Expungement of criminal convictions refers to a legal process by which a person's criminal record is altered in a favorable manner. The type of expungement that is appropriate to a given criminal case will vary, depending upon many factors. Expungement of a criminal case has many benefits, chiefly the ability to deny a conviction when asked by a potential employer.
Expungement begins by determining which type of relief is appropriate. The law will vary from state to state, so it is critical that you consult with a lawyer that knows the expungement law in your jurisdiction. The type of expungement that will apply in your case will depend upon whether you were a juvenile or an adult at the time of the conviction; whether the conviction was for a misdemeanor or a felony; and whether you were placed on probation or went to state prison as part of your punishment.
Expungement will usually require a lawyer to draft a motion (a formal legal document asking the court to take a particular action). The expungement motion will be filed with the court that sentenced you, and will also have to be served on the prosecutor and, in some cases, the probation department. To get an Order of Expungement, the court must be convinced that you have led an honest and upright life, and the interests of justice would be served by granting the request.
Expungement of a criminal conviction is an excellent way to close a chapter on a past mistake. Expungement allows a person to move forward with their life, without the baggage of a prior conviction, or having to disclose a criminal record. Expungement provides freedom, peace of mind, and a clean slate.