Clients frequently ask me about how they can clean up their records. I have assisted clients in expunging their records in Utah and California, with much success. The number one reason why clients want to expunge their record is to upgrade their employment. Having a criminal record can make applying for a job difficult. In this competitive economy, perspective employers are performing background checks on applicants more than ever before. Some surveys indicate that more than 70% of employers are performing these background checks, which can cause someone to lose opportunities if they have accumulated a criminal record.
Expungement is the best way to clean up your record. Once a criminal record has been expunged, a person may become eligible for enhanced employment, student loans, housing assistance, and professional licenses. Cleaning up your record can also remove mention of arrests, dismissals, and other entries in the criminal history database. In short, you get a clean slate.
Most felonies, and all misdemeanors and infractions are eligible for expungement. The more you have to expunge, however, the longer it may take. Also, certain offenses, like DUI convictions, can take up to ten years to become eligible for expungement because they act as priors for future offenses for that length of time. In any event, most convictions can be expunged in between three and seven years after completing probation, depending on the type of crime. Be aware, however, that if you have more than four separate convictions of a serious nature, you may run into trouble qualifying for expungment.
Expungement laws have recently changed to allow more people to qualify for the benefits of a clean record. If you have a criminal record, and would like a clean slate, you should contact a lawyer and get more information about when and how to get an expungement.