What is an Expungement?
* Depending on which state you live in, the process of filing for an expungement may differ. Click here to see what your state’s legal guidelines are.
Expungements are filed by those arrested in efforts to completely terminate any trace of the arrest from public records. By definition the word expungement means, to erase or remove completely (something that is unwanted or unpleasant).
An expungement may also mean any guilty verdict will be removed from county records. This is done by vacating, withdrawing, or offsetting any guilty plea. In essence, you are removing any trace of the arrest record from county/state/federal records. If an individual is rearrested the court systems will take any prior arrests into account (including expunged cases).
Expunction laws were created to work on improving public policy goals. This includes those who are reintegrating themselves within society, using motivating tactics for rehabilitation, increasing incentives for individuals to accept plea deals, and lastly ensuring that the punishment fits the crime.
With the rise in online background check databases, the cause for concern when dealing with expungements has increased tremendously. Background checks have not always been around, back in 1994 only 30% of business have claimed to use background reporting agencies, this number quickly rose to 84% in the following year.
There have been two things that have increased the number of background checks that occur online. First off, ever since September 11th the security measures have been improved on a national scale. The two main industries where we saw an increase in background checks was; employment and international travel. Secondly, we now live in a digital era. Personal information is readily available on multiple platforms for anybody with an internet connection. This makes it easier to obtain criminal records for new hires at a very competitive price.
These background reporting agencies will display all court records unless they were expunged. This is why it is important to work with a company like ReputationLawyers so background databases cannot hinder any future employment opportunities or business relationships. Most individuals think this is unfair and unjust, having a dismissed record available to the public can be misleading for many reasons. As we’ve stated before these background checks do not update, this leads the reader to assume the worst, a guilty verdict.
How Can I Expunge a Conviction
Each state has its own way of dealing with background checks and this misleading content online. Even though these laws vary from state to state there are still many things that remain the same.
Before applying or filing for your petition of expungement you must first pay off any and all legal fees to the courthouse. In addition, if you are arrested for the same offense while your expungement is pending, your request will immediately be denied.
Start by gathering as much information as you can about your case, compile your findings and call us afterward for a free consultation. You can collect this information by either walking down to the courthouse and simply asking or having them email/fax you all your records.
In order to successfully expunge your case in its entirety make sure you file for each crime separately (if charged on multiple charges). You are essentially requesting the courts to reopen your case in hopes of overturning the verdict to “not guilty and sealed”.
Again, depending on the place of arrest you may have to share a copy of your petition with the local District Attorney. Immediately following your submission you will be asked to appear in court for your hearing. This is when having a trusted legal team comes into play. Having a powerful attorney on your side can not only get your request approved but it can expedite the timeframe for how long it takes. On average, a pending request for expungement will take anywhere from a few weeks to 12-months (depending on the county and legal team).
Here at ReputationLawyers, our team works diligently to research, find and execute the best plan to win your case. Depending on the severity of the charges the outcomes may differ but our process is one of the fastest and most efficient around. You will work with a designated Project Manager who will keep up-to-date with progress reports the entire time.
Expungement laws vary from state to state as we have discussed so if you have any questions on how to go about filing for your expungement please either call us directly at (833) 469-9527 or submit a contact form here.
How Long Does an Expungement Typically Take?
If you do not know by now an “expungement” is the process an individual undergoes to reopen a prior arrest in order to overturn the findings. Expungements take time, some take up to an entire year. Working with a team like ReputationLawyers can make sure your expungement is granted faster. Giving you little to no downtime if you are struggling with finding a job or cannot get approved for a loan, etc.
Depending on the state, you are required to wait several months to years after completing your probation before you can apply for an expungement. In most states, you must wait for 5-years before you can make any requests. This is done so the Judge can ensure this individual was truly rehabilatated.
The expungement procedure typically involves an individual petitioning in front of a court. At this time your request should include an affidavit and motion seeking a not guilty verdict, once submitted it is reviewed by the Judge. Depending on the number of requests made the timeframe could be delayed. Courts work on a “first come first serve” basis. We recommend filing for your expungement as soon as you are eligible, this way you give yourself the best chance for a quick verdict. If you are still unsure about the laws in your state, learn more here.
Will Anyone Know My Record is Expunged?
Once your expungement is finalized you are free to seek employment, connect with new networks and put yourself out there again because your background will be free of any charges. An expungement in essence, terminates your previous arrest completely. The only time it would be of a concern would be if you were rearrested for the same charges. The Judge will most likely refer back to your previous arrest even though it was expunged.
On most applications, you are asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime or felony. Once your expungement is finished you are free to check off “No”. You are no longer obligated to disclose your arrest to a potential employer.
Anyone nowadays can connect to WiFi on their smartphone or laptop and research another individual. Now that your arrest has been expunged you do not have to worry about others finding this within those databases. Even if your case was previously thrown out of court or dismissed you no longer have to go through the hassle of explaining yourself. 9 times out of 10 this will cost you the position. Employers tend to be less forgiving with you when they have several other applicants to chose from.
Following you successful expunge it will take some time for the court systems to update your records to reflect this expunge. So do not get upset when it does not immediately disappear. On average it takes the Courts about 48-hours to update. The Department of Justice on the other hand typically takes an additional 30-days, while federal agencies like the FBI can take an additional 30-days. (60-62 Days total)
It takes about ~50 days for the expunged record to be updated in law systems. Here are ReputationLawyers not only do we remove from your official record with an expungement but we also work to remove any and all personal information (aside from your criminal record) on such background databases. Online background check sites such as BeenVerified and Spokeo are home to many cases of identity theft. It is important to remove as much content as you can before an unwarranted individual finds your home address.
Expungement or Pardon? Which is Better?
High-ranking state officials have the power to grant a pardon under state criminal law, unfortunately, less than 1% of requests are granted. Pardon procedures vary from state to state just like expungements. A pardon is a government decision made to allow a person to be absolved of guilt for an alleged crime. There is also a waiting period from the initial arrest or conviction or parole and the application for a pardon just as you have for expungements. The average waiting period one must wait to be eligible for a pardon in typically 5-years. Contact us if you are not sure what your state’s guidelines are. ReputationLawyers is here to help.
Pardons are classified into two groups, conditional and unconditional pardons. An unconditional pardon acts as if the crime never occurred, wiping everything completely from that individual’s record. Essentially giving them a “clean slate”. Most pardons are granted in responsive to cooperating with officials and providing assistance on a larger crime or for another individual. On the other hand, a conditional pardon as the same end results but varies in a few ways. First, you must complete can probationary periods and pay all fee expenses before your condition pardon become active.
Pardons, for the most part, are typically associated with guilt. What does this mean? Well for starters it does not mean an innocent verdict, but simply forgiveness for the crime(s) committed without punishment. Even though most pardons are not commonly approved most individuals used this method as an alternative if an expungement petition was denied by a Judge.
When an expungement is not an option, in states such as Alabama and Maine, your only option is to file for a pardon.
Early Probation Termination Can Expedite Your Expungement
All court fees must be paid off in order for any individuals to be considered for early probation termination. The process of termination is being offered in multiple states to quicken the process immensely. To prematurely end your probation you must do the following; all fines and court costs must be paid and you must have completed all court-ordered classes and/or group sessions. Requests for early probation termination can be submitted at any time. ReputationLawyers always recommends that you wait until your probation is complete to give yourself the best opportunity for an approval.
The court will consider factors as your criminal history, your age, the severity of the crime when reviewing a request for early termination of probation. This process can take about 3 months for completion.
Now that does not mean that all cases are the same. Results will vary depending upon the complexity and severity of the crime. That is why it is important to hire someone who has excellent reviews and is trust amongst the community. Turn to ReputationLawyers to handle any and all questions and concerns in reference to your pardon or expungement.
It is important it hire a trusted professional when filing for either a pardon or expungement. You essential have one chance at explaining your case to a Judge, you need to be able to trust that person representing you know what they are doing. And more importantly will get the job done right. Most procedure such as a pardon, the courts will file the motion for you. However when you implement early probation termination now you as an individual are responsible for submitting the legal motion.
Expungement and Sealing an Arrest. What’s the Difference?
When an arrest record is sealed, that means it is hidden from the public eye. Only law enforcement officials can view the arrest detailed as they are no longer considered public information or public knowledge. However with an expungement, it will still show the original charge with the arrest details, however, it will say “not guilty”. When applying for things such as professional license you may reopen a sealed case. This is also true for industries such as a medical or law for obtaining any sort of license. The law and terminology for sealing or expunging a record can vary from state to state. If you are unsure about your state’s guidelines click here.
List of Felions That Can Be Expunged:
- Assault (with a deadily weapon)
- Any Theft Charges
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Receiving Stolen Property
- Indecent Exposure
- Petty Theft
- Drug Possession
- Grand Theft
- much more..
Removing negative personal information from the internet can be hard enough. Tracking now the site owners and providing them with the necessary documents can get messy. What happens when they never answer? Slanderous information tends to spread like wildfire online in this digital era. It is important that you hire a trusted team of professionals to monitor your online reputation. The dark web does exist, protect your personal information from falling into the wrong hands. Google Alerts notifications is an excellent way to monitor yourself online. By tracking your name and any other keywords you will be notified if anything new appears online referencing you in any way.
Most noteworthy, our Reputation Lawyers are trained to get ride of cyber attacks completely and effectively. With over a decade of experience in this field, we are confident we will work better than anyone else to expunge your criminal past. Our powerful legal team works to locate the source of any and all cyber attacks, in addition, to sending out cease-and-desist letters and notifying law enforcement agencies. Receiving court-ordered injunctions and removal orders is the only way to nullify a cyber attack permanently. These are equitable remedies in the form of a court order that makes people or a company reframe from doing acts that cause you distress.
In addition, we work together with an award-winning team of online marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) specialists to defend, repair, and restore your online presence. These experts offer simple yet effective solutions to build up and manage your online image, as well as your brand’s image. If you are in the market for a new job and if you are even more and applying for a loan you must make sure your background tells the truth about you. Avoid all the unwanted conversations where you have to explain your past even though the charges were dismissed and you were found not guilty. Talk to our knowledgeable team of specialists today. Remember, the longer you wait the longer it will remain on your record. What are you waiting for? Call us now. (833) 469-9527.