Saturday, February 11, 2012
Benefits of Criminal Record Expungement
When someone is accused of a criminal act, they face not only the immediate consequences of their actions, but the long term consequences as well. In some states even arrest records are made public, in which case anyone who is accused of a crime, even if they are innocent, may be subject to unfair public scrutiny.
If the accusations proceed to a criminal conviction, the defendant will face sentencing which may include fines, probation and possibly jail time. Their permanent record will also be forever marred by the conviction, affecting future employment opportunities and certainly quality of life.
In some of these unfortunate situations, a defendant may be able to petition the courts for a criminal record expungement which will give them the opportunity to have their permanent record wiped clean of any mention of the conviction. If the expungement is successful, then for all intents and purposes, the conviction will be treated as though it never existed. Some states also allow a complete expungement which will erase even the public record of the arrest. Depending upon the state, certain offenses may have no chance for expungement, such as sex crimes or child abuse.
Situations in which an expungement may be honored include:
• New DNA evidence leading to a finding of innocence.
• Minor violations such as jaywalking or speeding may be expunged from a permanent record.
• Completion of a "deferred sentence" such as probation, anger management, alcohol treatment or
community service within a specific period of time.
• Acquittal at trial or an overturning of the conviction.
• Gubernatorial pardon.
Benefits of a successful criminal record expungement are that the accused is able to move forward from the criminal proceedings with peace of mind knowing that their criminal record will not be affected by the situation. For some this means that an embarrassing mark on their personal history will be erased, but for others it means the difference between the ability to gain future employment or not. Following expungement, no future employer will be able see the felony or misdemeanor on the record, nor will the defendant be required to report the charge during an employment interview.
In some states, a person convicted of a felony may lose their voting rights or their rights to bear arms. In these situations an expungement can help restore their every day rights.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6050956
Posted by Rene at 9:41 PM