A criminal conviction can keep dragging you down years after you’ve paid your price. Getting a fresh start could be essential to moving on, but it could take a lot of work to get the state to wipe your slate clean.

Employers are 60% more likely to return your call if you don’t have a criminal record. Even offenders with a short, non-violent background saw increased limitations. There are ways you can wipe certain transgressions from your history, but not everyone is eligible.

Qualifying merit

Even if you qualify for an expungement, it doesn’t mean you’ll get one. The judge has discretion when it comes to your application, and there are a few factors they’ll likely weigh in deciding:

  • The seriousness of the crime and how long it’s been since it happened
  • Any threat you still pose and steps you’ve taken toward rehabilitation
  • Reasons you’re requesting an expungement

Grading cases

Once a judge determines if you meet the requirements for a fresh coat of paint, they may still have to assign shades of gray. You could make the grade on paper, but those previously mentioned factors could affect the final allowance from the court.

A lessor success in the form of a partial expungement could seal court information, but backgrounds held by other government agencies could still be considered public record. If your case does warrant a full expungement, the court, police prosecutor’s office and more may all need to seal off your records.

Knowing when you can set your record straight is crucial when approaching the process. Qualifying is the first step, and understanding how can show you the best way forward.