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When Your Criminal Record Can Be Expunged

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Do you have a criminal record and want to know if you can have the case expunged? If so, it helps to know what situations would allow your records to be expunged so that you can keep your past more private.

You Were Found Not Guilty

If you went through the whole legal process and were found not guilty by a judge or a jury, then you have a solid case for having your records expunged, Your goal will be to have no evidence of being accused and arrested of a crime, which is exactly what expungement will do. Thankfully, the not guilty verdict will make this process simple. 

Another possibility is that your case was completely dismissed by a judge before a final verdict was reached. This would be treated similar to being found not guilty when it comes to potential expungement of your records. 

You Never Admitted Guilt

An admission of guilt is going to automatically disqualify the charge from being expunged from your record. Even if you never went to trial and received a formal guilty verdict, admission of guilt is treated the same way. No matter how big or small the crime is, that admission will cause the charge to stay on your record. 

You Went Through A Diversion Program

It's possible that you were being accused of a crime as a first time offender, and near the end of the case you were ordered to go through a diversion program instead of having a guilty verdict ruled against you. This often happens in cases with drug abuse, where someone is required to go through rehabilitation, or a domestic violence case where someone has to attend counseling. By not having a guilty verdict ruled against you, it is possible that the case can be expunged later on.

Your Received A Withhold Of Adjudication

Your judge may have avoided ruling a formal guilty verdict, and instead issued a withhold of adjudication. This often involves being given an alternative punishment, such as probation, but without the official guilty verdict. Since it is not technically a conviction, you could have the charge expunged. 

You Never Had A Previous Expungement

Be aware that you only have one shot at having your criminal record expunged, and only one charge will qualify for expungement. If you have had a previous expungement that was already approved, even if it is in a different state, then you would not qualify for a second expungement. 

For more information on criminal record expungement law, contact a local lawyer.