According to the Wall Street Journal, about one-third of the adults in the United States will find their names in the FBI's master file of criminal records. In addition, about 10,000 new names are added to that file each day. This means that about 10,000 people who had previously never been arrested are picked up by law enforcement every day. It makes sense that many of these people would want to get their records expunged.
What is an Expunged Arrests?
An expunged arrest is one that essentially no longer exists on a legal basis. What this means -- at least in theory -- is that the arrest can no longer be found in court files or those databases that can be accessed by the general public. While the specifics vary widely based on the jurisdiction as well as state laws, in addition to arrests, convictions for minor offenses and charges could potentially be eligible to be expunged.
Why Expunged Arrests Matter
Expunged arrests mean that they should no longer appear when you are the object of a background or employment check. Though that is how expunged arrests are supposed to work, there are many times when that simply isn't the case. It often doesn't though. This might be because it was expunged from one particular state database, for example, but that the county where the arrest took place did not do so.
How Expunged Arrests Could Affect You
Having an expunged arrest could mean that you're eligible for employment within certain companies or industries that would otherwise be closed to you because of your arrest. This is why it is of great importance that you work closely with an attorney that specializes in matters of criminal defense to ensure that your arrests are correctly and completely expunged.
If you believe that you have an arrest that should be expunged -- or if you have one that should have been expunged but it has not been -- contact Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC. They are experienced professionals in terms of all criminal defense matters including expunged arrests.