There are a lot of legal terms that individuals should know more about when it comes to protecting their rights and their records. In law, there is such a term as expungement. You have heard of this term in different places, movies, and even on TV shows that you watch.
What are expungement proceedings, and what are the essential things about expungement that you need to know about the concept? This article looks at the different facts surrounding the term expungement and what you need to know about it.
What is Expungement?
In simpler terms, expungement refers to erasing or obliterating something. When applied in law, to delete refers to the process where the record of a criminal conviction is destroyed or sealed from the individual’s State or Federal records.
An expungement is not an automatic act of the court of the State. It requires an expungement order.
What is an Expungement Order?
An expungement order directs the court to treat the criminal conviction as if there was no criminal conviction. It removes the conviction from the defendant’s criminal record as well as the public record.
When characterizing an expungement, it is much like a legal pardon. However, while not all pardons are expungements, an expungement clears the record of the individual involved in the crime or convicted of a crime.
Who Handles Expungement Orders?
Expungement proceedings and expungement orders take place in State courts. Expungement orders coming from Federal courts are rare since the application is always on a state level. Recently, Michigan’s Attorney General created a process to phase in expungement for certain crimes.
Which Crimes Can Be Expunged?
Each state law on their level also handles an expungement order. Each State has its list of crimes eligible for expungement. Eligibility for expungement depends on the kind of crime that is committed.
The following are the crimes are typical circumstances:
One of the more common crimes or offenses allowed to be expunged in most states would include juvenile offenses. While the rules for expanding juvenile records of an individual Woodberry depend on the State, it is clear that most conditions agree that juvenile record qualifies for expungement. Subject to the following factors, you may see your juvenile record being expunged depending on:
- Age – There is automatic expungement of certain juvenile records regardless of the age of the individual. Usually, the person must be an adult to have his record expunged, but in most states, the individual must be at least 18 years of age for the ceiling or the expungement proceedings to begin.
- The time of the commission of the crime – The time of the commission of the crime is also an essential factor that determines whether the juvenile record can or cannot be sealed. More often than not, a juvenile record can’t be closed until a certain length of time has passed since the end of the juvenile case, for example, and in most instances, this would include a one or two-year waiting period.
- The crime committed – The type of crime committed by the person asking for the ceiling or expungement of his record is also essential. Most of the states place restrictions on the kind of expenses that may be expunged, especially those considered felonies, and if the gravity of the offense is severe.
- Existence of other records – If you seek expungement of records or sealing of your documents, your request may be denied depending on the presence of different papers of a crime. If you have subsequent juvenile adjudications or adult criminal convictions, the expungement may not be granted.
Charges that were dropped or dismissed
Charges that were dropped or dismissed are also subject to expungement. Any record held by the court, police, or any other state agency may qualify for automatic expungement. Charges that were dropped or dismissed are automatically expunged after three years. This applied to the following cases: serious traffic violations that would require a court appearance, criminal charges, and a civil offense for possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana.
The following general classification of crimes may also be expunged from the record of the individual:
- arrest records;
- non-violent crimes; and
- low-level misdemeanors.
What is The Process of Expungement?
The process of expungement is complicated, and it depends on the rules and regulations set by the State.
Are there crimes that cannot be erased from one’s records?
Yes, some crimes will never be removed or erased from another person’s records. In all states, even the ones that are not as strict in the case of expungement, the following crimes can never be expunged from the record:
- Assault with a deadly weapon that causes a severe injury;
- Capital offenses;
- Crimes that carry life in prison;
- Rape; and
Individuals convicted of the crimes listed above can never have a chance to get the offenses expunged from their records.
The Process of Expungement
If you want a specific conviction expunged from your records, the requirements can get a little complicated. It is essential to know that you also have a team to help you with your specific needs. Our law firm is dedicated to ensuring that the law will protect those who are innocent and the full extent of justice will be used.
The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice, and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.
Let us help you out.
Call us immediately if you are interested in expunging your criminal record or learning more about Michigan’s expungement laws. Our Southfield criminal defense attorneys are here to help any problem with the law or are seeking justice and truth, our numbers are standing by to take your call. We have legal experts always ready for you.