Having a criminal record can severely limit the options available to you in life, including securing a job. Because of this, you’ll want to work with a criminal law attorney to determine if you are able to clear your criminal record.
What Appears on a Criminal Record?
If you have been convicted of a crime, you’ll want to know the consequences you face moving forward. One such thing you’ll want to know is what appears on a criminal record.
Employers typically do a criminal background check on any prospective candidate that they’re looking to hire and having a criminal record an make it that much more difficult to obtain employment. You’ll want to know what will appear on your record.
A criminal background check pulls any and all information about criminal offenses a person may have committed. This includes misdemeanors or felonies as well as convictions or pending arrest warrants.
Here are just some of the things that will appear on a background check:
- Felonies, misdemeanors, DUI charges, sex crimes, etc.
- Current home address and phone number
- Previous addresses and phone numbers from the past 10 years
- National arrests and court warrants
- Federal and state tax liens
- Federal and civil judgments
- Federal and state bankruptcies
- Age and date of birth
- Alias’ and maiden names
- Marriages and divorces
Because having a criminal record can severely impact your ability to attain employment, you’ll want to work with a criminal defense lawyer to ensure that you are not convicted of a crime. Additionally, if you have been convicted of a crime, you’ll want to work with a criminal defense lawyer to see if you are able to expunge any previous charges from your criminal record. A criminal defense lawyer will be able to look at the specifics of your charges and help determine if you are eligible.
If you are charged with a crime, it’s important to know if that charge can eventually be cleared off your record.
Clearing a Criminal Record
The process for clearing a criminal record is called “expungement”, or “record sealing”. Through this process, a person that has been convicted of a crime or multiple crimes may be able to have their criminal record erased as if the crimes never occurred. When a criminal record is cleared, it cannot be accessed by the public, which means a person is allowed to deny they have committed a crime. This means a person does not need to declare they have been committed of a crime on job applications.
What Crimes Can be Expunged?
State laws vary regarding the clearing of criminal records, but generally, crimes that are classified as misdemeanors, DUI charges, and minor crimes can be expunged. Typically, this expungement can be done after five years after the conviction. Expungement may also be available when the following circumstances exist:
- The defendant was arrested and accused of a crime but not convicted of the crime
- The defendant was unlawfully arrested
- The defendant has maintained consistent good behavior following the conviction
- A minor has reached the age of majority (typically the age of 18 years)
On average, felony charges cannot be expunged. This is especially true for felonies involving crimes of a sexual nature.
Procedure for Clearing Record
In most states, the process of clearing a criminal record is not an automatic one. A defendant will need to file a motion with the court requesting that his or her record be expunged or sealed. After filing the motion, a court will conduct an investigation to qualify if the person is eligible for the expungement.
Sometimes this means a court will need to hold a hearing, and other times this does not require a hearing. If summoned to court, the defendant will need to appear. It’s always advised that you appear at this hearing with a criminal lawyer that is knowledgeable about your case, such as the ones at Ferragut Law Firm.
When to Call a Lawyer
If you’ve been accused of a crime and are facing some serious penalties or prison time, you will want to have the best criminal defense lawyer possible.
Because of the intricacy of criminal law, representing yourself in a criminal trial if you don’t have a law degree is almost impossible. No one criminal case is exactly like another, and a skilled criminal defense lawyer is trained to look at the specifics of a case to determine the best line of defense.
How a Lawyer Can Help
A criminal defense lawyer’s jobs are numerous and involve much of the following:
- Work with their client and a prosecutor to negotiate a “deal,” also known as a”plea bargain.” This can often reduce a potential sentence or eliminate some or all of the charges brought against someone.
- Figure out a good sentencing program for his or her clients.
- Help walk clients through the legal system.
- Provide a reality check for clients because they are able to remain objective during all criminal proceedings.
- Educate a client about the legal rules and regulations that he or she faces, including laws and what is considered lawful versus illegal.
- Able to gather evidence and statements from witnesses as well as conduct thorough investigations regarding the reasons behind the charges that have been brought against a client.
Ferragut Law Firm Will Defend You
Ferragut Law Firm is a top rated criminal defense law firm based in Phoenix Arizona. We are dedicated exclusively to the practice of criminal law in all state, federal, and city courts throughout the State of Arizona.
Our mission is to achieve the best possible results for our clients through hard work, attention to detail, and aggressive advocacy, while maintaining the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards.
We are committed to providing the most aggressive, professional, and effective representation for our clients accused of crimes to ensure that their legal rights are protected and that the best possible results are achieved. Contact us to discuss the details of your case.
One Renaissance Square
2 North Central Avenue, Suite #1125
Phoenix, Arizona 85004