The timeframe for completing our legal services varies depending on things such as the specific state, court, county, or government agency. All these things can influence how long the process will take. Some services can be completed within 3-5 months, and others can take as long as 6-8 months or more – usually depending on the complexity of the case and how busy the courts are. To begin the process, we must first ensure that we have complete copies of your criminal record.
To begin the expungement process, we must have the complete records of your criminal history. If you’re eligible, we then petition the court to have those records removed, and attend any hearing – if one is scheduled. The process can be complicated without the assistance of an attorney, as there are many legal requirements that must be followed correctly.
When a criminal record is sealed or expunged, the court order is sent to various state and federal criminal justice agencies. These agencies then update their criminal record databases so that your records are removed. However, there are many private background check companies that can be accessed online as well. Usually, these companies must first be given notice that your record was expunged/sealed before they can know to remove your information.
Whether your gun rights are restored after your expungement will depend on which state your conviction was in. In some states, such as Ohio, sealing a criminal record also restores the rights and privileges that were lost because of a conviction (such as firearms). In other states, an expungement simply removes your criminal record, and there is a completely separate legal process for restoring your right to own a gun.
Our "Money Back Guarantee" applies to certain cases where we are unable to successfully obtain the expungement, record seal, or other related service. It is not a guarantee of a specific outcome. Rather, we may return all or part of the legal fees paid if for some reason your case is ineligible or unable to be completed. The "research fee" is generally non-refundable, and we do not issue refunds on cases that are left to the discretion of the court or if your contract is voluntarily terminated.
Some people attempt to expunge their record "pro se," or without the assistance of an attorney. However, petitions are regularly denied because the slightest mistake was made. Furthermore, the prosecutor may object to your application, or the court may set a formal hearing on the matter. Appearing in court without an attorney can be intimidating – and state laws are constantly changing. Many people attempt the process of removing their record, only to find out that it's much more difficult than they thought. By hiring a law firm, you get the benefit of experienced professionals working hard to ensure the success of your case.
The main difference between an expungement and a record seal ultimately depends on the state. A true expungement, if granted, results in the complete destruction of your criminal record. In most states, however, an "expungement" simply means the removal of a criminal record, but it is not physically destroyed. Rather, it is sealed from the public and only available to a limited number of criminal justice agencies. This is basically what a record seal is, in that the court orders the record to be sealed and it cannot be accessed by the general public.