Expungement Means Sealing Documents

If you happen to have an arrest of non-convictions from a rap sheet in your past, say the result of being a headstrong teenager, you might want to consider expungement of that record in order to get a job.

An expungement is, by definition, a court filing that erases your arrest and non-convictions from your rap sheet. Don’t misunderstand this process and think that expungement means wiped out, as that is not the case. Court records with your early misdeeds still exist and are merely sealed and only made available in extremely limited circumstances. One such instance would be in the case of a new conviction.

Are expungements expensive? They tend to be, but if you are wanting to get on with your life, get a job, maybe a loan for a house, a license for some occupation or security bonding you need to have a clear criminal record. Without an expungement your criminal history is there for everyone to find out about and that makes it highly unlikely that you will get hired for any job, be granted a license for anything or even get a loan.

This is a way to clean your legal record and allow you to tell people you have never been convicted or arrested for a crime. Add to this, if an employer does do a background check, if you have opted for expungement, there will be no record in existence for you that they are able to find.

Again, it is important to understand that when criminal records and mental health records are expunged, they are not erased. They are simply sealed and sent to a special facility that stores records of this nature. While they can’t be deleted, they do get tucked away out of sight where law enforcement and ordinary people (employers) won’t find them. If however, you wind up back in court charged with another criminal act, your expunged records may be accessed by court order.

Another thing to note is that there are some records that can’t be expunged, and those deal with civil lawsuits and property deeds. If you need expungement of something in your past, make it a point to discuss this with a qualified lawyer. The lawyer will advise you that generally speaking you may have a criminal offense expunged if ten years have passed since you completed your initial sentence.

As always there are usually exceptions to the rules and regulations and the best way to find out if you are indeed eligible for expungment is to consult with a highly skilled attorney.

Patrick Warwick is the lead content contributor for Chicago Bankruptcy firm, The Law Office of Jay F. Fortier, P.C.. To speak with a Chicago bankruptcy lawyer or to learn more about creditor rights, Chicago bankruptcy, Chicago bankruptcy lawyer, Chicago bankruptcy attorney, visit Westsidebankruptcy.com.