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The basics of expungement

Expungement is a legal process that can remove an arrest or conviction from someone's criminal record. For some people, this could have a profound effect on their lives. For example, you may then be eligible for certain jobs.

Not everyone will qualify for an expungement and not all states allow it. There are usually several factors that will be considered, including:

-- Your criminal record

-- How long ago you were arrested or convicted

-- The seriousness of the crime you want expunged

To apply for an expungement, you'll need to complete a form and submit to the right court. After the judge hears your case, he or she will rule on whether the expungement is granted.

When trying to get your criminal record expunged, you may find the help and guidance of an attorney very helpful. After serving your time in prison or jail, you may qualify for an expungement. In some cases, five to 10 years must have passed before a judge will hear your petition. This time would start from the end of your sentencing. For example, you may have been sentenced to two years in jail. Once your two years have been served, you can then file for expungement.

A criminal record will follow you around, affecting your ability get a job, rent an apartment, attend college and more. A successful petition for expungement can help you in several ways. You will not have disclose that you have an expunged arrest or conviction.

An attorney is a good choice for information about expungement because it can become rather complex at times. Your attorney will make sure you know about the process, including how long it might take, what the costs are and more.

Source: FindLaw, "The FindLaw Guide to Expungement," accessed Nov. 04, 2016

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