If you've got a felony conviction on your record that's preventing you from moving on with your life, you need to get that taken care of. If you think there's nothing you can do to fix your record, you're wrong. Your conviction doesn't need to ruin your life indefinitely. In fact, there is something you can do to get out from under the stigma of a felony conviction. It's called expungment, and it can get that conviction off your record for good. Here are four steps you should take to make if a felony conviction is ruining your life.
Find Out if You Qualify
When you've got a felony conviction on your criminal record, it can be difficult to obtain a job, or even housing. Many people are unwilling to work with people who have felonies on their records. That's where the expungement comes in. Before you file for expungement, you need to make sure that you qualify. Most minor felony convictions can be successfully removed from criminal records, including those that didn't require you to spend time in prison.
Know the Time Line Requirements
When it comes to petitioning to have your felonies expunged from your criminal record, it's important that you time the request properly. Filing too early will result in a denial of the petition, which means you'll need to refile once you meed the time line requirement, and you'll need to pay the filing fees again. Before you file your petition, contact your local court house and find out what the time line requirements are for expungement petitions.
File Your Official Petition
If you've met the time line requirement, it's time to file your official petition for expungement. You'll need to make sure that your paperwork is filled out completely, and that you've attached any additional documents you'll need to prove your eligibility for expungement. When you pick up your petition paperwork, be sure to ask about filing requirements, including which departments will need to be served the paperwork. If you don't fill the paperwork out completely, or you fail to provide paperwork to the proper departments, your petition may be denied or delayed.
Request a Petition for Non-Disclosure
If your petition for expungement is denied, don't give up. There is still an avenue you can pursue that will help you get your life back on track. If you're faced with a denial, you need to request a petition for non-disclosure. While non-disclosure won't take your felony off your criminal record, it will prevent landlords and prospective employers from seeing the conviction when they do a background check.
Don't let a felony conviction ruin your life. If you think expungement is right for you, sit down and talk to a criminal law attorney near you, such as at Goodman Katz Koonce & Maroc. They can help you get your life back on track.