As the popular saying goes ‘you should never hide anything from your doctors and lawyers’, the same goes for when getting your criminal record expunged. It would be foolish to hide crucial information from your missouri expungement lawyer. The lawyer needs to know all the details related to the offense to know if the applicant qualifies for statutory expungement.
The expungement process allows the applicant to completely erase a criminal conviction from the state records. Each state has its own rules and evidence requirement, and application process to apply for expungement. An expungement attorney will ask for critical information to assess whether or not the records can be sealed.
What Does My Expungement Lawyer Need to Know?
First of all, not all criminal convictions are expungable, any reliable attorney will inform the petitioner if the law allows them to file for expungement. It gives you a clean slate and opens up new options without having to disclose the unpleasant incident anymore.
Destruction of criminal records from the state court system is not easy and requires a detailed factual analysis by an expungement attorney. Moreover, the lawyer would ask a number of important questions in his interview with the applicant.
Information Related to Offense
Specific provisions of law may or may not allow expungement based on the severity of the crime. Most states do not allow the expungement of violent felonies, drug offenses, sex crimes, and other serious criminal offenses. A misdemeanor can be easily expunged while certain criminal convictions can not be expunged or require a longer waiting period.
Hence, the attorney will ask you about your criminal history and when the crime was committed. To not waste any time, bring court documents, police reports, and other documents showing payment of penalties and completion of sentence.
Other Arrests And Convictions
Many states prohibit multiple expungements while other states require the applicant to file separate applications for expungement for each conviction. Depending on where you live, the expungement attorney will inform you about the number of times a record can be expunged.
In addition, the lawyer also needs to know about the pending criminal charges. The court will not allow it to seal the records if the fines are not paid.
Additionally, it is easier to expunge non-conviction charges where the charges were withdrawn. In case of a conviction, a person has to complete the terms of the sentence and pay fines to prove their eligibility for expungement.
Age At the Time of Conviction
Inform the lawyer about how old you were when the offense occurred. Most state laws allow juvenile expungements, if you were under the age of 18 at the time of the offense, it will be easier to erase your criminal record.
Evidence of Rehabilitation
Submit the evidence to the lawyer related to any changes to your lifestyle after the completion of the sentence. If you were convicted of a drug-related offense, prove that you enrolled in a rehabilitation program or submit clean drug tests. Tell the attorney how you are contributing to the welfare of society since your conviction.