records expunged if they meet certain requirements. It is essential to consult with an experienced expungement attorney to determine if your record is eligible for expungement.
Myth #3: Expungement is a quick and easy process.
Expungement is not a quick and easy process. It requires filing a petition with the court, and the process can take several months to complete. The process can also be complicated, and it is essential to have an experienced attorney guide you through the process.
Myth #4: Expungement is too expensive.
Expungement can be costly, but many organizations offer legal assistance to people who cannot afford an attorney. Some states also have programs that provide free or low-cost legal services to individuals seeking expungement.
Myth #5: Expungement is not worth the effort.
Expungement can have significant benefits, including increased job opportunities, access to housing, and the ability to obtain professional licenses. It can also provide peace of mind and a sense of closure for people with a criminal record.
In conclusion, criminal expungement is a legal remedy that can offer a fresh start to people with a criminal record. It is essential to dispel the myths surrounding expungement and understand the process’s benefits and requirements. If you are considering expungement, consult with an experienced attorney like Hart Levin to help you navigate the process and achieve a clean slate.