The expungement process is an important part of the criminal justice process. Obtaining an expungement of a criminal record, also referred to as an expunction, can have a significant impact on the life of an accused person, which is why all accused individuals should understand its potential value for them.
What is expungement and what is the process?
When someone has been granted an expungement, this typically means that the court has sealed or erased the individual’s arrest record or conviction from their criminal record for most purposes. Following the expungement process, the individual who had been arrested or convicted is no longer legally required to disclose the arrest or conviction as it will no longer be part of their criminal record.
Expunction must be requested from the court and the individual requesting it must meet the expunction requirements in their state. Likewise, the practical process of expunging a record is different in different states.
Some prohibit the release or dissemination of expunged records. Some others physically pursue and destroy the individual’s record and any associated files. Some systems create legal protection for denial of the existence of any record.
When determining if an expungement will be granted, some factors to consider include the type of criminal offense, the age of the individual requesting the expunction and the outcome of the criminal case.
Expunction is a court-ordered process that can have a life-changing impact on the individual seeking who is seeking the expunction. The individual will no longer have to worry about the ongoing negative impacts of a criminal record, which is an important part of the criminal defense process that any accused individual with a criminal record should be aware of.