Are you leading a miserable life because you are unable to clear a criminal record? The truth is that there is nothing worse than a tarnished reputation. It can have long-term effects, and it can destroy your life for all times to come.
The truth is that if you have a criminal record, then it can become a difficult job to get a decent job because your past will continue to haunt you like a dark shadow. The viable solution in this situation is to get your record cleared, and for that, you will need to seek the assistance of a record clearing lawyer.
Understand the eligibility criteria for record clearing
Well, it is essential that before opting for record clearing, you should have an idea about the eligibility criteria. The essential aspect is that you are only eligible for record clearing if you finished up with your probation.
It means that you complied with the court orders relating to your case. Secondly, it is essential that you should not have any recent charges against you. The second scenario is that you can also clear your records during the probation period.
However, there are some conditions that need to be followed in this situation. You can apply for record clearing when it is one year past the judgment. You also need to obey all the laws subsequent to the judgment.
Developing an understanding of record clearing and expungement
When you make up your mind to go for record clearing, then you need to understand some technical aspects also. You need to understand the different between expungement and record clearing.
By record clearing, it is meant that a seal will be put on your records. These records will only be available if someone has a court order to review these records. Expungement means that your criminal records will get destroyed for all times to come.
What you need to keep in mind is that expungement gets granted for the less serious crimes only.
If you are desperate to get your record cleared, then you need to get your facts straight also. The cleared conviction may count as a prior offense if you get charged with another crime in the future.
If the court is thinking along the lines to revoke your license, then a prior conviction may count against you in this situation also. There are situations when you need to report the expunged or cleared records for a job.
When to contact a record clearing attorney
If you have any questions related to your criminal record or want to get your records sealed, then you should contact a record clearing attorney right away. He will be in a position to guide you whether you are eligible for record clearing or not.
The good news is that your attorney can represent you in court and also put forward a criminal defense strategy for you. However, all this is possible if you choose the best lawyer to represent you. Now, let you give you a walkthrough of how you should go about your lawyer selection.
Choosing your record clearing attorney
You need to do significant research if you want to get your hands on the best attorney. What you need to do is look for a licensed attorney. Ideally, you should shortlist multiple lawyers. Most of the reliable lawyers offer free consultations.
You should make the most of these free consultations and talk things out with the lawyers. When you interact with multiple lawyers, then you will be in a position to figure out which lawyer will turn out to be the best option for you.
Secondly, you need to have a comfort zone with your lawyer so that you can talk things out with him without any apprehensions. The truth is that record clearing is a sensitive business. You need to be upfront if you want things to go in the right direction.
The free consultations will give you the opportunity to figure out if your frequency matches with your lawyer, and whether he has the skill to address your concerns.
Once you choose an attorney, there is some more research you need to do. You have to ask the state bar number from your lawyer and verify that number from the state bar. When you make up your mind to seek the services of a record clearing or expungement attorney, then you wish to play safe.
The best practice is that you should ask your lawyer if he offers a money-back guarantee. The good news is that most of the reputed record clearing attorneys willingly give you a money-back guarantee.
There is another concern that you need to address when choosing a record clearing lawyer. You need to have an idea about the cost of the case in advance, so ask your lawyer to give you a quote. The benefit of this practice is that you will not have to worry about the hidden fee.
If you record clearing attorney has a successful track record, then there are chances that your case may turn out to be a success also. The reason is that the success rate matters at the end of the day.
You should not be reluctant to question the lawyer about his successful cases so that you are confident that you are walking in the right direction.
When you have a successful licensed attorney, then he will ensure the fact that there are no delays in your case.
Discovering the record clearing and expungement process
When you figure out that you are eligible for record clearing or expungement, then your lawyer will make it a point to file a petition in the court so that your paperwork can get processed. Every state has different rules.
In some states, you may receive a call for a hearing to get your records cleared or expunged. When you hire a reliable attorney, he will give you all the necessary guidelines, and will also ensure that your petition gets filed the correct way.
The role of the record clearing lawyer
Now, most people make a mistake, and that is they try to manage the record clearing on their own. Well, this can turn out to be a major blunder. The reason is that a layman is not aware of the technicalities of record clearing.
When you hire an attorney for record clearing or expungement, then he can file for early termination of probation also. He will ensure that he discusses your case with the prosecutor so that the prosecutor has an idea why you are a viable candidate for record clearing.
Ideally, you should let your lawyer make critical decisions for you. For example, the lawyer is in a better position to guide you whether you need to be present at the hearing or not.
When we talk about the early termination of probations, then it has loads of benefits. Your lawyer will give you all the necessary details. He will inform you that it will become easy to get your records expunged after the termination of probation.
The timing has a role to play when it comes to record clearing. It is vital that your lawyer should be aware of the court process of your state so that he can apply for the early termination of probation at the right time.
It is crucial that you should be realistic when it comes to the termination of your probation. What most judges want is that you should serve at least half of the probation period before the termination of the probation can be granted to you.
Your lawyer will also update your about the conditions that you need to meet to get your probation terminated. For example, the court may have ordered fines. It is critical that you should clear all those fines.
If the court ordered therapy or counseling, you have to abide to this condition also. What most people want is that they want to save up on time. They are keen to get their records expunged. The good news is that your lawyer can speed up this process. He can file for early termination of probation and expungement together.
The benefit of this practice is that once your probation gets terminated, then you can get your records cleared or expunged at the same time. The advantage is that you will get over the stress and move back to your normal life at the earliest.
Once your records get cleared or expunged, then a new challenge awaits you. The challenge is that you should promise yourself that you do not repeat the crime again. Your reputation not only affects your life, but it affects the life of your loved ones also.
You will not want to go through this trauma again, so try to lead a life by principles. Remember if you become a law offender once again, then things may not be easy the second time. Follow the proactive approach so that you do not have to worry about anything at the end of the day.