Expungement is an important process for those who have been convicted of a crime to be familiar with. It can have significant impacts on the individual’s housing, employment and educational opportunities which is why those who may wish to seek an expungement should understand what it is and how it may be able to help them.
What is expungement?
The expungement process, also referred to as expunction, is a process that seals, or erases, an arrest or conviction from an individual’s criminal record. The arrest or conviction may still be available in some situations for law enforcement to view so it is useful to be familiar with what those circumstances may be. Eligibility for an expunction can depend on where the accused individual is requesting one, so they should be familiar with the laws where they have made the expungement request, the nature of the criminal charge, the time that has passed since the arrest or conviction and their criminal history generally.
How can the expungement process help?
Once the expungement process is completed, the accused individual does not typically need to disclose the conviction. Accused and convicted individuals may be asked to disclose a criminal arrest or conviction on a housing application, job application or as part of pursuing educational opportunities. Following an expunction, they will commonly not need to disclose the criminal record when asked.
Many criminal defense options that are part of the criminal justice process are available to accused individuals and are something those accused of committing a crime or facing conviction should be familiar with. Expunction is one of those options that can significantly influence the life of the accused individual making it important to understand the benefits of the expungement process.