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Expunging Your Record in Bloomington

Pardons, Record Sealing & Expungement

If you have been convicted of a crime, you are probably understandably worried about the consequences that will have on the other aspects of your daily life. Will you lose employment opportunities? Have you been stripped of the right to vote or own a firearm? The consequences of a single conviction can be varied and severe, not even including fines paid to the state and jail time. The most important question you should be asking yourself, though, should be, “How can I clean up my criminal record?”

At Johnson Law Group, our Bloomington criminal defense attorneys are well-versed in pardons, record sealing, and expungement. Tell us what conviction has gone on your record today during a free case evaluation and we can determine which of these legal options could work for you.

What is Record Sealing?

After you have been convicted, employers, lenders, educational institution representatives, and more can all access your criminal record to see if you have ever been convicted of an offense. They are also permitted to evaluate you based on their findings. This is clearly detrimental to anyone who has been convicted and does not make living a peaceful, law-abiding life any easier.

To keep prying eyes off your criminal record to avoid further harm to your wellbeing, you can file for record sealing. If granted, the record will only be viewable through a court order, which most interested parties will not bother to obtain. If the only conviction you have on your record is sealed, you can also legally claim during interviews that you have never been convicted.

What is Expungement?

Expungement can be likened to a more extreme form of record sealing. Not only is your conviction removed from public records, it is destroyed, leaving no trace. No court order can uncover it in the future and you may, once again, claim to have never been convicted if all of your convictions have been expunged. Due to the thoroughness of expungement, it is more difficult to have it granted and is typically only reserved for less serious offenses, such as misdemeanors.

What is a Pardon?

With record sealing and expungement, you generally need to serve out any sentencing to completion and wait several years before you can request them. A pardon is the most powerful way to clear your criminal record then, as it can be granted immediately and usually removes all consequences of your conviction. The catch is that no one has the explicit right to be pardoned, and a pardon can only be granted by the personal decision of an executive in power, usually the governor of your state or the President of the United States.

Example: If you are convicted of grand theft and ordered to serve 20 years in jail, a gubernatorial pardon could remove the jail sentence, regardless of how much you served. Any rights lost due to a conviction would also be immediately restored. However, a pardoned crime may still be visible to others through public records.

You Know Your Options, Now You Must Make a Move

Starting the process of cleaning up your criminal record and providing a clearer future for yourself begins with you. To avoid mistakes along the way, allow our Bloomington expungement lawyers to support you with each and every step. We are always happy to help people improve their situations through legal means. Feel free to call us any time at 309.565.8825‚Äč to learn more about our services.