If you have a criminal record, you may be concerned about the effect that it will have on the rest of your life. If you want to keep your past mistakes private, there are steps you can take to seal a criminal record for good.
What Is Sealing a Criminal Record?
Sealing a criminal record means removing it from public view so that it can’t be found by anyone who doesn’t know where to look.
If an employer looks into your background before hiring you, they will only see information related to arrests and convictions that took place after the sealing.
This means that any previous arrests and convictions you’ve been cleared of will remain hidden from view unless someone specifically requests them from law enforcement agencies involved in the case.
How to Seal a Record
The first step is to gather all the information you can about your case, for instance, when it happened, where the charges were filed, and the outcome.
Next, you’ll want to figure out whether or not your crime qualifies as a crime that can be sealed. Some states allow people with convictions for violent crimes to get their records sealed. Other states, like Texas, don’t allow these records to be sealed no matter what happened in court.
Additionally, some states may require proof that you’ve completed certain rehabilitation programs before they will allow you to seal your record.
For example, some jurisdictions mandate drug diversion programs for non-violent offenders who have been convicted of possession charges.
If you complete the program, then your original charge will be dismissed and replaced with a lesser charge like disorderly conduct.
In most cases, you’ll also need an attorney’s help to get your record sealed, even if you’re just trying to seal misdemeanors or traffic infractions.
A lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal system and make sure everything goes smoothly when you go before a judge or another official who makes decisions about these kinds of things.
Your defense lawyer will file paperwork with the right agencies and court within the time frame specified by law.
Then, you’ll just have to wait for an official determination from all the different parties involved in your case (including prosecutors, judges, and police) saying that they agree to seal your record as requested.
Need Help Sealing Your Criminal Record? Call Our Office Today
For most people, the consequences of a criminal record will last a lifetime. Finding jobs, housing, and even the ability to vote are all affected by a criminal record.
If you don’t know how to seal a criminal record and want assistance, call Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC at 817-334-7900 or contact us online. With so much at stake, it’s in your best interest to make sure your record is sealed as quickly as possible. Our law firm can help