Should I Seek Expungement or Sealing of Your Criminal Record?
If you have ever been arrested or charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime, be aware that your information goes on the public record where it is visible for all to see. Having such a stigma attached to your history can cause many hassles and troubles for a person down the road. For example, if you apply for a job or volunteer work there is a good chance the hiring organization will perform a background check on your character. When this charge is discovered it will immediately bring up a red flag to a prospective employer or hiring manager. Although it may be from a time many years ago or not relevant to your present circumstances, it can still tarnish your reputation and decrease your chances of gaining employment.
Also, keep in mind a job or other type of work is only one aspect where a blot on your record can put you in a negative light. Applying for a loan, buying a home or enrolling in school could also be cases where a criminal record will hurt your chances. This information on your record will continue to follow you, wherever you go and in whatever you do. It is not overstating it to say it could have repercussions to an individual for the rest of their life.
Although the process can at times be lengthy, in most cases it is prudent to seek expungement or sealing of your criminal records. In fact, even if a person is not formally charged with a crime or is later determined to be innocent of the charges, the public record is not altered. The truth is that unless action is taken by an attorney and their client to address the issue the incident and record will remain on the books. With this in mind, the effort involved in an expungement or sealing is usually worth the effort.
Expungement is an order by the court to destroy the entire record of an arrest and the disposition of that arrest. Sealing is an order by the court to make the record of an arrest and the disposition of that arrest unavailable to anyone other than law enforcement personnel without a specific court order. It is important to keep in mind an order of expungement or sealing is not always possible, and the rate of success varies from case to case.
Due to the importance of these records and the ramifications they may pose, it is imperative to seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney experienced in these types of cases. Gbenga Longe of the Longe Law Firm has a stellar reputation and many years of experience in dealing with just these kinds of cases. Contact her office at 708-298-8397 today. She can review your case and help you if you have a criminal history and are seeking expungement or sealing of your records.