The process of criminal record expungement or sealing can be a long and winding road, but the help of an experienced expungement attorney significantly shortens the process… What are the typical steps involved in a criminal record sealing or expungement? The first step is gathering the relevant criminal records. You must fully and accurately know the details of your record, and make note of any convictions, dismissals, and what level of offense(s) you were charged with. Sometimes, it can take weeks to receive your criminal records from the courts. Many courts receive hundreds of requests for records and have long processing times.
Once you have your complete criminal records, the next step consists of drafting the correct forms or court petitions. This requires careful attention to detail, and a certain understanding of legal terminology.
Then, you must file your expungement petition and submit the necessary fees. The court usually takes anywhere from 4-6weeks to review your petition. In many instances, the court is required to serve a copy of your petition on certain entities. This can extend the time it takes for the court to process your petition. Often, the court has to set your case for a hearing. Usually, the case is set for hearing anywhere from 2-8 weeks from the date it was filed. The process will change depending on the state, and some expungements may be granted without a hearing. Finally, the waiting periods will be different in each state according to the judge, the type of crime, or just how busy the court is in handling expungements.
The Waiting Game
Unfortunately, waiting periods can sometimes be difficult to determine, as they are entirely dependent on the case, the crime, and the sentence completion date. There is no short answer for how long it takes for an expungement to be complete. You must first make sure you meet all the eligibility requirements, such as waiting the appropriate amount of time after completing your sentence. Many times; however, states will allow individuals who have not been convicted to expunge their criminal records at any time following dismissal by the court. The more complex your case, usually the longer it may take to receive an expungement. Finally, if the district attorney objects to your expungement, it could take a bit longer as well. These are just some of the various factors that can play a part in how long you might have to wait to seek an expungement.
As we stated in one of our previous articles, getting your record expunged provides significant opportunities for those with a criminal past to start fresh. Your offense will be removed from the public eye, allowing you to find employment, finance a home and get a second chance at life. The time-frame is just a part of the overall expungement process; and, if your expungement is granted and the court orders your records be removed, it will be well worth the wait. At WipeRecord, our firm is always glad to assist those who want to get their record expunged. The sooner you begin the process, the sooner you can feel good moving forward in life with a clear record.