Being convicted of a criminal offense can feel like the end of the world and leaves you thinking the worst.
Even when you’ve taken responsibility for your actions and accepted your penalty, criminal convictions can follow you around and affect your everyday life. You may wonder how your conviction will affect the way others view you, your ability to find a job, get a higher education and more.
Depending on the nature of your conviction, you may be eligible for an expungement.
What is an expungement?
An expungement is a legal process where you can have an arrest, charge or conviction completely removed from your record.
This means that it won’t come up in any background check, so won’t affect job or educational opportunities. Where you are successful in having a felony conviction expunged your voting rights will also be restored so long as it is the only one you have on your record.
What are the eligibility criteria?
Not everything can be removed from a criminal record. You might be able to expunge a record when:
- You have a misdemeanor or Class D felony offense.
- You were acquitted of the offense or the charges against you were dismissed.
- You received a pardon from the governor.
If you’re looking to expunge a misdemeanor or a Class D felony offense for which you were found guilty, you need to wait five years after you complete your sentence before you apply. While you can apply for multiple misdemeanors to be expunged from your record, it is only available for one felony conviction.
When you’ve paid the price for your criminal conviction, you should be able to move on with your life. Expunging a conviction can help you with getting that job, house or college place you really want.