Expunging a criminal record may take months, depending on the background circumstances surrounding the conviction. The courts perform work on a first come, first serve basis. So the sooner a petition is filed, the sooner it will be reviewed. Since the timing of the process varies from state to state and by case, a general estimate of the time it takes to have a criminal record expunged can be anywhere from months.
A unique feature that they offer provides each client with access to an online database to ensure that each client is kept updated on the status of their expungement, and can easily track the the updates on their case so that they are continually aware of its current status. After expungement, when a criminal background check is done that searches for convictions, the record will NOT show up because it is no longer a conviction.
That being said, the arrest still remains on the record, as there is a difference between expungement and sealing an arrest. The law varies from state to state, but generally, you do not have to disclose your expunged conviction when applying for a job, so when applying to a school or for a new job, a person with an expunged criminal conviction can honestly answer "no" when asked if they have any previous convictions.
In an Internet-reliant age, anyone with a credit card can perform a background check online on anyone they wish. With a background check, if your record has been expunged, the criminal conviction will not be apparent even if a previous arrest might be. It will simply show as a record of arrest with no conviction. Although the criminal record has been expunged, the remaining arrest could also prove as a hindrance in landing a job.
Once the expungement is granted, the next step involves the courts updating their records so that sites such as Backgroundchecks. Generally, courts update their records within 48 hours.
That being said, the Department of Justice usually take an additional 30 days, and the federal agencies such as the FBI take upwards of an additional 30 days on top of that. On average, it takes about days for the effects of an expunged record to be updated in law systems. However, some law firms offer the option of removing or updating the expunged information from background checks online. Generally, each state's governor or a pardon board of high-ranking state officials has the power to grant a pardon under state criminal law. However, only about 1 in are granted.
Expungement of a criminal record
Pardon procedures vary from state to state, but it is always free to apply for a pardon. Like an expungement, there is also a wait period from the initial arrest or conviction or parole and the application for a pardon.
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The wait period to apply for a pardon is commonly 5 years, but may vary based upon state. There are two types of pardons, conditional and unconditional pardons. An unconditional pardon fully restores a person's rights and innocence as if they had never committed the crime. A conditional pardon, however, comes with conditions before it may become effective, such as serving a sentence or completing parole.
Pardons usually are associated with guilt, such that a pardon does not imply innocence and is merely a forgiveness of the offense. This should be viewed as an alternative when expungement is not possible due to ineligibility or any other exigent circumstances. In some states where expungement is not an option, such as Alabama or Maine, a pardon is the only way to clear a criminal record.
However, the speed and efficiency of garnering an expungement instead of a pardon, where applicable, is much quicker and easier. Also, obtaining an expungement is a way to reinstate most rights. Before becoming eligible to expunge a criminal conviction from a record, probation must be either completed or terminated.
Some states will allow you to file for early termination of probation. In order to apply to end probation early, all fines and court costs must be paid and you must have completed all court-ordered classes.
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The request to end probation early can be filed at any time, but your best chance at winning the motion is when you have served at least fifty percent of the probationary term. The court often considers such factors as criminal history, age, seriousness of offense, compliance with other terms of sentence, the need for relief, as well as the amount of time spent on probation, when reviewing a request for early termination of probation. The process typically takes anywhere from 1 to 3 months, depending on the workload of the court and the state in which the application is filed.
While you may file the motion without the help of an attorney, a licensed attorney is recommended when dealing with applying to end probation early. Some cases are more complex than others, and there are a large number of limiting factors that the courts deliberate on when considering each case. Because there are so many factors that influence the court's decision, if you apply for early probation termination without a licensed attorney and are denied, it may seriously negatively affect any future applications to end probation early.
Certain procedures, such as applying for a pardon, require a form that is already created by the court.
Expungement of a criminal record - Abrahams & Gross Attorneys
However, probation termination is not one of these procedures. Instead, a formal motion must be prepared and delivered to the courts. Sealing an arrest record involves completely removing a criminal arrest from the public. The record of the arrest, for all intents and purposes, is technically "destroyed," and it is only available to law enforcement. With an expungement, the record will reflect a dismissed case with a finding of "not guilty," but still show the original arrest and charge.
Sealed records can be opened if an individual has applied for a professional license, such as a medical or law license. The law and terminology for sealing or expunging a record varies from state to state. Find out if you qualify for a record expungement by taking our free expungement eligibility test or call us at Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Check out our Free Expungement Information and Education page. Mathew Higbee is a recognized authority on criminal record clearing. He has worked on more than 2, expungement cases in 6 states. He successfully argued the published case of People v. McLernon which helped define California's expungement law. We also offer our other record clearing services nationwide. We have more than 50 years of combined experience.
We make sure that your case is done right the first time. Other law firms only update court records after an expungement which means that your criminal records may appear on background checks for up to a year after it is expunged. Our exclusive optional Expedited Record Clearance Update can get your record removed from more than popular background check companies within 14 days of it being cleared at the court. Get your criminal records and other personal information removed from more than 40 popular people search websites with our Background Check Removal service.
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