At some point in life, everyone makes a mistake that they regret and which they believe will follow them for the rest of their lives. For you, the mistake may have resulted in criminal charges. Though you likely dealt with the consequences of this action, you could still face negative repercussions for years to come. Because a criminal conviction goes on your record, you could face significant difficulties when it comes to finding employment, applying for living arrangements and various other aspects of your life.
Luckily, you could potentially have the opportunity to clear your record if you meet certain qualifications. If you would like to work to have your conviction hidden from your record, information on expungement may prove useful to you.
Expungement vs. Sealing
You might suspect that record expungement and record sealing serve the same purposes at first. Though the two processes may have similar aspects, expungement more effectively hides the conviction on your record while sealed records become highly restricted. However, the possibility exists that both sealed and expunged records could still play a role in sentencing if you face criminal charges in the future.
Eligibility for expungement
If you hope to have a spot on your record expunged, you must meet certain qualifications. Because the proceedings for expungement vary, the exact qualifications may depend on a multitude of factors, including:
- Nature of the crime
- Amount of time passed since the conviction
- Other aspects of your criminal record
- Severity of other offenses on record
Additionally, specific state laws will play a role in the factors that determine your potential eligibility for expungement.
Benefits of expungement
If you qualify for expungement and the court clears your record of a conviction, you gain an invaluable benefit. After the expungement process ends, you can effectively deny that the conviction ever took place. This means that when you fill out an application for a job or place of residence, you do not have to disclose that conviction even when directly asked.
This ability can open doors to you that may have otherwise closed due to your criminal conviction. As a result, you may have the opportunity to build a better life for yourself because of your cleared record.
Because many varying factors go into the process of criminal record expungement, you undoubtedly want to ensure that you have the correct information for your specific circumstances. Speaking with an experienced Florida attorney could allow you to understand the process, along with how it could help you.