Think of your original defense as a glass of milk. When you were convicted of the crime, the glass shattered. While you may have done your best to clean up the milk, your criminal record is like a shard of glass. It can hide in the carpet or in a corner and injure your opportunities when you least expect it.
And all too often people don’t expect it. Maybe you paid a fine years ago and didn’t realize that you had a criminal record as a result of the incident. Maybe you want to change careers and your new field requires a background check as a condition of employment. Maybe you are in a relationship that is getting serious and do not want your significant other to hold an error in judgment from years ago against you. Or maybe you just want a fresh start in your life.
In the State of Delaware, there are generally two ways to get a fresh start: expungements and governor’s pardons. While these processes are not as time-consuming as your original criminal proceedings may have been, they can be complex. In addition, filling out all necessary forms accurately and completely is key to obtaining the desired result. An experienced attorney can assist with this process.
In today’s information-based society, it can be easier than you think for potential employers and educational institutions to get ahold of your criminal record. Even if the charges against you were dismissed, the record of your arrest may exist. Don’t put your future at risk by assuming that an event that is “in the past” will stay that way. Take action to safeguard your reputation and minimize the impact that a prior conviction can have on your future.
An expungement means that all records pertaining to the individual’s arrest and conviction are deleted from the record. People who are granted an expungement can legally answer “no” when they are asked whether or not they have been charged or convicted of a crime. A governor’s pardon does not remove the record of the conviction, but does eliminate all the consequences of a conviction. Determining which you are eligible for and filling out all the paperwork correctly and completely is essential in obtaining your desired result.
Unfortunately, not all criminal convictions are eligible for expungement or pardon, regardless of how much time has passed. Additionally, even within the category of expungement there are two types: mandatory and discretionary. Each type works slightly differently. Many individuals who apply for expungements or pardons on their own spend countless hours filling out paperwork only to find that they were never eligible for the result they were seeking.
An attorney can streamline this process. We have experience with both expungements and governor’s pardons in the State of Delaware. We can help you determine your eligibility, fill out all the paperwork correctly and completely, and have it submitted to the appropriate office.
For assistance determining your eligibility for an expungement or pardon as well as assistance throughout the process, contact us today. Your consultation is free.