Expungement Costs Explained
At this point, if you are reading this article either you or someone close to you has fallen into a pit of bad luck. It can be stressful and tiresome enough dealing with your probationary requirements alongside other requests from the court or Judge. Dealing with an expungement after you are complete is the last thing most want to deal with.
The answer to your questions, how much does an expungement cost will vary depending on where you live throughout the United States, what your charges were, how recent this incident was, and most importantly which lawyer you select to help you throughout the expungement process.
In short, hiring an attorney to work on your behalf is a wise decision, granted you trust this individual to not swindle you or your pockets. On average, the typical cost of an expungement is anywhere between $400 and $1,000 for a single charge to be removed from your record.
In this article, we will take a deeper look into what is exactly included when you pay for an expungement as well as ways to lessen the blow to your wallet. Learn the best discounts when figuring out how much your expungement will cost you. Lastly, we close this article with tips on finding the best attorney for you, don’t settle for a crooked attorney that simply sees you as dollar signs. Learn the best questions to ask so you can feel safer knowing you are in the right hands.
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What’s Included in Your Expungement Cost?
Calling an attorney can be enough to rattle anyone’s brain. You did not study law, how should you know what is included when paying for a mugshot. It is important to note the reasoning for filing for your expungement in the first place.
The expungement process and costs associated are intended to help further reintegrate an individual back into society with essentially nothing on their criminal record. Expungements are meant for those who have made past mistakes however, they are now law-abiding citizens. The goal here is to help these individuals get their life back on track without the burden on an arrest record holding them back.
If you are successful and obtain an expungement, generally speaking, that charge and any associated records are destroyed. While simply “sealing” your record removes your files from public record. However, at the end of the day, those charges are still within the system just not accessible by the public.
The expungement process is quite simple, you just need to know what to do. Initially, you would need to obtain a copy of the charges filed against you. From here you will complete a petition for an expungement that is sent to be reviewed by the Judge. The details for filing an expungement in the United States vary amongst different expungement jurisdictions so be sure to visit or call your local county clerk’s office if you should need assistance.
Discounts to Lower Expungement Cost
These opportunities are far and few in between however there are cases where you may qualify for a discount on your expungement cost. One of the easier ways to save money is to perform your expungement yourself, meaning you will not employ a lawyer for assistance.
To do so, you can call the Legal Aid office in your county where the arrest occurred to see if you are eligible for pro-bono or discounted legal assistance. Depending on the county/state that your arrest was in, free assistance may not always be available.
At the end of the day, if you are confident enough to apply yours after serving your time or being found innocent you can certainly do so. However, please note if you perform these actions yourself the process may take longer.
Selecting the Best Lawyer to Expunge Your Charge(s)
If you decide to employ a lawyer to assist with your expungement efforts there are a few things you should always keep in mind. First off, make sure you understand what you are paying for. Be sure you understand whether the attorney charges a flat fee no matter how much time is spent on your expungement. Whereas hiring an attorney on an hourly basis can easily rack up thousands and thousands of dollars.
Before contracting any lawyer to work with you make sure you receive the terms of their “retainer” in writing. Make sure you know exactly what is covered and what to expect. This goes for additional or unexpected fees along the way.
In conclusion, filing for expungement is a fairly straightforward process after you understand what the expungement costs and processes are. In our professional opinion, we always recommend you utilize a professional when handling sensitive information such as your arrest record. However, if you cannot afford to hire an attorney that is still okay. The process may take longer and can be a little more stressful, however skipping the expungement costs entirely is an option.
If you have any additional questions or need further assistance locating an attorney to fight for you, please complete the form below. One of our knowledgable EraseMugshots specialists will reach out to you within 12-hours.