Is your criminal record holding you back from living the life you truly want?
Are you one of the thousands of Americans who continues to suffer the repercussions of a bad choice you made years ago? A criminal charge, no matter how minor, can have devastating effects on your life. Even non-violent, minor offenses can show up on background checks years later, making it difficult for job hiring, finding an apartment, and even applying for financial aid. Just to name a few.
If this sounds familiar and you’re left feeling overwhelmed or even hopeless, there is hope. Hire an experienced expungement attorney.
Imagine a scenario—after pleading guilty to a theft conviction in 2010, a man pays his fines, completes his probation, and takes the necessary classes the judge sentenced him to do. Years later, it’s 2017, and that same man, with the help of a knowledgeable attorney, manage to get his record expunged. From this point forward, the man can legally answer “No” when he’s asked about his criminal past on a future job application.
Just like it never happened.
It would be a clean slate. A fresh start. Finally the chance to move on from the choice you made and now deeply regret. No more denied applications, no more rejections from future employers, no more embarrassment, and most importantly, a way to start fresh.
An expungement attorney may be the answer.
The rise of the internet has made our information widely accessible to employers, landlords, and anyone else that wants to find out about us. Running a background check for prospective employers is standard practice for 94% of employers.
Because of this, it’s more important than ever that you have a clean criminal history. Otherwise, your charges may stand between you and the future you dream of.
The answer may be an expungement.
So what is it? Simply put, expunction or expungement refers to the process of erasing, sealing, or destroying arrest or conviction records. In other words, the removal of all negative information, usually criminal convictions, from your record, so they are no longer visible. Prospective employers and landlords are no longer able to see your past mistakes.
The expungement process is not an easy one. There are many requirements and limitations. For example, there are time requirements that must be met. Additionally, not everyone, nor every crime, is eligible for expungement.
Some examples of crimes not eligible for expunction include felonies in which the victim was under the age of eighteen and sexual crimes such as rape or sexual battery, corrupting a minor, and child pornography.
Requirements for Expungement
Generally speaking, there are three non-negotiables that must be completed for you to be a candidate for expungement. These essentials or “must-haves” are required for you to gain eligibility, and a certified attorney knows how to fulfill these requirements fast.
Filing a Request
It’s important to remember that expungement is not a right, it’s a privilege. And it must be treated as such. To be considered, you or your attorney must submit a written request to a judge. Along with this written request, you must submit the specified fee. The judge, then, rules upon your eligibility.
When convicted of a crime, you were given a sentence, or punishment. Examples would include things like attending mandatory classes, paying all court costs or fines, serving any necessary jail time, and successfully finishing probation. Eligibility for expunction hinges on the fact that all parts of the sentence are successfully completed.
After the “Waiting Period”
There is a mandatory waiting period, which varies, that must be over before any expunctions are granted. After the specified time, following a conviction, the person is then eligible to apply for expungement.
How Can an Expungement Attorney Help?
Hiring an experienced expungement attorney will help you navigate through the complex process. These attorneys are knowledgeable and have specialized training in this area of the law. Furthermore, they understand all of the processes and policies involved to help you make the best of a bad situation.
The first step an expungement attorney will take is to carefully examine your specific case and determine if you meet the requirements in Kansas to be eligible for an expungement.
If you meet the requirements, your attorney will then move forward and submit the request to the Office of the District Attorney. The District Attorney will decide if you deserve an expungement.
In the event that the District Attorney does not approve your request, you can then request a hearing in front of a judge. In this case, you will have to answer difficult questions in front of a presiding judge. It will be imperative that you are prepared if this should happen.
The entire process is lengthy and exhaustive. It can also be costly. Having an expungement attorney will ensure you are represented fairly and have someone who understands the laws and the system backwards and forwards to guide you along the way.
Reasons to Hire an Expungement Attorney
Having a criminal record limits a person in nearly all avenues of life. Access to employment, education, housing, civic engagement, and public assistance to name a few. According to the most recent data, nearly 9 in 10 employers, 4 in 5 landlords, and 3 in 5 colleges use background checks to screen for applicants’ criminal records, and one study found that more than 45,000 federal and state statutes and regulations impose disqualifications or disadvantages on individuals with a conviction.
The process of getting your criminal record expunged should not be taken lightly and there are a number of reasons it is recommended to hire an attorney to handle the process. However, if any of the situations apply to you, you without a doubt need to seek legal counsel.
Uncertainty or Doubts about Eligibility
If you’re unclear as to whether your convictions are eligible for expunction, you need to contact an attorney. This matter is too important to take chances or make incorrect assumptions. When in doubt, you are better off having a knowledgeable attorney, who is an expert in knowing the laws, fighting for you, in your corner.
Need Legal Expertise
You may think you understand the laws, but unless you went to law school and have substantial experience handling expungement specific law, you’re not as qualified as an attorney who has the special training and hands-on experience in the courtroom. Sometimes there isn’t a black and white interpretation of the law. It takes someone knowing the loopholes and the insider know-how to get things done.
Don’t rely on your own knowledge when you’re handling a stressful, highly emotional situation that you may not be able to look at objectively. Let a professional with industry knowledge and practice take charge of your case.
Concerns about Future
If you have any real concerns about how the criminal charge and its effect on your future if it should remain on your record indefinitely, play it safe and get help. If you worry about the effect that this may have on your future career, family, education, or living situation, why take a chance? Lawyer up. This is way too important to take a risk.
Benefits of Hiring an Expungement Attorney
There are many reasons that make hiring an expungment attorney the right move. Here are a few benefits for you to consider.
Those who decide to handle the expungement process themselves are forced to invest a significant amount of time educating themselves on the current laws, including learning about all the different types of expungement, and the criteria involved to be eligible in the state of Kansas.
The expungement process is complex, involving a lot of technical language that may be difficult for the layperson to understand. Misunderstanding some of the information could result in you missing a key point or a requirement. Something like this could cost you time or money, or worse, result in your expungement request being denied.
Trying to conduct this fact-finding journey on your own can be very overwhelming. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended that you work with an experienced attorney, who has spent their career researching this special area of the law. Allow them to remove this burden and guide you every step of the way.
Specialized Forms & Knowledge
The expungement process involves lots of special paperwork. Pages upon pages of documents filled out with strict formatting guidelines. Many of these specialized forms use legal jargon and terminology that are difficult to interpret. People without a law degree often struggle to complete the forms correctly resulting in delays.
Specialized documents, like a cover letter, a form detailing the record you’re trying to have expunged, and other important paperwork must be submitted adhering to strict timelines and formatting guidelines. One mistake can result in a denied application from the judge.
You don’t want to risk having the wrong materials or submitting a document late or incorrectly. Let an attorney provide the materials, interpret the law, and ensure that every step of the process goes smoothly.
The laws surrounding expungement and the requirements are constantly changing. Laws in every state vary. Kansas recently altered many of its expungement laws and will continue to do so. Because of this, it’s important you have someone on your side that stays up-to-date with changes and trends in the legal field. With an expungement attorney by your side, you’ll have the most pertinent and relevant information at your disposal.
Representation in Court
A court appearance may or may not be required for an expungement. However, you want the peace of mind knowing that if the situation should arise where you are asked to appear before a judge, you do have professional legal representation ready to stand by your side. Knowing you have someone who will act as your advocate in court will ensure the expungement process goes well.
If the cost of hiring an expungement attorney is the main thing holding you back, consider 2 things.
Most attorneys work on a contingent fee basis. This means they don’t get paid unless they win, or in this case, they are successful in having your request for expungement granted.
In addition, most attorneys are willing to negotiate. They will work with you and set up payment plans to make hiring them a feasible option for you. Bottom line—if you want an attorney to represent you, chances are they will work with whatever budget you’re comfortable with.
Long-term Cost and Your Future
If you choose to not hire an attorney and simply rely on your own knowledge of the expunction process, you may end up paying much higher of a price. Your lack of experience and incorrect interpretation of the law could result in a denial of your expunction. This will have a profound negative impact on your life and your future.
If this happens, you will be left with a tainted criminal record and the consequences of this will be far-reaching. Think of the effect that a permanent criminal conviction will truly have on your future. This will continue to result in missed opportunities—lower-paying jobs, below standard housing, the list goes on and on If you can put forth a small investment now, it could pay off in the long-term tremendously.
Don’t take your chances. Either way you look at it, hiring an attorney to guide you through the process and help you successfully erase these charges from your record will pay off in a big way. It’s worth it.
Hire an Expungement Attorney
Today’s digital age means that your criminal record will continue to haunt you until you take action. Hiring a knowledgeable expungement attorney may be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Don’t continue to let your past mistakes dictate your future and where you are today. Find out your options and take control today! The sooner you hire representation and get your criminal record expunged, the sooner you can start your future and stop letting your past hold you back. Consult Grover Law KC today to start 2021 with a clean slate!