In this day and age, more employers than ever are conducting background checks on potential employment candidates. With the internet, these background checks have gotten even easy, so landlords and even neighbors are conducting them as well. A criminal record will surely show up on those checks, so expungement would be a good option for many people. Here is what you need to know about the misdemeanor expungement process.
What is Expungement?
Expungement is a legal process that seals your criminal records so they will not show on those background checks and are not accessible by the public. After expungement, those charges are to be treated as if they never existed in the first place.
A misdemeanor offense is not as serious as a felony offense. Usually a misdemeanor carries a fine and maybe some jail time, but usually no more than one year. The type of charge will have an effect on whether it is eligible for expungement, so a reputable attorney should be able to help you.
You can only apply for expungement after five years have passed since you were sentenced. A petition also should be filed five years after completing probation. To be granted expungement, your situation must meet several criteria. First off, the court must find that you do not have any other convictions during the period since the charge in question. The offense must also not be a sexual offense, and the victim cannot have been under the age of 16. All of your penalties, such as fines, prison, and community service must have been completed before any expungement will be considered. As well, make sure that all the pertinent forms have been filled out completely and correctly.
If your criminal records have been expunged successfully, then you have the legal right to tell anyone, whether it be a potential employer or a landlord, that you have never been convicted of a crime. Those records can never be held against you and will not show up in a background check from another member of the public.
As with any legal matter, it is best to consult an attorney to guide you through the process. With your records expunged, you will be able to put your past mistakes behind you and live the life you want.
If you’re need of an expungement, the Law Office of Mark Herman can help. Reach out online or call 612-382-4545 for a free consultation.