In California, criminal records can last a long time. Details on file can prevent someone from getting a job and seriously impede their lives in other ways, too.
For some, however, the option of expungement exists. But just what is it? And who holds this eligibility?
What is expungement?
San Diego’s Office of the Public Defender discusses how to expunge a record. But first: why would a person even want to expunge their record?
Expungement is a way to essentially legally erase a criminal record either in full or in part depending on the crime. Once a person expunges their record, they can legally check the “no” box on applications asking about criminal conviction.
This may serve as proof of attempts at betterment in the future. It may also allow for a person to apply for federal aid, which may let them get the chance to go back to school.
Who is eligible for expungement?
Of course, not everyone can apply for expungement. First, certain crimes are ineligible for expungement in the first place. These are usually severe crimes and include things like rape, murder or crimes involving children. People with felonies also often have a harder time getting expungement, though it is not impossible.
Someone may have eligibility with a misdemeanor or felony who received probation. Someone with a misdemeanor who had probation denied may also still apply.
Criteria may differ depending on the case at hand, so it is important for anyone looking into expungement to know that their situation will remain unique and require equally unique oversight.