How Do I Get Rid of My Criminal Record?

With today’s technology, it has become increasingly easier for employers, schools and government agencies to run thorough criminal background checks on potential employees and students.  Having a criminal record can be an impediment to your finding employment, suitable housing, becoming bonded, obtaining a gun permit or a professional license.  It can also impede your ability to travel internationally or to enroll in certain academic institutions.   Therefore, if you have a criminal record, you should consider consulting an attorney about having your record expunged – which basically means having it removed as if it never existed in the first place.
Under certain circumstances, a criminal record can be sealed, or expunged, so that it cannot be detected by anyone except for some government agencies.  In fact, once a record is expunged, you can honestly answer “no” when asked if you have an arrest or conviction record.  Some of the circumstances under which an expungement may be obtained are:
• You were arrested, but no disposition of your case was recorded within 18 months and there are no pending proceedings against you, you may ask to have the arrest record expunged.
• You successfully completed an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for a crime other than a sex crime against a minor, your criminal record should qualify for expungement.
• You were 21 or older when you were convicted of an offense related to the purchase, consumption or possession of alcohol, and you successfully completed all the terms of your sentence, you may petition to have the record expunged.
• You have committed a summary offense and at least 5 years have passed since the time of any criminal proceedings against you.
• You are at least 70 years old and 10 or more years have passed since the time of any criminal proceedings against you.
• You have been dead for at least 3 years.
While 1st degree misdemeanors cannot be expunged, misdemeanors in the 2nd degree may be expunged if they were committed while you were 25 years of age or younger and you have had no record of arrests or convictions for 7 to 10 years.  A 3rd degree misdemeanor may be eligible for expungement provided you have no arrests or prosecutions during this period.
If you are a convicted felon or have an offense ineligible for expungement, you can apply for a pardon which, if granted, permits you to truthfully state under oath that you have never been convicted of the crime. However, it may take up to 3 years for your case to be investigated and decided and the percentage of cases approved is very low.
If you think you may be eligible for an expungement, you should consult with an experienced expungement attorney.  Contact the criminal law and expungement attorneys at Trinity Law today for help.  843-8046.