Any time something becomes part of someone’s personal record, questions of expungement almost always arise. To most, it’s important to wipe the slate clean for the chance at a better future. An experience Wichita criminal defense attorney like Jonathan W. McConnell can help. So here are a few initial FAQs on expungement that may help guide you to a cleaner, more suitable criminal record.
What are the different forms of expungement?
There are two different kinds of expungement – expungement of an arrest record and expungement of a conviction. They both allow your record to be sealed. This makes them unavailable through the state or Federal repositories.
Are records ever automatically expunged?
Adult arrest and conviction records aren’t typically expunged or sealed after a certain timeframe. A written application must be filed in court and rules must be followed. Each rule pertains to the state in which the conviction or arrest was made. For juveniles, court and arrest records are typically sealed automatically once the trial or adjudication begins. However, in most states, they must file a written application to have their records expunged or destroyed completely.
Can they deny an expungement?
Yes. Each state sets their own standards. These standards vary from state to state but typically involve not meeting a specific deadline or time period, additional convictions, pending arrests, conviction of sexual offense, and other particular guidelines.
If my record is expunged, do I need to admit to a criminal record?
In most states, if your records are sealed or expunged, you may truthfully say that you’ve never been convicted, accused or charged with a crime. As far as the law is concerned – it never happened. However, the state of Kansas does list some specific instances in which the record would need to be disclosed (e.g., making application and/or determining qualifications to work for the lottery, racing and gaming commission, or law enforcement; working as an investment adviser, broker or private detective; or when applying for admission to be an attorney or applying for a concealed carry license, etc.).
Who can get their court record expunged?
Again, these laws are typically decided by the state. But, often, a number of conditions must be met before the request is considered, including: the minimum length of time has passed since the arrest or conviction, no more arrests or convictions, the criminal proceedings were dismissed, you were acquitted and found not guilty after a trial, you were discharged without conviction and no criminal charges were filed, or you were released before charges were filed.
Expungement can be a confusing term. So hopefully this sheds some light on the often ambiguous topic and gives you a clearer picture of what is possible. If you require expungement assistance or that of any legal nature, please contact Wichita criminal defense attorney Jonathan W. McConnell.