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The process of expunging a criminal record

A criminal conviction can lead to a range of consequences that can affect someone for the rest of his or her life. From job applications to housing to educational opportunities, a mark on one’s record can bring consequences you never imagined. You may feel stuck if you find yourself in this situation, but there are legal options available to you that will help you secure a better future.

There are situations in which it may be possible to seek an expungement. This process seals a conviction, essentially erasing it in the eyes of the law. By doing this, you may be able to enjoy new opportunities and a better future. A conviction does not have to dictate the direction of the rest of your life.

What could an expungement mean for you?

With an expungement, a criminal conviction will no longer have a serious impact on your life. For example, you will no longer be required to disclose a conviction in an application for things such as housing, employment or school. This gives you a higher chance of securing your goals, allowing you to move forward and rebuild your life. The ability to secure an expungement depends on the details of your specific case, but some of the determining factors include:

  • The amount of time since the conviction
  • The specific nature of the crime that led to your conviction
  • The details of your criminal history

An expungement does not necessarily mean that your criminal record is completely clear. The conviction is still visible and the details of the case are still accessible to certain government agencies. If there is a new criminal offense in your future after expunging a previous conviction, the court may consider the sealed record as proof of previous criminal activity. In turn, this could be a factor in sentencing and other considerations.

Your future, your options

You have the right to seek the best possible future for yourself, even after a conviction. Your life is ahead of you, and seeking an expungement can offer you the opportunity to live without a mark on your criminal record having an effect on your everyday life. If you would like to explore this option, it may be helpful to first seek an assessment of your case and explanation of the legal options available to you.