Important Factors to Consider When Petitioning for an Expungement

As human beings, we sometimes commit offenses we soon regret. If these offenses were law breaking, however, we may be forced to live with the mark of a criminal record for the rest of our lives. Despite the age in which you committed the law-breaking act, a criminal mark on your record can hold implications against you for many years to come.  Among many things, having a criminal record can keep you from opportunities you might have otherwise had.

To further explain, both landlords and employers will often ask all of their applicants if  he or she has a criminal record. Answering yes to this question can diminish your opportunity of renting an apartment or even getting hired for a particular job.

If you have committed a crime, there may be an opportunity for you to seal your arrest or conviction record. With the help of an experienced expungement attorney, you may be able to pursue your life goals without the worry of your past mistakes.

Filing for an Expungement or Sealing of Your Criminal Record

When you want to have your criminal record removed from public view, this is legally referred to as an expungement. You should know, however, that although your criminal record has been hidden from public view, it has not been entirely eliminated.

Expungement involves obtaining a court order that stops the general public from seeing of your criminal record. Once your record has been hidden from view through this procedure, your record will no longer be accessible to the general public.

Once you have successfully expunged your criminal record, that information is then removed from criminal case systems. The judgment of the conviction will also be removed from public view. In the State of New Jersey, justice departments handling these expungements must partner with the FBI to amend your records and this will then reflect the successful expungement.

Questions to Ask Your Attorney

When hiring an experienced attorney to oversee your case, it is important that you consider the following questions:

  • Is my case eligible for expungement?
  • When can I apply for an expungement?
  • What does the expungement process involve?
  • Are there any implications associated in petitioning for an expungement?

There are various exceptions as to when you can petition for an expungement. Hiring an experienced attorney who will oversee your case and fight for your rights can ease the hurdles of petitioning for an expungement. Katherine O’Brien is an experienced expungement attorney who has helped people remove their past criminal records and offer them the opportunity of having a fresh start. If you or a loved one has a criminal record that is hurting your opportunities to succeed in life, the Law Office of Katherine O’Brien can help set you in the path to success.

Photo by Samuel Zeller

Katherine O'Brien

New Jersey expungement lawyer Katherine North O’Brien has been practicing expungement law for her entire career and has handled hundreds of complex criminal record expungements. She has also assisted in the drafting of briefs on expungement issues before the New Jersey Supreme Court. Katherine is passionate about helping people clean their criminal records and, therefore, started Katherine O’Brien Law to offer those with criminal convictions a fresh start.