Expungements: An overlooked career saver.
I’m often asked to help people out who have made mistakes in their lives, but have moved on, grown up and learned their lesson. They’re wiser now, but face a dilemma: Do they have to disclose a prior criminal conviction? Is there an alternative? Will they lose their job or miss out on a good job opportunity? Here are some strategies to turn a difficult situation into a positive outcome.
1. Help your lawyer help you: If you have any documentation relating to your conviction, however insignificant it may seem, show it to your lawyer. He or she can glean a lot of information that may speed up the process. Understnad that many counties have completely changed their record-keeping systems and will have a difficult, if not impossible time finding your file.
2. Obtain a LiveScan: If your file can’t be located, a computer print analysis may assist your lawyer in locating your conviction. Oftentimes, I contact the State Attorney General’s office to locate an old criminal record. Just because the county doesn’t have the file doesn’t mean the matter’s closed. The state, and often the federal government, have recorded the conviction and store it in their databases. Depending on your employer’s access, that conviction may be discoverable.
3. Be Forthcoming with your Lawyer: Don’t hide the ball! If you think there’s another skeleton in the closet, let’s hear about it now. That way we can find it and seal it.
4. Other options: we often seek Governor’s Pardons as well as letters of detention ( from the police agency showing that there was no arrest, just a detention) when an expungement just cannot be obtained, or is insufficient to solve the client’s particular problems.
Bottom Line: Don’t despair! Gather your documents and go see your lawyer so you don’t keep paying for the same crime over and over again.