Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

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Is expunging my record worth it?

Yes
13
87%
No
2
13%
 
Total votes: 15

lsataddict
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:02 am

Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby lsataddict » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:56 pm

I received a Class C misdemeanor back in 2009 for attempting to purchase alcohol underage. I paid the fine, completed the community service, and attended the alcohol awareness class. I have absolutely nothing else on my record - no traffic violations or criminal convictions. I'll be applying to law school this year and I'm wondering if it's worth paying the $500-$1000 to have my record expunged. My guess is that I would most likely still have to disclose this misdemeanor to most schools, so is it really worth the money to be able to say in my addendum that it has been expunged?
Last edited by lsataddict on Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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guano
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Re: Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby guano » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:53 pm

Whether or not it makes a difference for law school, you should do it. You never know when it'll come into play.

lsataddict
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Re: Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby lsataddict » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:48 pm

guano wrote:Whether or not it makes a difference for law school, you should do it. You never know when it'll come into play.

I do plan to eventually, just not sure if I can spend the money now unless it's really necessary.

law2015
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Re: Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby law2015 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:16 am

There is really no point of expunging it. It will still remain on your record that you were arrested but it will not say that you were convicted.

jshaffer740
Posts: 34
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Re: Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby jshaffer740 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:25 am

law2015 wrote:There is really no point of expunging it. It will still remain on your record that you were arrested but it will not say that you were convicted.


This completely depends on the state. Also in most people's eyes if an offense was expunged they feel better about it. If an offense is expungeable it means the court was of the opinion that this was likely not indicative this person's character and he or she should be afforded the ability to have it sealed. There are certain instances when a court will remove this right, and in general as a crime's severity increases the statute is written to disallow expungement.

Imagine you are an employer or law school and you're presented with the following two scenarios:

(A) I was convicted of a class C misdemeanor in my state.
(B) I was convicted of a class C misdemeanor in my state, however the conviction has since been expunged due to subsequent lawful behavior, and the fact this was my first and only offense.

Which would you rather see?
Last edited by jshaffer740 on Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

jshaffer740
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Re: Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby jshaffer740 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:27 am

lsataddict wrote:
guano wrote:Whether or not it makes a difference for law school, you should do it. You never know when it'll come into play.

I do plan to eventually, just not sure if I can spend the money now unless it's really necessary.


If I were you I would do it as soon as you can. In most states, you are not eligible to do this unless it is your first time offense, and if anything were to happen with you legally between now and when you try to file for expungement you will be denied. I would not waste this opportunity. While it may not come into play for law school admissions, it will almost certainly help you when applying for a job, which in the end is what this is all about.

Also, where are you getting your figures on $500-$1000? My brother had to do this and he paid a local attorney $250 to do it. This included all court fees and her hourly rate. It is an extremely simple process in most states and you could probably do it yourself, and only pay the court fees. If your situation is relatively common (his wasn't) you probably don't need the attorney. Call the clerk of courts in the county the offense was in - they will explain the process to you.

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wtrc
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Re: Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby wtrc » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:43 pm

Absolutely expunge. MANY law schools do not require disclosing expungements.

Also, re the cost- you don't need a lawyer or any kind of money like that to get things expunged for some small offenses in many states. If it's your first offense, I would look into filing a petition for expungement now, which you can probably do yourself.

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mandyjay11
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Re: Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby mandyjay11 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:51 pm

Also, my church has quartly free expungement clinics for the neighborhood , so maybe you can find something like that if cost is an issue.

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IAFG
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Re: Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby IAFG » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:54 pm

Will schools even care? You have to disclose at the bar application stage regardless. Seems like a waste of money to me.

jshaffer740
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Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:48 am

Re: Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby jshaffer740 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:22 pm

IAFG wrote:Will schools even care? You have to disclose at the bar application stage regardless. Seems like a waste of money to me.


There are many other people in the OP's future who may care. The bar application and law school application are not the only things to consider. Waste of money? OP is probably considering spending tens of thousands of dollars on a legal education. It is inconceivable that he or she wouldn't spend a few hundred to help ensure a job at the end of it all, irrespective of its effect on application to law school and the bar.

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IAFG
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Re: Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby IAFG » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:31 pm

jshaffer740 wrote:
IAFG wrote:Will schools even care? You have to disclose at the bar application stage regardless. Seems like a waste of money to me.


There are many other people in the OP's future who may care. The bar application and law school application are not the only things to consider. Waste of money? OP is probably considering spending tens of thousands of dollars on a legal education. It is inconceivable that he or she wouldn't spend a few hundred to help ensure a job at the end of it all, irrespective of its effect on application to law school and the bar.

If any legal employer gives a shit about this.

jshaffer740
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:48 am

Re: Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby jshaffer740 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:05 pm

IAFG wrote:
jshaffer740 wrote:
IAFG wrote:Will schools even care? You have to disclose at the bar application stage regardless. Seems like a waste of money to me.


There are many other people in the OP's future who may care. The bar application and law school application are not the only things to consider. Waste of money? OP is probably considering spending tens of thousands of dollars on a legal education. It is inconceivable that he or she wouldn't spend a few hundred to help ensure a job at the end of it all, irrespective of its effect on application to law school and the bar.

If any legal employer gives a shit about this.


The problem is you just don't know what you will be doing in 5 years, 10 years, etc. OP may very well be going after a "non-legal" job at some point in the future. Perhaps some legal employers do care about this. Who knows? It seems like a relatively small price to pay for an increased level of future security. I really do not understand the argument for why you would not do this.

lsataddict
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Re: Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby lsataddict » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:29 pm

law2015 wrote:There is really no point of expunging it. It will still remain on your record that you were arrested but it will not say that you were convicted.

Actually, I'm lucky enough to live in a state where it's actually removed.

I think I'll go ahead and get it done next week. Does anyone know how long the process usually takes? Does it depend on the state or particular court?

hawkeye10
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Re: Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby hawkeye10 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:49 pm

You really should get it expunged, employers these days are looking for anything to disqualify applicants.

From my knowledge, the length of time depends on the state, and how long it takes the courts to get back to you. I volunteered at a place that helped with expungements, and it could take 4-6 months, so start ASAP. Also, check if you can do it yourself. I know in Georgia, people can do it without paying a lawyer if they can track down certain documents and can read and follow directions. If you are in GA, PM me.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Is Expunging a Criminal Record Valuable?

Postby prezidentv8 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:55 pm

I think there are several reasons it's worth doing.

And, if you live in California, it's not terribly hard to do.

http://www.saclaw.lib.ca.us/pages/expunging-criminal-records.aspx




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