Howard County Expungement Lawyer
No matter why you may have a criminal record, the main issue is how that record affects your life and your future. You may have found that you cannot hold specific careers, obtain reasonable housing or own a gun. Expungement is the process of removing information about a criminal case from your public file. The government required a separate request for each arrest you may have.
You may file a petition to have your record cleaned. However, the process is not simple, and you may find the services of an attorney helpful. Even if the court found you not guilty of a crime, the arrest record may still appear on background checks.
A Howard County expungement lawyer may be vital in dealing with your record and fighting for a clean slate. Unfortunately, even an arrest may damage your reputation. If you served time in jail, even though you have paid your debt to society, it might feel like you are still paying. Call a seasoned defense attorney today.
Records that May be Expunged
A person might have a court or police record if the police arrested a person for a criminal matter, some traffic violations and some civil offenses that act as a substitute for criminal charges. A person may petition for an expungement in the following circumstances:
- The court found the person not guilty,
- The court found the person not criminally responsible,
- The court dismissed the charges,
- The act on which a court based the conviction is no longer a crime,
- The court ordered probate before judgment,
- The government did not prosecute (nolle prosequi),
- The government never heard the case,
- There was a problem with the case, and the case did not go forward,
- The governor pardoned the actor for a non-violent crime, or
- The court found the person guilty of marijuana possession.
Timing of Expungement
In most circumstances, a person may petition for an expungement three years or more after a disposition or decision by the court. A person may file a General Waiver and Release form earlier if that person’s case was a dismissal, a nolle prosequi or an acquittal. If the act which the court convicted a person of is no longer a crime, that person may file a petition at any time.
If a person died before disposition, the estate’s representative or attorney may file a petition at any time on the decedent’s behalf. After a conviction for a misdemeanor, a person may file a petition ten years after completing all sentences. A person may file 15 years after completing all penalties for a felony conviction.
The Expungement Process
The process can take at least 90 days. The process starts with the filing of the petition. If the law enforcement agency of state attorney does not object within 30 days, the court will order the expungement of the person’s police and court records. Afterward, the affected agencies have 60 days to comply with the court order.
These agencies will send a Certificate of Compliance once the government clears a person’s record. The government may deny an expungement. In which case the person may appeal a denial.
Reach Out to a Howard County Expungement Attorney Today
A criminal or arrest record may drastically affect your life. If you believe you need an expungement, you may find the best way forward is with the help of an attorney. If the government denies your petition, your expungement may be delayed or never granted.
Work with a Howard County expungement lawyer to make sure you properly file your request and appeals, if necessary. You can discuss the probability of a court granting your petition. Whatever your situation, you owe it to yourself and your future to do your utmost to have a clear record. Call today.