It’s nearly impossible to fully retire your debts without a decent paycheck. However, if you’ve ever been arrested or convicted for a serious crime, your chances of being interviewed for a lucrative position are very slim. Furthermore, you may be unable to find reasonable rent in a safe neighborhood if you have an arrest or conviction record based upon how landlords view such prospective tenants. For these and other reasons, you need to take whatever steps are available to see if you’re eligible to get your arrest or conviction records expunged (or “sealed”). Fortunately, most states’ laws provide that once such records have been expunged, you no longer have to disclose the information to prospective landlords or employers. However, before your records have been expunged, failing to disclose such information can lead to your immediate firing – or a rejection of a housing tenant application.
The Basics Involved with Getting Your Records Expunged
- You need to first visit either one of your county’s criminal courts or the police department or other legal entity that arrested you;
- You’ll need to ask if your particular arrest or conviction record is one that’s eligible for expungement. Sometimes, you have to have finished serving out a period of probation before this can occur – in other instances, you may not be qualified because your offense involved a felony (more serious crime) rather than a misdemeanor, or minor offense;
- Be sure to ask if expungement is available, which law enforcement or other entities still have the power to learn that your records were expunged – and under what circumstances;
- Your main goal is to obtain a Certificate of Actual Innocence which clearly indicates that you went through a trial or other process that proved that you were not actually guilty of the crime brought against you. If a certificate of this sort is not available, ask what other options you may have to expunge your records.
Special Circumstances Involved with Both Juvenile and Drug Offenses
- Clearing your juvenile arrest or adjudication records. If you have managed to stay out of trouble with the law after spending time in a juvenile correctional facility or were never charged with any additional crime following a successful period of probation, courts are often very likely to give you a second chance by expunging your record. Just inquire what paperwork and signatures you must obtain to be qualified for this opportunity;
- Drug Offenses. Hopefully, you were offered a special “diversion” program that allowed you to obtain treatment for your addiction. If this occurred, you were also probably promised that your records could be expunged – if you never committed any additional
Be sure to give yourself a better chance to find a good job and a safe and affordable place to live by trying to get your juvenile or adult criminal arrest or conviction record expunged. Once you do, you should be in a much better position to do what’s necessary to lawfully pay off all of your debts.
If you believe that you’re a victim of any abusive debt collection practices, contact the Law Offices of Georgia consumer protection attorney Shane Smith so that you can learn more about your rights under federal and state consumer protection statutes. Call (770) 487-8999 today to schedule your free initial consultation.