Expungement is actually a legal term and it refers to a process wherein the court erases or removes any criminal conviction from one’s past. Convictions or felonies in the past do not just drop out after a stipulated period of time. You must be proactive to have them dropped.
Step One Is to Convince the Judge
The fact is, whether or not you should be expunged depends entirely on the court judge. So start by following expungement laws of the state where you were initially convicted. Based on the state, the process can range anywhere from three months to well over three years!
If you manage to expunge your records, then remember that any records with respect to a conviction will be sealed and erased. This means prospective employers will not see these records. Usually, one should give it a month or two after getting expunged to have all records deleted from public archives.
Follow the Process
Expunging felony convictions is a very procedural task and it is different from state to state. Typically, though, you start the process by filing a petition or motion of expungement in the court that convicted you for your felony. You must mention clearly that you wish the felony be removed and also explain why you want this done. For instance, you may need it because of school or employment. Also, you must prove in your application that your situation is in congruence with the state’s requirements and laws.
Every state has different eligibility criteria for expungement. For instance, there are specific felony classes that simply cannot be expunged. Sexual offenses or violent crimes will never be expunged. Besides, certain states may prohibit expungement of bodily injury or any conviction that leads to death.
There is a particular waiting period before you can even try for expungement. This time period starts from the day you complete your sentence or probation period. It can range from just a year to over five years depending on your state of conviction and felony.