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Understand what a criminal record expungement can do for you

Having a criminal record can mean that you have some very limited options in some areas of your life. For example, you might find that it is difficult to find a job or an apartment based solely on your criminal history. Some people who have a case that meets specific requirements might be able to have their record expunged.

A criminal record expungement doesn't mean that you will be treated like the conviction never happened. Instead, the conviction won't be mentioned on your public background check. It will still be open for some government agencies and agents to review. This means that they might come up if you have another criminal justice case opened up in the future or if you are trying to land a job that comes with a security clearance.

Typically, having a record expunged makes it like it never happened to most people, including when someone tries to run a background check before employment. In these cases, the expunged record isn't on the results. This means that you can avoid having to say yes to the question that asks if you have been convicted of any crimes or felonies in a period preceding the application for employment.

There are some very strict laws regarding expungements here. You need to make sure that your charge and case qualify for the expungement. You also must make sure that you are done with your criminal sentence. You can't have any open cases sealed. This means that all fines must be paid and that the probation, parole, incarceration, community service and other facets of the sentence have been handled.

Source: FindLaw, "Expungement Basics," accessed April 13, 2018

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