After being charged with a criminal offense, you’ll want to explore the options you may have to get some or all of your records expunged. This means that they are essentially removed from your file, so to speak, and can no longer impact your ability to get a job, rent a house, or get approved for a loan.
Not all crimes are considered expungable, however, many are. Criminal records may be expunged:
When a Case Ends in Dismissal
A defendant can have their case dismissed one of two ways: with or without prejudice. The former means that the court has decided to permanently shut the case, meaning you cannot be charged for those crimes again. If your case was dismissed without prejudice, however, it’s possible that you could be charged again if, for example, the prosecution is able to find additional evidence against you at a later date. Either type of dismissal can be expunged, however, expunging a dismissal without prejudice is more difficult.
When a Court Does Not File Criminal Charges Against the Defendant
Criminal charges and arrests are recorded separately in a person’s criminal background history. This means that if you were arrested but not charged with a crime, you still have the arrest record in your history. This record may contain revealing and damaging information, such as the reason for your arrest — even if it wasn’t true. Consider having arrest records sealed so they can no longer be accessed by third-party entities like lenders, employers, etc.
When an Appeals Court Reverses a Lower Court’s Decision
You may be able to have your conviction reversed or overturned if you take the decision to an appeals court, which is within your right to do. Appeals courts decide if lower courts conducted the investigation and trial properly and if not, may require the lower court to either retry the case from scratch or issue a dismissal of the charges against you. In both cases, you may be able to have your records expunged or sealed depending on the nature of the charges.
When You Should Contact an Experienced Criminal Lawyer
While not all criminal records can be expunged or sealed, many can. Call Mirsky Defense now for your initial consultation to discuss your case in detail at (203) 290-2779.