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Expungement the Basics

Mistakes happen, and people sometimes do things that they regret. When you have been charged or convicted of a crime, you probably were not prepared for the difficulties you would face for many years afterward. A criminal record is something you are not proud of. With the ease of access to informtion the internet affords, it seems that almost anyone can look up your criminal record and find out information about your past. The good news is, in some cases, you may be eligible for an expungement.

An expungement is a legal process that allows you to remove criminal convictions from your record. There are only certain types of crimes in North Carolina that will qualify for expungement. If you would like to consider this option, first consult with the legal team at Arnold & Smith, PLLC to determine whether you meet the qualifications for expungement in Mooresville.

Why do I Need My Record Expunged?

A criminal record can hold you back from a number of things. Some of the obstacles you might encounter include:

  • Housing: These days everyone checks for a criminal background, especially landlords. If you have a criminal past, a landlord may be reluctant to rent to you. This type of difficulty could result in living in less than adequate places. You may also face difficulties when you want to purchase a home.
  • Employment: Employers cannot discriminate based on a number of factors such as race, religion or gender. However, a criminal record will likely prevent you from getting a job in many types of industries. Regardless of your abilities, an employer would prefer to choose an applicant without a criminal conviction.
  • Education: Colleges and universities often check applicants for a criminal record. A school can disqualify you from admissions if you have a criminal past. In addition, you may also be barred from obtaining some types of grants, scholarships, and loans.
  • Financial: Those who have criminal records may find it difficult to secure a loan. If you can get a loan, you might find that it is at a higher interest rate because you are considered a higher risk.
  • You may also face some other problems such as the inability to obtain certain types of licenses, get financial assistance, work in some types of professions, and it could even prevent you from adopting a child.

In addition to these issues, if you have a criminal past you may also experience family problems. You could lose your spouse or encounter child custody issues that stem from your criminal conviction. These may be due in part to the difficulties you have with finances. Some people who have criminal records feel less worthy and might even fight depression.

When you get your record expunged you may begin to feel the stigma that is associated with criminal convictions lift off your shoulders. An experienced Mooresville criminal defense attorney will review your situation and help determine how to proceed.

How can I Get an Expungement?

An expungement must be done through a specific legal process. Your attorney will gather and evaluate the documentation necessary to provide for an expungement request. Your case must meet the criteria specific to an expungement. Not all types of crimes are eligible to be expunged. If a crime is not eligible for expungement, it may be able to be sealed instead.

An expungement requires quite a bit of legal coordination. This will be handled by your attorney so there will be nothing that you need to do once you provide the initial information. Some of the approvals that are necessary for expungements include the judge, the district attorney, the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation, and the court itself.

An expungement will remove your criminal record from future view. It is important to note that if parts of your record are online outside of the legal system, that information may still be available to those who conduct a thorough online search.

The expungement process can be lengthy because so many different departments need to sign off on the request. In addition, expungement is not high on their priority list, and each department must perform its own review process before it agrees to sign off on the expungement. Once an expungement is granted, the court will order that your criminal record be destroyed. An expungement is generally only granted once. Therefore, if you have several crimes that were committed or you convicted at different times, they may not all be included in the expungement. Expungement can be somewhat complicated and requires help from an experienced Mooresville criminal defense attorney. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC for a consultation to learn more about getting your criminal record expunged.