Expungement entails that a person’s arrest or convictions are erased from a person’s criminal record, or “sealed”. So as a court-ordered process, it results to the legal records of a criminal conviction wiped out in the eyes of the law. Sometimes it is also referred to as the setting aside of a criminal conviction.
In cases wherein you have been arrested or convicted in the past, you do not ordinarily need to disclose your own arrest or criminal convictions after the completion of an expungement process. Take for example when you need to fill up a personal information form when you are applying for a job, as someone whose own arrest or conviction has been expunged by the law, you do not need to disclose that information anymore.
If a potential employer, educational institution, or other companies will conduct a public records inspection such as a background search of one’s criminal record, generally there are no records of an arrest or conviction that will appear if one has gone through the expungement process.
In case you are wondering if you are eligible to have your criminal records expunged, you have to keep in mind there are a few factors that will determine your fate. This includes the jurisdiction, the nature of the crime or charge, the amount of time that has passed since the arrest or conviction, and as well as your criminal history in the past.
Various states and counties also have their own different laws pertaining to the expungement process. It is important to note that the process in itself may not be available in some places. For instance, expungement is not an option in states like Arizona and New York under specific conditions. The procedure behind getting an arrest or conviction expunged may also differ according to where the situation occurred.
In Connecticut, however, your criminal records can be expunged if it happens to meet specific circumstances. If the process is successful, it is then legal for you to say you do not have a criminal record. It is as if the charge, arrest, or conviction never occurred in the first place.
Expungement in Connecticut may be granted if your records show that you were charged with a crime but not found guilty, your case was dismissed, the charges against you were dropped at least thirteen (13) months ago, or your case was put on hold at least thirteen (13) months ago and there has been no prosecution or disposition of the matter.
The expungement happens automatically once it has been found out that your records qualify for erasure. In cases where it does not, and you believe there has been a mistake, you are entitled to file a petition to the court where your case was handled and ask that your records be erased.
The process of clearing up your criminal record may get complex. You might need to tap the help of a qualified criminal law attorney should you also discuss your personal circumstances. Always remember that a good lawyer can help and guide you every step of the way.