The Four Questions to Ask Before You Pursue an Expungement


Can My Case Be Expunged

First and foremost, you need to know whether your case can be qualified for expungement. If you know your case file number and the specific case you want to be expunged, any qualified and experienced lawyer should be able to inform you whether it is eligible for expungement. Even if you don’t have the case file information, they should be able to know if it is a case they can take on.

What percentage of your practice are expungements?

There are many attorneys, specifically criminal defense attorneys, who can offer to petition the court for an expungement. While there is some overlap between the types of practices, expungements involved different rules and procedures during the criminal proceedings.

An attorney that does not specialize in expungements will likely not know every intricacy of the process, which means they will not be able to provide the best representation. Expungement lawyers, however, know how the process works and they can help get a case sealed sooner than an inexperienced attorney.

What value do I get out of hiring an expungement attorney?

Cost is always a consideration when choosing the value of your lawyer. But if the service is cheap, that doesn’t mean it is a great deal. An experienced lawyer that handles expungements will outline the entire process and breakdown the costs, as many steps go into getting a case expunged, and they can be lengthier than other standard court processes.

For example, when choosing an expungement lawyer, make sure to check with them about the steps they will provide for you. Will they draft the petition, are they going to send a memorandum of law, and which record(s) will they ask to seal? Knowing the entirety of the services they provide will give you a better understanding of the true value.

What am I expected to do?

Hiring a qualified expungement attorney means they will likely do most of the work. However, your input is imperative to the case. You will need to provide adequate information for your petition, and you may even need to obtain a copy of your criminal record. Some states may have different laws and statutes which will require different steps than what you would initially think. Understanding what you need to do to be active in the case will likely result in a successful outcome.

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