10 Frequently Asked Questions About Expungement

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What is an Expungement?

An expungement, or expunction, is the process of removing a charge from public view. Individuals must apply to have their record expunged, and only certain records can be hidden.

Can I Get My Record Expunged for Free?

There are circumstances in which an individual can have their criminal record expunged for free. However, there are specific criteria that the individual must meet. An individual may be eligible for a free expungement if:

  • The charges the individual was facing were dropped
  • The individual was arrested and released without charges
  • The individual was found not guilty by the court
  • Prosecution was not pursued
  • A court denied an order of protection after a hearing

What Felonies Cannot Be Expunged?

Felony-level charges that cannot be expunged include various violent crimes. For example, crimes including murder, rape, abuse of children, and various sex-related crimes are not eligible to be expunged from a criminal record.

Who Can See My Record After It Has Been Expunged?

Only legal organizations such as courts and police stations keep record of convictions once an individual has their record expunged. The record of the incident(s) is not available for the public to view.

Is It Worth Getting a Record Expunged?

Yes. Individuals looking to expunge their records to better their chances of success in their academic, social, or professional lives can significantly benefit from having their record expunged.

Do Expunged Records Show Up on Background Checks?

No. Expunged records never show up on public background checks.

Do You Have to Go to Court for Expungement?

No, you do not need to go to court to get a record expunged. Instead, you file the information with a clerk.

When Do You Become Eligible for Expungement?

Individuals must wait five years after completing their sentence to apply for an expungement.

Is Expungement the Same as Dismissal?

No. Expungements are available to individuals who wish to make their criminal record unavailable to the public. Conversely, dismissals get rid of the charges before an individual is convicted at all.

How Many Expungements Can You Get at Once?

An individual may file for expungement only one time. However, they may have two charges removed from their record at that time.

Do You Still Have Questions? Contact Our Office

If you still have questions or concerns regarding expungement, reach out to speak with our experienced and dedicated team. We can answer your questions and guide you through the process if you need assistance.

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