If you have a criminal record, you may be wondering if it is possible to expunge it. Expungement is the process of having your criminal record erased from public view. This means that your criminal record will no longer show up on most background checks, and you will be able to honestly state that you have no criminal record on job applications and other forms.
There are many benefits to expunging your criminal record. For example, it can make it easier to find a job, get housing, and obtain loans. It can also help you to travel internationally and to regain your professional license.
Eligibility for expungement
The eligibility requirements for expungement vary from state to state. In general, you are eligible for expungement if:
- You have completed your sentence for the crime(s) in question.
- You have paid all fines and restitution.
- You have not been convicted of any new crimes since the completion of your sentence.
There are also some specific crimes that are not eligible for expungement. For example, in Pennsylvania, you cannot expunge a conviction for a felony sex offense or a violent crime.
The cost of expungement
The cost of expungement also varies from state to state. In Pennsylvania, the filing fee for an expungement petition is $20. However, you may also need to pay other costs, such as the cost of obtaining certified copies of your court records.
In addition to the filing fee, you may also need to pay for the services of an attorney to help you with the expungement process. An attorney can help you to determine if you are eligible for expungement, prepare your expungement petition, and represent you in court.
The expungement process
The expungement process begins by filing a petition with the court. The petition must state the reasons why you are asking for your criminal record to be expunged. You will also need to attach copies of your court records and other supporting documentation.
Once you have filed your petition, the court will hold a hearing. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether or not to grant your request for expungement. If the judge grants your request, your criminal record will be erased from public view.
How to find a qualified expungement attorney
If you are considering expunging your criminal record, it is important to find a qualified expungement attorney. An experienced attorney can help you to determine if you are eligible for expungement, prepare your expungement petition, and represent you in court.
To find a qualified expungement attorney, you can ask for recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues. You can also search for expungement attorneys online or in the yellow pages.
Expunging your criminal record can be a life-changing experience. It can give you a second chance and help you to move on from your past. If you are considering expunging your criminal record, it is important to contact a qualified expungement attorney to discuss your options.
Additional information on expungement costs
The cost of expungement can vary depending on a number of factors, including the complexity of your case, the state in which you live, and the experience of your attorney. In general, however, you can expect to pay between $500 and $1,500 for expungement services.
If you are concerned about the cost of expungement, there are a few things you can do to reduce your expenses. First, try to find an attorney who offers a free consultation. This will give you a chance to discuss your case and get an estimate of the cost of services before you commit to hiring an attorney.
Second, ask your attorney about payment plans. Many attorneys are willing to work with their clients on payment plans to make expungement more affordable.
Finally, consider applying for a legal aid grant. Legal aid grants are available to low-income individuals and families who need help with legal expenses.
Expunging your criminal record can be a life-changing experience, but it is important to be aware of the costs involved. By taking the steps outlined above, you can reduce the cost of expungement and make it more affordable for you to get the second chance you deserve.