An Expunction May Still Be Necessary

January 18, 2018
criminal records folder with gavel

Expunctions are the gateway to your freedom as most attorneys say. A criminal arrest record can be like the legal equivalent of a sickness.  It can cost you a job, a promotion at work, or countless other opportunities.  Expunctions ensure your mugshot is no longer public information.

 

Do not bother explaining the details on your dismissed case to the interviewer. Once they see your criminal record you lost. Costing you the job in the end. Curing your sickness is a great example of what an expunction does, works to leave no trace. Your records will be destroyed once approved by a Judge.

 

Including records that reference the arrest. Remove court records, the district attorney’s file, and even transcripts of the trial are all examples of this.  People often refer to expunction as wiping their past clean.

 

This also means that the state’s agencies can’t give information about these arrests to private companies who gather criminal data for distribution for private background checks. In some states, this allows for a person with an expunction to “deny the occurrence of the arrest…” in certain circumstances.  Furthermore, this varies state to state and you should know local laws.

 

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What is unknown by most is qualifying for an expunction can be somewhat difficult.  Expunctions are simple and straightforward, they remove a case from your record. Even remove a mugshot that is actively displayed on Google.

 

How to Get Your Mugshot 1-min

Do Automatic Expunctions Exist?

Once barred you should receive an automatic expunction. Next, the prosecution can be barred where you are acquitted by a judge or jury, where the statute of limitations has expired and the case hasn’t been filed, or if the prosecution has been barred for some other reason.

 

In addition, a common misconception is that getting deferred adjudication ‘magically’ drops the criminal arrest record on its own for any offense.  Deferred only entitles you to an expunction for (most) class “C” misdemeanors in Texas.>

 

These are the lowest level of offense, which includes traffic tickets and petty offenses ranging from minor in possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and theft below $50 in value as examples. An Expunction may still be necessary even if a “C’ level charge as given.

 

Deferred adjudication for offenses from class “B” charges and above may allow you to apply for a petition for non-disclosure which generally limits who can know about your criminal case but is different from an expunction.

 

Remove your information from the various mug shot websites fast with the proper documentation.

 

Expunction of Criminal Records

Furthermore, an expunction doesn’t happen on its own.

 

The judge must review the expungement request typically given from your lawyer. (Time-frame is about 1 year).

 

In conclusion, we are not a law firm so no information above should influence any legal decisions.  Please consult an attorney for questions regarding this subject matter.

 

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An Expunction of a Criminal Record

Expunctions often seem like the silver bullet you need to erase a criminal record from the public record. With almost a third of adults being arrested by the age of 23, a lot of people are finding it hard to find a job and to rent a home.

 

The expungement process is quite a simple thing to understand. It means that your criminal records are no longer accessible to the public via the courts. But expunction doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.

 

What Does Expunction Actually Cover?

Once you have had your criminal record successfully expunged, nobody can go to the courts and find out that you have received a conviction for the offense in question.

 

Previously, this meant that you were essentially completely clean and a background check would reveal no criminal convictions. The problem is that this process has failed to keep up with the digital age.

 

expungement

 

It Doesn’t Cover Online Articles and Blogs

For example, you live in a small town and you got a misdemeanor a few years back. It naturally made a random local news page online. Years later you had that conviction expunged from your record.

 

The problem is that the local news page that originally published the story is under no obligation to remove their story or any of the details.

 

Someone performing a background check can simply look up the story and find out that you were convicted, despite the expunction.

 

Private Background Check Companies have a Way Around Expunction

It’s also true that expunction only determines the result of a background check in the future. Employers that enlist a private background check company to look up a prospective hire and still see that expunged record.

 

Why is this the case?

 

Court records are downloadable and these companies periodically download the latest records.  Performing a background check will uncover all personal pieces of information about someone.

 

What Can You Do About It?

In the cyber age, the role of the expunction is nowhere near as powerful as it once was. It doesn’t apply to people talking online or records that were downloaded before the expunction became active. That’s why you’re not in the clear just because you were successful.

 

So what can you do about it?

 

Most employers will appreciate the honesty and may still decide to not hold it against you.

 

Last Word – Is an Expungement Still Worth It?

The expungement is still worth it because it reduces the chances of any future damage by having your name appear in the records of the court.

Plus an expungement is far more respectable than having an active criminal record that anyone can access. But there’s no doubt that expungement still has its flaws.

Have you applied for an expungement of your criminal records?

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