A criminal expungement removes a criminal conviction from an individual’s criminal history report. The expungement prohibits the public possession of criminal conviction records but does not erase or destroy these records. These can still be accessed by court order and law enforcement agencies. However, an individual’s benefits from a criminal expungement are numerous. If you have been convicted of a crime, it is important to explore the possibility of expungement. The best way to achieve an expungement is to hire a Belmont criminal expungements attorney who has already helped several clients in the same situation.
The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford has represented clients in North Carolina since 1996. Criminal expungements are just like criminal defense cases, except that expungements are filed on behalf of individuals who have already been convicted of a crime. Expungement is the appropriate course of action when the court has already decided to convict an individual and a more severe sentence, including prison time, is not necessary. We have already helped many people in North Carolina who were eligible to have their records expunged and look forward to learning more about your case and seeing how we can repeat our historic success with you.
There are several factors to be considered when someone may be eligible for expungement. Some of these factors include:
These scenarios are the best possible cases to qualify for expungement. Only a detailed analysis of your case from a criminal expungement attorney can determine whether you are eligible.
Anyone eligible to make the petition for expungement has the right to file one. This includes but is not limited to:
Individuals are limited to making one expungement petition at a time. This is because the court will make an individual wait until their current case is decided before expunging their record. The court may also deny a petition if the defendant in question has committed another crime since the original one for which they were convicted or violated their probation conditions after completing their sentence.
The expungement process is straightforward yet legally nuanced. This makes self-representation very risky. Hiring a seasoned criminal expungement attorney will accelerate this process and ensure each of the following steps is completed with the utmost detail:
It is important to note that expungements are not automatic. The defendant must attend a court hearing where they can explain their case and make it clear to the judge why they should have their record sealed. Expungement petitions can be denied if the defendant in question has committed another crime since their original charge, among other barriers to sealing a record. Make sure that a seasoned criminal expungements attorney represents you to avoid these issues that could create more problems for your future.
The most important quality that you should seek out is experience. Some attorneys may be able to process an expungement petition, but they may not have much experience with them. This could cause delays or mistakes that may cost you more than you gained through the expungement process.
Another important quality that you should seek out is organization. An organized and detail-oriented criminal expungements attorney will be able to file all necessary paperwork and prepare you for a court hearing.
One final quality that you should seek in a criminal expungement attorney is convenience. You may want an attorney who is local and accessible. This way, you won’t have to spend a lot of time driving outside of Belmont to meet with them or waste time getting a hold of them on the phone if their caseload is too large to dedicate enough time to your case.
If you are looking to have your record sealed, be sure to contact an attorney who specializes in expungements. The attorneys at The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford are experienced professionals who have helped many clients throughout the Belmont area with their record sealing needs. Contact us today to evaluate your case and hear what we believe you can do to expunge your criminal record.