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Understanding Court & Public Record Information
Court records are serviced by both local and federal courts in the United States. As a U.S. citizen, this information is available to you to research the background of an individual or business. The system will allow you to verify your own public information, or any person's background including arrest, criminal, court and civil filings nationwide. You can also use the search system to research your ancestors or family history as the system will search all public records including death, divorce, and marriage records for any person.
DUI Expungement Process - Steps to Clear Your DUI Record
If you have been convicted of a DUI, you may want to expunge your DUI record in order to get a job, loan, house, etc. Expungement refers to the process of removing or erasing the DUI record from your personal file. You are required to petition the court in order to get your records expunged. This article discusses steps to clear your DUI record by covering the whole process from petitioning to obtaining expungement. Each state's expungement laws vary; therefore, this article gives you a basic idea on the process.
DUI expungement process:
1. You need to file a petition for expungement in the superior court in the county where your DUI arrest occurred.
2. You can be denied expungement if:
- you haven't completed probation.
- you didn't show good reason to expunge your DUI record.
- you are convicted of a severe felony.
- you are convicted of another DUI.
3. Records are more likely to be expunged if:
- this is the only conviction on your record.
- you didn't spend any time in state prison.
- you have rehabilitated yourself.
- a great deal of time has passed since your arrest or conviction.
How to file for an expungement
Do you need a lawyer?
You don't necessarily need a lawyer for expunging your records. It's just that this process involves a lot of paperwork and if you have a lawyer by your side, he/she can give you advice regarding your specific case. If you don't wish to hire a lawyer, you should learn all the procedures that are required to get this process done.
How long does an expungement of records take?
The entire expungement process could take anywhere from 4 to 6 months.
What is the filing fee?
The filing fee may vary from $50 to $400 depending on your case and your state.
What forms do you need to file and where to get them?
You need to go to your county courthouse and ask the clerk for the expungement forms. As mentioned above the forms may cost around $50 to $400. The clerk may give you the following forms:
1. Expungement petition,
2. Affidavit or proof of service form.
What happens after you file the petition for expungement?
After you file the petition for expungement, a copy will be sent to all agencies that have your records such as the arresting agency, the county attorney, the city police department, etc. They may accept or refuse your request. If they accept, the court will grant your petition without hearing. If they refuse, a hearing will be held and you are required to attend. You will be notified of your hearing date through the mail. In some states the court sets the hearing date, while in others you may to pick the date. (This law can vary from state to state). Be sure to ask the clerk beforehand regarding how your state's county court hearing date is set.
The Court hearing and decision
Your petition for expungement may or may not be granted. If you won the expungement hearing, you must check after 60 days to see for yourself whether your records show up during a criminal record check. The 60 day period is when the court orders all the agencies to seal your record. However, if you lose your hearing, your record will not be removed and depending on the reason you may eligible to go through the expungement process again.
Clearing Up Your Criminal Convictions
We all want to be able to go back in time before we did something that we regretted afterwards for doing. That is especially true when it comes to criminal convictions because they are recorded with the government and anyone, especially employers, has access to that information. Regardless of how much you may have changed since the crime, once someone finds out you have a criminal past they will no doubt have trouble trusting you. Having a criminal record will hold you back. Luckily you can clear many criminal convictions, especially the less serious ones, and it's a relatively simple process.
For starters you have to be eligible to apply for clearance of your criminal conviction. You are eligible if you completed your probation or parole and if you agreed to all the orders decided by court. There must not be any pending recent charges that have your name on them. In the case that you're not on probation then you have to wait one year to pass from the date when your judgment was brought. You must be careful not to break any laws during that period and to avoid getting arrested or charged for anything else.
Note that some convictions can never be cleared. These vary by state and the circumstances surrounding the conviction.
To apply for clearing of your criminal record you will need a Record Clearance Application. Read it carefully and fill it out properly. Once you have filled out the form correctly you can file it. What exactly is being done here is that you are asking a judge to give you another chance. If you have proven while in the jail that you complied with all their rules and regulations and that you had an early release due to good behavior there is no reason why the judge wouldn't grant you another chance.
This doesn't mean that your crime or crimes are being cleared as if the incidence(s) never happened. In the case of getting employment at a retail store or something similar this would apply for that situation. Your record if looked up by these types of employers would look as though you did not commit a crime. On the other hand if any government agency asks any questions regarding your previous convictions you will have to let them know about all the ones that were cleared.
Remember, this is to clear your conviction or convictions of crimes that you have committed, but it's not a time machine to make everything better. You have to keep in mind that you must take responsibility for your actions and to accept the consequences. Although, if you feel you have changed for the better, trying to clear your criminal record shows that you are trying to take steps to clean up your life.
The Facts About Court Records and Privacy
Court records are generally open to the public unless specifically sealed by a judge. Juvenile records, however, are confidential and are available to the victim of the crime to the same extent as any regular criminal docket.
If you think you may have an incident on file for an offense that should no longer be present on your public record, then the first step in expediting the process is to search the public record or court record for the case name, docket number, court location and date the case was heard and get as much information you can. One way to do this is by searching under your name and state with our instant search system above.
Once you do this you can take the necessary steps to get it removed from your public record. This can be done by contacting your local courthouse where the record resides to start due process and have it expunged from your file. However, you must have a previous judgment or legal reason stating why the record should be excluded. In most courts throughout the United States the only person who can expunge or seal a record is a judge. It should also be noted the court has the right to deny your request and in certain cases if your court record reflects offenses such as sexual battery, child abuse, arson, and aggravated assault the record remains public unless a judge grants the files be sealed or expunged from your public record. It is always best to contact and seek the advise of an attorney in any legal process.
RecordsCriminal.org can not assist or help you remove a record from your file. Our system only reports on the public data available.
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