Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes the mistakes we make are going to affect the rest of our lives. There is not one person who can say that they didn’t take a risk at one point in their lives, or that they didn’t make the wrong choice, or hung out with the wrong crowd. In some cases, we are lucky enough to leave the scene without consequences, but at other times, we have to face charges for the mistakes we’ve made. It is said that everyone can change, and no matter what you’ve done in the past, you can work on yourself, change the things you don’t like, and invest in a better life and future for you and your family. Starting fresh is something we all want to do, and we want to have opportunities for a better job and a better life, no matter our previous mistakes, but when you have a criminal record, that can be a hard thing to achieve.
Even though things have changed, and nowadays we are taught that just because someone has a record does not mean they are a bad person, there are still many people who don’t want to give a fair chance to someone who was on the wrong side of the law. Getting a great job, or even a nice place to live can be extremely challenging when you know that you have a black spot on your record, and to start fresh, you need to find a way to hide this information.
In this article, we are going to give you some tips on the ways you can wipe your criminal record clean, and we will try and give you some information about the things that you can hide, and the things that a potential employer or a landlord will be able to easily find out. Note that it is always best, to be honest about your past and that if you talk to people, chances are, they will understand and give you a chance, but just to be sure that you are given a fair chance, you may want to try these things out.
1. Consult with a lawyer
The first step to erasing your crime sheet is to talk to a legal advisor. The reason for this is that every case is different, and when you try and do the research on your own, you may get stuck in the legal labyrinth and not know what you should do next.
The process of removing your criminal history may not always be easy, and in some cases, you only have one chance to try and succeed. So, it is better to talk to an attorney, and see which process they recommend depending on your charges, misdemeanor and if you were wrongfully convicted.
Know that you should find a good legal representative who has experience with these things. Not every lawyer can help you out, so look for someone who has been successful in the past. If possible, have a free consultation with them, ask them about their skills, and similar cases, and note that in some cases, you may need to have patience until you find the right person to represent you.
2. Get an Expungement
According to RecordPurge.com, the process of expungement allows people who were wrongfully convicted or arrested to remove all traces from the state’s records. Depending on the pace you live, you may get this process done fast and with ease. Some states have strict laws for the process, while others let people buy the service and get their records cleared.
Note that depending on the charge you were arrested or convicted of, you may not be able to remove all the traces. In most places, you have to wait a period of time before you are allowed to start the process, and it is said that if you need to spend time in jail, you will have to wait for your sentence to be over so you can apply for expungement.
Depending on the crime and your location, you will need to pay between 150 and 500 dollars, and you should know that an attorney is not always required for the process. One thing you should always remember is that even though with this process your crime sheet will be cleared, the information will not cease to exist. Law representatives, including officers, will still be able to open it and learn more about your past from it.
3. Get your Record Sealed
The last thing we are going to talk about is sealing your crime sheet. In some cases, when expungement is not an option, you can get your crime sheet sealed. Note that this is different from clearing the record, and if needed, your sheet can be unsealed.
When you apply for non-disclosure, only the government and its officials will be able to access your history and they are the only ones who can know about the mistakes you did in the past. Even though the crime sheet will still legally exist, people will not be able to access it. The general public will not be able to learn about it by doing a simple background check, so it is going to be easier for you to apply for the job you want, or to get the place you’ve been dreaming of.
Note that most states allow people to check everyone’s record with ease, and there are websites that will allow you to see if your friend, employee, or relative has been convicted of something. Most websites will allow you to do the background check for free, so it is better to try and seal your sheet, than to risk people judging you before they give you a chance. The criteria for expungement or record sealing depends on your location, so you have to do your research based on the state you are in right now. If you are unsure of what you need to do to start the process, you can always consult with a legal advisor, and ask them for help during the process.