Making a mistake and receiving a criminal charge can completely change your life, and the life of your family and friends. A criminal charge can lead to expensive fines, potential jail time, the inability to vote, or the loss of your license among other things. Clearing your record is the best option for someone who needs to start a clean slate.
What Are Expungement Laws?
Expungement laws are helpful to those who would like to erase, seal, or limit public access to certain criminal records; this may include an arrest, conviction, and pardon records. Clearing a record can make certain aspects of life easier, including getting a job, applying for housing, and getting a degree. Expungement laws are important to people who want to move on with their lives and be productive citizens.
Before you begin the process of clearing your record, you must complete the terms of your sentence; this includes probation, parole, or supervised release. Not all crimes committed are eligible for expungement. Very serious or violent crimes are unable to be expunged.
How do I Begin the Process?
There is a tedious process to go through when attempting to clear or expunge your record. First, you need to understand the charges brought against you. There are certain charges that can be cleared immediately while others take much longer to process. A lawyer can discuss if you are eligible for expungement and the fastest way to make it happen.
How do I Build my Case?
After you fully understand the charges you are faced with, start to collect the items that are needed to build your case. You will need to prepare a petition for expungement that includes your arrest records and court papers. It is important to include all of the necessary documents for a greater chance at clearing your record. There are certain documents that are needed:
- Copies of your legal records.
- Petition for expungement.
- Verification page.
- Order for hearing.
Gathering all of the necessary forms and paperwork will help speed up the expungement process. If you are confused on what documents are needed and where to find them, it is helpful to hire a criminal defense lawyer to ensure that you are doing the process accurately and completely.
What do I do After I am Approved?
Once you have submitted your petition for expungement, you will need to file it with the appropriate criminal case management office. After it is filed, the waiting process begins. The court will have to evaluate your petition application and will mail you back a copy of the document with the date and time of your hearing. You must attend the hearing date if it is required to complete the clearing process. Once you are officially approved of your expungement, you need to mail out a copy of your clearing documents to the following people:
- Attorney general.
- Superintendent of the state police.
- State police expungement unit.
- County prosecutor.
- Court clerk.
- Chief of police of the city where you were arrested.
- Warden of the jail where you were housed.
Why is it Important to Clear my Record?
The process for filing expungement can be lengthy and challenging but clearing your record can help in all aspects of your life. Expungement is overwhelming, but the end results are worth the stress and exhaustion. Fortunately, a criminal defense lawyer will guide you through the process and make sure it goes smoothly and efficiently.
Haddonfield Criminal Defense Lawyers at Agre & St. John Help Those Who Want to Clear Their Record
If you have a criminal record and want to begin the process of expungement, one of our Haddonfield criminal defense lawyers at Agre & St. John will help you with every step of the way. We understand the challenges involved in expungement, and our dedicated legal team can provide you with the resources and knowledge needed to make this process as easy as possible. Call us today at 856-428-7797 or contact us online for an initial consultation. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County.