Being convicted of a crime can be scary, and you may be worried about the future implications. It’s true that a criminal conviction on your record can make it harder to get more opportunities later, but it’s not impossible. There are options in some cases that allow you to petition to have your conviction removed from your record so that it’s not still hanging over you. Find out how this works and what an attorney can do for you below.
Worried about what your criminal record may mean for your future? Talk with an experienced expungement attorney to find out about your options and what it looks like to have your record expunged. The legal team at Benjamin Durham Law Firm has experience with all types of expungement cases and can help you understand if this is something that may be available in your situation.
How Can Having a Criminal Record Affect My Future?
You already know that a criminal conviction comes with immediate penalties, such as fines or jail time, but what about after you’ve served your sentence? Having a conviction on your record can impact where you can live and your employment prospects. For example, some apartment communities can deny you if you have a felony conviction on your record, and it’s very common for employers to run a background check as part of the routine application process. When your conviction comes up, it could make them think twice about hiring you, even if you’re the right person for the job.
What Are the Options for Having a Criminal Record Removed?
In general, you have two options for having a conviction removed from your criminal record. You can have it sealed or have it expunged. If you have a conviction expunged, it is completely removed from your criminal record as if it never happened. Once the expungement is complete, there is no way for someone to tell that you had the conviction through any kind of review or background check. If you have your record sealed, it won’t show up on any kind of public search, such as through online court records or a background check. However, the records will still exist, and it is technically possible for them to be unsealed at some point in the future if the court so orders.
Do I Need an Attorney to Have My Record Expunged?
Technically, you don’t have to have an attorney representing you to file to have a conviction expunged from your record. However, the vast majority of people – and certainly those who are successful – use an expungement lawyer for this process. This is because it’s not an easy process to have a conviction wiped. There is a specific protocol and filing process that must be followed, and you will usually need a very compelling argument. Keep in mind that the prosecutor of the original charge is also able to argue why the record should not be expunged. To get through all of this and have the best chance at getting the courts to order an expungement, you will want to hire an experienced expungement attorney who has a strong track record of success in these types of cases.
How Do I Hire an Expungement Lawyer?
To hire an expungement lawyer, you will need an attorney who practices criminal defense. You may be able to use the same attorney who represented you during the charge, but many people want to choose someone new for this part of the process. Make sure to ask any attorneys you are talking to about how many expungements they have filed for and what their success percentage looks like. It’s also a good idea to find an attorney who has gotten convictions similar to yours expunged.
If you feel like your criminal conviction might be holding you back from a successful future, Benjamin Durham Law Firm may be able to help. Contact our office in West Jordan today by calling (385) 342-4300 to talk to a member of our team. We can schedule a consultation to go over your case and let you know what we can do.