March 01, 2016

Erasing the Past: How to Expunge a Client’s Criminal Record

Kele Onyejekwe

A criminal record limits a person’s ability to pursue a productive civic life. It can restrict access to education, employment, public housing, student financial aid, welfare benefits, military service, and the right to vote. If your client is looking to move forward from a mistake in his or her past, expungement is the answer. The expungement process typically clears the arrest and conviction record from the public view and ameliorates the negative consequences of a criminal record. In most cases, when a criminal record is expunged, it is as if it never existed. The person with an expunged record may answer no, if asked whether he or she has been arrested or convicted. Expungement of records significantly eases barriers to the pursuit of a full civic life.

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