If you have a criminal record, the pressure of your previous actions is likely weighing on you in a variety of areas in your life, depending on what you were charged with. Even if you weren’t convicted, there is still a record of your charges and potential employers, leasing agents, and other authority figures may take issue with this. Thankfully, there are many instances where you get your records expunged.
What is Expungement?
To expunge your records is to destroy them completely so that they cannot be read or seen by anyone ever again. In some instances, courts can seal your records, which may seem similar. However, sealed records can be opened again and thus, it’s not always the best option for your future. That being said, sometimes having your records sealed is better than leaving them out in the open. It’s best to talk it over with your lawyer to determine the best path of action.
Which Crimes are Eligible for Expungement?
Not all charges can be expunged, but there are several circumstances where you have some options.
- You were acquitted
- The case was dismissed
- You got a Probation Before Judgment
- The prosecution entered a “Nolle Prosequi”, which means that they decided to drop the case before the trial or in the midst of it.
- Your case was indefinitely postponed in a stet docket.
- Your case was moved to juvenile court.
- You were found Not Criminally Responsible for a variety of crimes including loitering, vagrancy, and disturbing the peace. For a more thorough list, click here.
- The law has changed and your previous crime is no longer a criminal offense.
What if I Was Found Guilty?
If you were convicted of the crime you’re looking to get expunged, then you will have to wait a certain number of years before you can apply to have the records expunged. For example, if you were convicted of possession of a controlled substance, then you will need to wait ten years after the satisfactory completion of the sentence including probation or the conviction, whichever was more recent. The time that you need to wait and the types of charges you can get expunged vary, but you can get a complete look here.
Can I Get a DUI Expunged?
If your case matches any of the circumstances above, then you may be able to get your DUI expunged. However, if you were convicted, then that DUI is with you forever. Because of the escalating nature of repeat offenses, DUI’s must remain on the record. In the event that you got a Probation Before Judgment, you can get it expunged if, and only if, you do not offend again within 3 years.
What Do I Do Now?
Now, you call on a lawyer to help you navigate the complexity of getting your charges expunged. A lawyer who understands the details of your case is going to be able to address your needs and concerns more thoroughly than someone who isn’t familiar with your case. Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place. The Law Office of Ross W. Albers is here to help you with your expungement. Contact us today to set up a free consultation and to learn more about how we can serve you.