You know it well that the life of a person who was held for felony conviction faces challenges. Even the person wants to lead an everyday life; they cannot as society doesn’t accept them entirely. Talking about the companies, they won’t hire felons as they have a criminal record on their file.
So, what should be done in this dire situation? Is there any solution where the felon can end up leading an everyday life? The answer is YES, and the solution is called a Felony expungement.
Felony Expungement – What is It, Actually?
Talking about felony expungement, it is a legal procedure wherein the felon’s criminal record is removed. After removal, the person will be treated as if there were no criminal records attached. However, the rules that apply for expungement differs from state to state in the USA. Further, the procedure might be easier to expunge misdemeanors; meanwhile, some states only allow expungement of a selected felony.
The main benefit of felony expungement is that it helps individuals get jobs or accommodation to stay.
How Does Felony Expungement Work?
When it comes to expungement, it isn’t more straightforward as it looks. The more serious the crime an individual has committed, the less likely it will be the expungement. Talking about felony crimes such as murder, child abuse, etc., are not covered to be expunged.
If a person wants his criminal record to be removed or erased, he or she has to file a petition with the court. However, it is based on some of the factors mentioned below.
- Nature of the crime a person has committed
- Whether the person is a minor while he committed the crime
- Time spent by the person since felony conviction
- Court orders for the sentence and other formalities are completed
Further, the expungement takes into consideration two factors – felony charge and felony arrest. Here, the felony charge means the person is bound for legal proceedings. At the same time, felony arrest is when a person is placed into custody based on the felony committed by them.
Here, it is a greater chance that the court will expunge a person for a felony arrest. However, it is less likely for a felony charge.
Hire an Attorney for Expungement
One will require an attorney to help with the procedure of expungement. The attorney will guide through the process that includes the steps during court proceedings. Presenting the best case will ensure handling the process efficiently and promptly. Further, the felon’s rights will be protected during the process.
Is Felony Expungement a Permanent Erasing of Records?
Once a person has been expunged for the felony, his or her public records will no longer have criminal records. Keeping this into consideration, now the person is free to apply for jobs, a place to live, education, and other benefits. The best part is, if the company goes for a background check, they won’t find a single clue of a felony.
However, law enforcement agencies and the court have the full authority to view expunged records. They still know that an individual has a felony conviction on records, now expunged. Meanwhile, if a person commits a felony again, he or she is liable for expungement charges.
Expungement vs. Record Sealing
When you talk about record sealing, it is different from expunging a felony. Record sealing is just sealing the criminal records of a person, thereby making it inaccessible to employers and others. In most cases, the records of minors are sealed once they reach 18 years of age. But, using the court order, it can be accessed.
On the other end, expungement is erasing the criminal charges off the record.
When Is Expungement Not Eligible?
Well, expungement is for erasing felonies from a person’s record. Meanwhile, some states follow rules that may or may not include felonies for expunging them. For severe or violent crimes, a felon convict should never expect expungement. Meanwhile, federal crimes are not eligible for the same.
Take a look at the felonies that can never be expunged:
- Abusing a minor with/without child pornography
- Crimes related to rape or sex crimes
- Felony where the victim of the crime was under 18 years of age
California State has a three-strike law where the felon can be charged for legal consequences even expunged. Here, the felony will not appear on an individual’s record, but it will be cited if future crimes are committed.