Whenever anyone contacts our office to request an expunction of their record, one of the main concerns that they have is getting it done as quickly as possible. Once the process gets started, it can go relatively quickly compared to other matters. We make it a point to have everything drafted and submitted within a few days of being hired, and afterwards, the time frame really depends on how quickly a prosecutor and a judge will look over the paperwork. On the front end, though, there is plenty that can be done to make sure that everything gets started as soon as possible.
Here is a list of everything that you can have ready for your initial consultation with an attorney:
- Your sentencing order. This document will tell the attorney everything that they will need to know about what your conviction was for, when you were convicted, where you were convicted, and what your sentence was. This is also important because it helps establish whether the crime is one that is eligible for expunction.
- A list of any and all arrests and convictions. Oftentimes, as part of our petitions, we notify the court that our client has not had any run-ins with the law since they were convicted. This is especially helpful, because the Court wants to feel comfortable about expunging the conviction from the public record.
- A statement of fees and receipts of payment from the circuit clerk’s office. As part of most sentencing orders, there is an amount in restitution, court courts, etc. that the Court ordered the person to pay. Before any person is eligible for expunction, your attorney must know that all fines and fees have been paid and that they were paid long enough to ensure that you can get an expunction under the statutory time frame (which, for felonies, is five years AFTER all terms and conditions of the sentence is completed).
- Your basic biographical information. This should include your full legal name, date of birth, and last four digits of your social security number. Whenever there is a conviction or expungement, the information is entered into a database, and your attorney wants to make sure that there is a clear record that YOUR conviction was expunged, not for someone else with a similar name.
Depending on the circumstances, there may be other items that your attorney may request, such as letters from employers or other persons demonstrating why you should have your record expunged. Remember, the name of the game is to make sure that the court feels comfortable about expunging your felony conviction. The more information that you can provide to show that you should have your record expunged, the better!