Lawyers in Burlington VT Can Help Certain Individuals Eliminate Their Criminal Records

In certain cases, lawyers in Burlington VT can help a person who was previously convicted of a crime have that conviction erased from the record or sealed so nobody can find it. This allows the individual to make a fresh start in efforts to obtain a new job, a mortgage loan or vehicle financing. Many businesses and lenders view someone with a criminal record as a risk factor for irresponsible behavior.

In Vermont, most crimes that qualify for these measures are misdemeanors, and the state does not allow the process for all misdemeanors. For example, a conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol does not qualify.

Expungement is the process of eliminating the conviction from the individual’s criminal history. The records are actually destroyed. If the court does not allow expungement for this particular person’s conviction, it may be possible to have the records sealed. The general public no longer has access to the information online or in person at the courthouse. Only some law enforcement organizations can still view the information.

One frustrating aspect of these laws is that the person must have completed the sentence, including probation, at least 10 years before. Nevertheless, expungement and record sealing are still very advantageous for many individuals even after all that time. In addition to the practical advantages, there are psychological benefits as well. The person now knows that nobody can simply look up his or her record on the Internet because it either no longer exists or is entirely hidden. That brings peace of mind.

A person is allowed to ask the court for these measures without professional legal representation. However, the procedure is complex, and any errors the individual makes may result in the court denying the request. For that reason, having lawyers in Burlington VT work on the petition is advisable. If the court denies the request, a new petition cannot be made for five more years. A lawyer such as Jason J. Sawyer, Attorney & Counselor at Law, can answer any questions a person has about whether he or she qualifies and how to get started. Browse our website for more information.

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