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Can You Get Your Criminal Record Erased?

Updated on June 19, 2015

Why Look Into Erasing?

Having a criminal record can affect your ability to get a job, or obtain housing. Some people may want to erase their criminal record so they can move on with their lives. You need to know exactly what type of record is against you to know how to start erasing it. Find out the laws surrounding the country you live in, as each country is different. Generally, if you have been arrested, have detentions or have been investigated, but were never convicted, you can have that record removed.

Who Might Qualify

There are specific requirements that may be different in different countries, but generally include waiting thirty days after the arrest, not being arrested again, having charges dismissed, or being released without formal charges being laid.

If you were actually convicted, the process is a little more difficult. You can still have the record removed if you have no more than one felony, or two smaller convictions. You have been released from any jail time, parole or probation you may have been subject to. You have paid all fines and participated in all restitution required, and enough time has passed since the crime.

What Options are Available.

Depending on the crime, you can apply for different solutions. Sealing Records means the court seals the record so most people can`t view it. Expunging records means the court will completely destroy all records. Vacating sentences is when the conviction is reversed. Being pardoned means that your country or state forgives you for your crime. Sometimes other steps have to be taken after being pardoned.

Sometimes if you are in the process of being screened for a job, and know you have a criminal record, you can arrange for a letter to be sent from the professional responsible for clearing your record. This letter to your potential employer will state that you are in the process of clearing your record. Many employers will accept this and allow you to work while you are waiting for the process to be completed.

Your criminal record doesn`t need to haunt you for the rest of your life. Many people don`t realize that they could actually erase their criminal record. Even if you do not qualify to have it entirely erased, sometimes you can have it sealed so only certain people can see it. This is much like you setting up privacy settings on your social media accounts. This way, when you apply for one of the many jobs that requires background screening, such as drivers, security guards, nurses, teachers, day care workers, and so many more, you`re criminal record won`t be front and centre of your background check and exclude you from the job.

Especially in the case where you were arrested, but never formally charged, you will want to get rid of your record. If you weren`t charged, why live as if you were and take the penalties for a crime you didn`t commit. Potential employers who are able to see the arrest are only human and will probably hold this against you, so why not start the criminal record removal today.


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