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What is the effect of a successful expungement?

Expungement is a legal process by which the record of criminal conviction or arrest is erased or sealed from view. Whether or not a particular ex-offender is able to get his or her records expunged will depend on the circumstances of the alleged charges and/or convictions how long ago they occurred. This article will take a look at the exact effect that is achievable when an expungement is successful.

Technically speaking, the end result of expungement is to free someone up to apply for jobs without fear of the employer discovering a criminal past that could ruin the individual's chances for hire. Expungement results in one's criminal background being "sealed" from view and practically (though not completely) erased. This can significantly boost the individual's chances of getting jobs, getting school scholarships, getting admitted to a university, and getting approved for an apartment. When the criminal background court is pulled, nothing noteworthy will be revealed.

However, are expunged records totally gone? The answer is no. Expunged records will still be visible by select government agencies. Also, judges may be permitted to view sealed, or expunged, records when sentencing for crimes committed after the expungement.

North Carolina residents who are curious about whether they could qualify for criminal record expungement will want to speak with their criminal defense lawyer about whether they are eligible for the process. A quick review of the individual's case facts, the timing of the alleged crimes or arrests, and other details will provide most attorneys with enough insight to know whether a request for expungement can (or should) be made.

Source: FindLaw, "Expungement basics," accessed Nov. 25, 2016

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