Our expungement attorneys at Vindicate Law recognize the hardship of having a criminal record. If you have a criminal record, it can severely hamper your ability to get the most out of life. Our criminal expungement lawyers understand that with many cases,one wrong decision you made years ago can continue to haunt and limit you, making it difficult for you to pass background checks that are required if you want to:
- Get hired for a job
- Move into a new place of residence
- Receive public benefits
- Receive educational,financial aid
- Get or renew a driver’s license or similar documentation
- Get hired for a job
If you complete the expungement process with help from felony expungement lawyers at Vindicate Law, you can literally get your life back. Our criminal expungement attorneys can tell you how it works, but first, we’ll explain a couple of essential things to remember
What Expungement Will and Will Not Do
The expungement attorneys of Vindicate Law want you to know that expungement removes non-conviction data (i.e., an arrest record, acquittals or criminal charges that were dismissed) from your record. Having a lawyer to expunge a criminal record is the best way to approach expungement.
If you were convicted of a crime, removing that information from your record involves a process called “vacating,” which is possible, but more challenging than expungement. Even if vacating is successful,this is not the same as destroying the record of your conviction; for example, if you are charged with a subsequent crime, your vacated conviction can be used against you. Do yourself a favor and have a lawyer help clear your criminal record
Eligibility for Expungement
As our criminal expungement lawyers know, the first requirement of expungement is that you weren’t convicted of a crime, but were merely arrested or charged. Furthermore, you must have no more recent charges or arrests, and no prior convictions for felonies or gross misdemeanors. The record expungement attorneys at Vindicate Law also want you to recognize that the case you wish to expunge must not be pending in court.
There’s also a time factor:
- The case you want to expunge must have been classified as “non-conviction data” at least two years before expungement. (This rule will usually be applied to criminal charges dismissed in court).
- Three years need to have passed since the date of your arrest
If you and your case meet these criteria, you’re ready to start applying.
Having a lawyer to expunge a criminal record is the best method. The application process is not always easy, but the record expungement attorneys at Vindicate Law can help make it easier. First, our felony expungement lawyers must order and obtain a copy of your records from the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and send petitions to:
- The WSP
- The police department that arrested or charged you
- The law enforcement agency that investigated the incident
These petitions are formal requests to delete the incident from your record. If these requests are accepted, the information regarding your charge or arrest, including fingerprints and booking photographs, will be deleted. This means there will be no more references to the charge or arrest on your public record.
If you want to have a conviction removed from your record (either a felony or a misdemeanor), this will involve vacating. The time factor for vacating a conviction varies but has a minimum of three years. It may be lengthier, depending on the crime. For example, to vacate a domestic violence charge, it takes five years for the case to be considered “closed.” Vacating a class B felony comes with a minimum time requirement of ten years. If you have a lawyer or expungement attorney assist you in clearing your criminal record, you are more likely to be successful.
Like expungement, vacating involves an extensive amount of paperwork that you probably can’t do by yourself. To learn if your charge, arrest, or conviction can be expunged, and to get professional legal help as you embark on the application process, contact the expungement attorneys at Vindicate Law. Not only do our criminal expungement attorneys guide you through the entire process, but they offer sympathy and support during this difficult time. Contact us today for your confidential case evaluation, or call (888) 212-4824.