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The ins and outs of expungement

A conviction or an arrest can follow you for a long time, hindering your ability to get a job, apply for aid and get credit. Getting an expungement can remove that annoyance from your life but how do you know if you're eligible and how do you go about doing it?

There are a few eligibility factors that will be considered:

  • How long has it been since the conviction or the arrest?
  • How severe was the crime? For example, an arrest for protesting or traffic violations stand a better chance than sex crimes.
  • The person's history. The courts will look at the applicant's criminal record before and after the arrest and also consider the nature of the crimes on the person's record.
  • Age. Some jurisdictions have special eligibility rules for people who committed crimes as a youth.

The process starts with an application for expungement. You'll be asked to provide a number of documents. It's imperative to give the courts everything they ask for. If not, you'll need to explain at length why the documents were unavailable or unobtainable and what you did to try to find them.

Once an expungement has been granted, it will make the rounds to the booking agency, the arresting agency and Louisiana's department of corrections. In some cases, your record may still show that you had a conviction expunged, but it will no longer be the thorn in your side that it is now.

For help with getting a conviction or arrest expunged, you may want to seek the counsel of a criminal defense attorney.

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