When Is It Beneficial to Seek the Expungement of a Felony?


Quick Answer

It is beneficial to seek expungement of a felony when an individual is looking to apply for a job or rent an apartment, according to Nolo. Employers and landlords routinely ask if applicants have ever been convicted of a crime, but with an expungement, individuals don't have to answer yes.

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Full Answer

Expungement is the process of sealing an individual's arrest and conviction records. Just about every state has laws that allow individuals to expunge certain arrest and conviction records, but the rules and regulations surrounding this process vary between states, according to Nolo. Once individuals have their records sealed, the law no longer requires them to answer yes when asked if they have ever been convicted of a criminal offense. People who answer yes to those questions may encounter difficulty when searching for a place to rent or when seeking employment.

Because expungement offers a fresh start, those who have been convicted should look into their state's rules regarding the expungement procedure. However, not all crimes are eligible for expungement, according to Nolo.

A Certificate of Actual Innocence is one of the most powerful forms of expungement. Going beyond merely sealing a record, this certificate indicates that a record should have never existed, as Nolo explains.

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