What Can Be Expunged Under The Criminal Record Expungement Law

If you're carrying around a criminal record with you, you may have found that it's holding you back in more ways than one. It can be hard to navigate through the most basic parts of life when you have a criminal record. Thankfully, some people with records can utilize the benefits of the criminal record expungement law. 

What Is the Criminal Record Expungement Law?

The criminal record expungement law is a law designed to help people with criminal records seal them from the public eye. This does not mean that your criminal record will simply vanish, but it will typically only be able to be viewed by law enforcement or judges. You will no longer have to worry about potential employers or landlords making a biased decision based on your record. 

Benefits of the Criminal Record Expungement Law

Having your criminal record expunged will give you a better chance at living a successful life. 

Having your record expunged can help you:

  • Obtain housing
  • Get a job
  • Receive certain licenses
  • Get accepted to better colleges

Even though an expungement does not completely erase your record from everyone's view, it does seal it from enough people to help you get your life on track. A mistake made in the past should not be something that haunts you well into the future. Those without records have made mistakes too, but they are not weighed down by them. The criminal record expungement law gives you a fighting chance to be a better person. 

What Convictions Can Be Expunged?

Though there are many crimes and convictions that can be expunged from a record, some crimes are not eligible. 

Crimes and convictions that are not eligible for expungement can include:

  • Rape or sexual assault
  • Murder
  • Arson
  • Forgery
  • Treason or terrorism
  • Assault with a deadly weapon

Most often, if a crime is punishable by life in prison or is considered a federal offense, it will not be eligible for expungement. However, these may slightly vary depending on the state you live in; this is a general rule of thumb for the United States. 

You may be wondering what you can expunge from your record. That's easy.

The following can be expunged from your criminal record:

  • Arrest records
  • Juvenile offenses
  • Dropped charges
  • Non-violent crimes
  • Low-level misdemeanors 

If the crime on your criminal record is a victimless crime, you have a better chance of getting that expunged than many other crimes. Again, this will all vary depending on the state you live in. There may be some states that do not allow any criminal record expungements at all. It's important to research your state before trying to go too far in the process.