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Expunge Criminal Records or Get a Pardon: Two Opportunities to Clear a Criminal Record

expunge criminal records

The impact of a criminal conviction lasts long after you pay your fine, serve your sentence, or otherwise pay your debt to society. If you have a criminal record, it’s more difficult to find a job, rent an apartment, secure a loan, or even volunteer at your child’s school. Today it’s common for organizations to run background checks in making decisions about you.

If you are eligible, our attorneys can guide you through expungement or pardon process. Expungements and pardons are two ways to clear your criminal record, though they are both only available in limited circumstances. Contact us today discuss your eligibility for these remedies.

The requirements to expunge a criminal record depend upon the nature of the original offense.

  • Expunging a juvenile law record is relatively straightforward — you can expunge a juvenile conviction record either by filing a petition after you turn 18, or remaining crime-free for five years.
  • If you were arrested as an adult, but not convicted of a crime, you may still have an arrest record that appears on your criminal background investigation. We may be able to file a petition with the court to expunge this criminal record.
  • If you were convicted of a criminal offense as an adult, the expungement requirements are more challenging. Generally, to expunge your criminal conviction record you must be at least 70 years old and you cannot have been convicted of any criminal offense in the past 10 years.

If you do not meet these qualifications, but you still want to clear your criminal history, you may be able to seek a pardon. These are also quite difficult to obtain, although the rules governing pardons are not as clearly defined as those for expungement. You may be a good candidate for a pardon if you were convicted of a minor retail theft as a young person or if you were convicted of a summary offense that left you with a criminal record. Contact us today to discuss your circumstances, and to determine whether you should pursue a pardon.

Don’t let an arrest for a minor offense years ago keep you from getting a job you want today.

For a free consultation with Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Avi Zvulun, call (818) 720-5288.