“Can I get my record sealed?” No one wants a criminal record, and everyone deserves a second chance. The harsh reality is that ex-offenders are close to half as likely to be considered for employment as those without a criminal past. For those that have experienced hiccups with the criminal justice system, sometimes even getting an opportunity for a second chance can be a shameful and overwhelming experience. From employment difficulties, inability to obtain housing and credit, changes in custody and parenting plans to driving and firearm privileges, scars on your criminal record can have a lingering effect.
The good news is that options to remove permanent scars on your criminal record are available. At the Law Offices of John Schmidt & Associates, our criminal defense attorney has the resources, experience, and knowledge necessary to assess your specific situation. Our team enjoys helping our clients look toward a brighter future. We proudly serve clients in Shepherdsville, Louisville, Elizabethtown, Jeffersontown, Mount Washington, and Radcliff, Kentucky.
How Does Record Sealing Differ From Expungement?
When asked “”Can I get my record sealed?” by a client there are two main options to clean up a criminal record: record sealing and expungement.
Although record sealing does not completely erase your criminal history, if sealed, your record cannot be accessed via background checks or by other entities or organizations. Sealing a record also gives an individual the legal right to deny or answer “no” to questions that pertain to prior criminal history. Even though the record exists, it can only be accessed through a court order.
Expungement is a more thorough process that eliminates a criminal record. When a criminal record is expunged, it is as if the criminal offense never took place.
Record sealing and expungement serve the same purpose, the only difference being a sealed record still exists.
Who Can Request to Have Their Records Sealed?
Anyone who has been arrested, charged, or convicted can apply to have their record sealed. In general, you can submit a request to have a record sealed if:
- Sufficient time has passed since the conviction or conclusion of the case.
- No disqualifying events or additional crimes have been committed since the conclusion of the last case.
- Limited prior criminal history.
- Completion of all previous sentence requirements.
Who is Not Eligible to Have Their Records Sealed?
Not every criminal conviction can be sealed. Even though there may be exceptions, most high-class felonies, sex crimes that require registering as an offender, and some kidnapping and assault convictions cannot be sealed. Also, the use of a weapon while committing a crime can also be a factor in determining eligibility.
Why Should You Seal Your Records?
Experiencing personal relief and having privacy may be the greatest benefits of having a record sealed. Other reasons you should seal your records include:
- You have a fair shot at employment, housing, and credit. Having a sealed record allows you to legally submit applications without disclosing anything about your criminal past.
- You have equal opportunities for professional licensing and future education. Having your record sealed eliminates barriers that would normally block those with a prior criminal history.
- Most records can be sealed and the process to seal a record is much easier than requesting expungement.
What Does the Process Entail?
In order to initiate the record sealing process, a person must file a record sealing petition in the same jurisdiction (court) where the criminal prosecution took place. Only one case can be petitioned at a time, and if there are multiple cases, an additional petition must be submitted for each case. Upon submission, a judge will review the file and make a determination based on eligibility and other considerations of the court. If the petition is denied, options may be available to refile or appeal.
Legal Advice You Can Trust
“You do the crime, you do the time.” Despite the good intentions of this well-known mantra, the stigma of a criminal conviction can have lasting impacts long after the penalties for a crime have been completed. At the Law Offices of John Schmidt & Associates PLLC, we believe in second chances and are committed to providing legal guidance and criminal defense you can trust.
“Can I get my record sealed?” Yes, and you have options. To learn more about sealing your records, contact us today. We serve clients in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, and throughout the communities of Louisville, Elizabethtown, Jeffersontown, Mount Washington, and Radcliff.