Expungement of criminal records can be an arduous task. The level of difficulty that you might face may vary from state to state. In many states, only pre-trial, post-trial diversion and dismissed or retired charges can be expunged from your criminal record.
It is very important that you have this concept clear in your minds that in most states, misdemeanor and felony are treated separately. It is therefore very important that you take the necessary steps and do the procedures accordingly.
In most states, the conviction is final but in some cases when you have entered into a pre-trial or a post trial diversion or your charges have been dismissed or retired, you might get your records expunged. It is therefore very important that you consider and follow all your dimension agreements without missing out on anything, as even a single fault can completely destroy your chances of getting expunged, ever.
It is therefore recommended that if you can afford hiring an attorney then you should go ahead and do so. This is not necessary, but having a person who is trained to do these kinds of legal affair always helps you along the way.
Most often than not, there is a charge levied on the person in question if the person fulfills the diversion agreement and is expunged. However, in some states there is a clause for free expungement if the charges are dismissed against the person.
Expunging your records may seem redundant at times, but for many activities like getting a new job, getting a loan or buying a house, background checks are performed in most of the cases and any criminal record popping up against you will definitely be a negative and a black mark. It is also very important that there should be no other case that is running against the said person.
To get the best possible analysis, an attorney is the best person who you can consult. With just your name and date of birth, the attorney can fish out all your records and check out for any pending cases and all the pre-trial and post-trial diversion agreements and their status. The attorney can then advice you on the best possible path that you should take to have a higher rate of success.
Any expungement process can go either ways. It can be a success or failure. In case of a failure you can go through the process again with better reasoning and processing.