Getting an expungement is something many people think about after they have been convicted of a criminal offense. A criminal record can make life incredibly difficult, even after you have served your prison sentence, paid the fines, and completed any other requirements of the court. Once you have a criminal record, you may not be able to obtain employment, and you may even have difficulty finding a place to live. Below, our Monroe expungement lawyer outlines the benefits of expungement, and the requirements for obtaining one in Louisiana.
The Benefits of Obtaining an Expungement
If you are successful with getting your criminal record expunged, you can say with all honesty that you have never been charged, arrested, or convicted of a crime. This comes with many benefits, which include:
- Obtain employment: It is not uncommon for employers to perform criminal background checks on employment candidates. When they learn that a candidate has a criminal record, they are often reluctant to hire them. After you expunge your record, you can legally answer ‘no’ when asked if you have ever been charged or convicted of a crime.
- Obtain housing: It is not only employers who conduct criminal background checks. Landlords do, too. If a landlord learns of your prior criminal history, they may refuse to rent to you, or they may charge you a higher rent.
- Obtain a loan: After you have served your sentence, obtaining a loan can make it easier to get your life back on track. Some lenders, though, think that those with a criminal record will not repay the loan and so, they deny them or charge them a much higher interest rate.
- Obtain an education: A criminal record, even one registered with the juvenile courts, can make it very difficult to be admitted into college or university. Many post-educational facilities have policies against admitting individuals with a previous criminal history.
The above are just a few benefits that come with getting your record expunged. To obtain an expungement, though, you must meet several requirements.
Qualifying for Expungement
Not everyone convicted of a crime qualifies for an expungement. Firstly, you must have been charged or convicted of a non-violent crime. You must then meet several different requirements, which include:
- You must not have any other criminal convictions on your record, although traffic violations will not work against you.
- You must not have any charges pending against you.
- You must have paid all fines and other restitution costs.
- You must have waited the appropriate amount of time, which is 15 years for a misdemeanor or a felony, and 10 years for a DUI.
- You must have completed probation.
If you do not qualify for an expungement, you may still qualify to have your record sealed. Sealing your record means it is not available to the general public, but it can be seen by the courts and law enforcement.
Our Expungement Lawyer in Monroe Can Help with Your Case
Nearly everyone who obtains an expungement believes it is one of the best things they have ever done. At Whiddon Criminal Defense, our Monroe expungement lawyer can help you through the process and give you the best chance of a favorable outcome. Call us now at 318-594-3592 or contact us online for a free consultation.