Your past, good or bad, has the tendency to impact your present and future. While your past accomplishments could help you with your career and advancements in life, a prior criminal record could impede or prevent your professional and educational objectives.
Because a criminal record is often easily accessed by the general public through on-line searches and background checks, an arrest or conviction that occurred years or even decades ago could impact you as much now as it did when it occurred. This is where an expungement could be a vital step to take.
The basics of an expungement
In Hawaii and elsewhere, having a clean criminal record is important. Thus, the attorneys at Harrison & Matsuoka use their expertise and experience to guide our clients through the expungement process. Whether you live in Hawaii or the mainland, our law firm can help you expunge a Hawaii criminal record.
An expungement, if obtained, will seal your criminal records. This means that they will be inaccessible to the public and will not show up on a background check. While this is ideal for anyone with a criminal record, it is important to note that not all criminal records are eligible for expungement.
When seeking an expungement, it is important to understand if the criminal record is eligible. While this is not an exhaustive list, this often pertains to arrests that did not result in a conviction, a first-time drug offense, a DUI conviction occurring under the age of 21, certain first-time theft offenses and prostitution.
If your criminal record is eligible for expungement, a two-step process is needed when securing an expungement. The first step is to seal the arrest record, and the second step is to seal the court records. This helps ensure that any record pertaining to the crime or arrest is expunged.
The expungement process might seem confusing or complex, causing many to be unaware that their criminal records are eligible. As such, it is important to be fully aware of your situation and legal options even if much time has passed since an arrest or conviction.