Those who have criminal records know how much trouble they can cause. When a landlord or an employer asks about criminal arrests and convictions, a person’s answers can often take them out of contention for a job or an apartment. However, in some instances, a person can clean up his or her criminal record through the process of expungement.

The Expungement Process

An expungement is a process of erasing, sealing, or destroying conviction and arrest records. Most jurisdictions have laws allowing for the expungement of arrests and convictions, but details vary. When a conviction or arrest is expunged, it does not have to be disclosed to landlords and potential employers. Although expungement has significant benefits, a person’s criminal record can persist in some cases.

Which Records are Eligible?

Because expungement offers the client a new start, the first step is to determine whether the record qualifies. Some areas have strict laws that rarely allow the expungement of accurate records, but most have procedures depending on these factors.

* Whether the person was convicted

* The severity of the offense

* The length of time since the arrest or conviction

* Whether the client has fulfilled the terms of the sentence

* The client’s criminal history

Regardless of where a person lives, it is highly unlikely that serious crimes such as sexual offenses and violent felonies will be expunged.

Applying for Criminal Expungement

If a person’s criminal record can be expunged, they might not need the help of lawyers in Vermont. Some jurisdictions make the application process simple and easy, and court websites allow users to download forms and information at no charge. However, the client must typically pay a filing fee. In complex expungement situations, a client can greatly benefit from the help provided by a lawyer.

While many criminal offenses are serious, there’s no need to let it ruin the rest of a person’s life. With the help of an expungement attorney, clients can clean up their criminal records and become eligible for better jobs and other opportunities. Contact Jason J. Sawyer, Attorney & Counselor At Law to learn how lawyers in Vermont can help.