Expungements and Clemency Petitions

Expungements and Clemency Petitions

If you have been arrested, or charged  with any offense, a criminal record is created. While the presumption of innocence  limits the negative connotations that stem from a mere arrest in court, the general public is not as clear headed. Having an old arrest record so readily available can be more than just embarrassing, but can keep you from getting a job, finding a place to live, or even obtaining credit in your name. Employers, trade organizations, banks,  credit agencies, landlords, and the general public all can access criminal records and form conclusions even if your case was dismissed or you were found not guilty.  

Luckily, many states allow you to truly leave a past run-in with law enforcement firmly in your review mirror and out of view from the prying eyes of the general public. Through filing a petition to expunge, seal, or  you can have your criminal record out of public view.

Differences Between Expungement, Sealing, and Clemency

Though Expungement, Sealing, and Clemency are all mechanisms to remove your criminal record from public view, they are not all the same. Importantly,  expungements  erase all arrest and court records as if they never existed, sealing will hide your record from from most of the public, and clemency does not erase or hide your record but asks the governor to vacate your conviction. 

Only certain states provide expungements. For instance, Illinois does, but New York does not. States that allow for expungements limit what type of record can be expunged. In Illinois, you are only eligible for expungement if your case was dismissed, you received a sentence of supervision or a special type of probation, or if you were found not guilty. 

If you are not eligible for expungement, you may still be eligible to have your record sealed. You can petition to have your records sealed for most misdemeanors and felony convictions. That being said, if you were convicted you will likely have to wait a number of years after you complete your sentence to petition the court to seal the records. 

If you are not eligible for expungement or if you were convicted of an offense that cannot be sealed, you still may be able to clear your record by filing a clemency petition. A clemency, unlike expungement and sealing, does not automatically erase or seal your records from public view. Instead, a clemency petition is a formal filing that requests the Governor to Pardon you for your crimes and vacate your criminal convictions. If the Governor grants your clemency petition, he or she may also authorize the now vacated conviction for expungement -if your state permits it. If this occurs, your criminal record is not automatically expunged and you still have to petition the court to expunge your records. 

Want to Clear Your Criminal Record? Contact Adam Bolotin Today

Criminal records can wreak havoc even if you were never convicted of a crime. Though the process may seem straight forward, obtaining a clean slate through expungement, sealing, or clemency is complicated. Some offenses may be eligible for expungement, while others can only be sealed. Even if you’re eligible, prosecutors, law enforcement, and even the local city government can object to you having your name cleared. 

That’s why it is so important to have an experienced attorney, like Adam Bolotin, to file your petition and fight any objections that come your way. Mr. Bolotin is well-versed in the complexities of expungement, sealing, and clemency law and understands the exact procedure that must be followed to ensure a successfully petition. If you or a loved one want a clean slate, don’t wait. Contact Adam Bolotin today NY: (646) 368-8688 | CH: (312) 626-2602  or click here to schedule a free consultation.