What Is Expungement?
An expungement or an expunction as some call it can be described as a process ordered by a court of law where a criminal conviction or a legal record of arrest is sealed. It is a lawsuit where an offender of a previous criminal conviction seeks to have the records erased, making them unavailable to the federal sources or the state.
There are a few factors that will determine whether a criminal record will be expunged or not. These factors are;
- Your criminal history.
- The nature of the charge or crime committed.
III. The period of time passed after the arrest or the conviction was made.
- Your state’s jurisdiction. There are states that have strictly prohibited expungement of all criminal convictions.
Does A Criminal Record Get Destroyed After Expungement?
When a criminal record is expunged, it doesn’t mean that it is completely erased and can never ever be seen by anyone, rather, it limits people’s accessibility to someone’s criminal history. These records can still be accessed by criminal courts and some government agencies. This limited accessibility keeps the records under seal.
In the event that an individual whose record had been expunged is found with another criminal offense and sentenced by a court of law, the expunged conviction may be retrieved and used against him or her because the criminal justice system has access to it.
Can An Employer Or A Lending Institution Gain Access To Expunged Records?
Most employers and credit institutions always perform background checks on individuals before hiring them or offering them loans. They get to see a person’s background information. They, however, cannot be able to view an individual’s expunged records.
There are a few benefits of getting an expungement. They include:
- Restoration of Voting Rights
A criminal offense can deny an individual the right to vote and choose his or her desired leader. When a criminal record is sealed through an expungement, the individual’s voting rights will be reinstated.
- Access to Public Assistance
Many states do bar individuals with convictions from accessing and benefiting from public assistance initiatives that are funded by the government. With an expungement, however, an individual receives back his or her legal right to access any needed public assistance.
- Freedom to Pursue Academic Goals
Most academic institutions have zero tolerance for individuals who have a criminal record on them. They rarely give them an opportunity to join in their courses and further their studies. With a successful expungement process, individuals can seal the criminal record on them and reclaim their opportunity to study anything they want and achieve their career goals.
- A Better Chance to Get Good Jobs
It’s next to impossible in this day and age for individuals to get a good paying job in high standard organizations if they have a bad criminal record. Employers disqualify people from getting vacant job positions regardless of how good their credentials are.
An expungement will seal any criminal record making it inaccessible to employers. An individual now has a high chance of being considered for hire in a well paying high standard job.
Now you know what an expungement is and how beneficial it is for an individual with a criminal record. You probably need an expunction on a conviction you’ve had. If you are based in the United States, here is an expungement lawyer in NJ that can help you go through the entire process.