Anyone with a previous criminal record may wish to have these records expunged. This is only an option for those who have been exonerated or have completed the required sentence. However, even when either of these have been done, it can be difficult to wipe the slate clean. This is where expungement lawyers come in. These legal professionals understand the process by heart and may be able to help with your legal issue. If you’re looking for the best expungement lawyers near you, here’s what you need to know.
Expungement lawyers are attorneys with professional licenses to practice law who specialize in the expungement process. This is the legal term for wiping an individual’s criminal record clean so that there are no negative marks on his or her past. Expungement attorneys offer legal advice on the process based on their in-depth knowledge of expungement law. With their help, previous criminals can enter a new chapter of life and move on from their past mistakes.
The primary purpose of an expungement lawyer is to help their clients have their records wiped clean of previous criminal charges. It is important to note that not all types of criminal cases can be removed. However, expungement lawyers near you can help to clear misdemeanors, theft crimes, drug possession charges, and drunk driving cases. They can also help to expunge juvenile crimes for their clients if enough time has passed since the criminal offense took place.
A lawyer for expungement near you can also help to seal criminal records when expungement isn’t possible, such as in cases where the defendant had been previously convicted of a felony. Sealing the records will ensure that they are hidden from public view and will not show up on background checks. Because it has not been expunged, the record still exists but isn’t accessible by other parties.
Anyone with previous criminal convictions who has been exonerated or completed his or her sentence should consider contacting an expungement attorney. Having your records cleared is the single best way to put your past behind you and ensure that your previous criminal charges do not impact your future. Even if you cannot get your records expunged, expungement attorneys near you can look into the option of sealing your record. This can also be beneficial for your future.
However, bear in mind that not all crimes are eligible to be expunged. It may still be worth speaking with an expungement law lawyer near you, but the below crimes typically cannot be removed:
If you are seeking to clear your record, you will want to find the best expungement lawyer near you. The better your attorney, the better your chances of success and the brighter your future. Below are just three factors that you will want to consider when choosing the right lawyer for your case:
All law firms specializing in expungement charge different rates according to their size, experience, and other potential factors. The location also impacts the attorney’s price per hour. You can expect to pay a total of between $400 and $4,000 on average for a lawyer to clear a single criminal charge from your record. However, this number will increase if there is more than one offense on record. Similarly, the nature of the records also impacts the cost. Misdemeanor cases are relatively easy to clear; therefore, they do not take as much time and come with a lower price tag. Comparatively, wiping a felony conviction from the record is much more challenging, so totals costs can increase to upwards of $10,000.
On top of lawyer fees, you will also need to consider document processing and filing fees. These are around $100 and $600, respectively. This money will be due whether you decide to hire an expungement law lawyer near you or attempt to navigate the process yourself. This can all be discussed in your initial consultation.
Most expungement lawyers near you will not charge for consultations. They typically offer a free initial meeting to assess whether you are a good match. See this as an opportunity for both parties to decide whether you want to work together. However, some law firms do charge for consultations, so be sure to ask. Depending on the firm’s policies, some may charge a flat consultation fee while others may charge for the time taken at an hourly rate.
Yes, an expungement holds real value in removing past criminal charges and, thus, is very beneficial in terms of employment prospects and professional licensing.
When records are sealed, they are removed from public view and will not show up in most background checks. On the other hand, expungement removes the record entirely so that even the court cannot access the information later. Expungement is a full legal pardon for the crime.
Serious crimes cannot be expunged from the record. The precise list of crimes depends on individual state laws. However, common exemptions include child pornography crimes, some acts of sexual assault, crimes involving violence, kidnapping, and severe injury or death to another person.