Do I Need An Attorney to Have My Federal Criminal Record Expunged?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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The process of federal expungement is very complex. Because of the detailed nature of the expungement process, anyone considering it should seek a lawyer with knowledge and experience specifically in expungements. Tedious and technical paperwork must be filled out flawlessly and submitted against strict deadlines. While you may still be tempted to go on your own, fill out and file the paperwork, or motivated to avoid the fees that attorneys charge, consider that your criminal attorney is familiar with the procedure, knows the deadlines and people, and can be of tremendous persuasion to the court to accept your petition, all of which improves the outcome of your case. What is at stake cannot be over-emphasized: once an expungement is granted, virtually all official records, all references to your arrest for the offense, and the results of any criminal proceedings against you are removed from your record and destroyed. If then asked, you can then lawfully deny that you have ever been arrested for and/or convicted of the offense. This is the benefit of having submitted an accurate and expert federal record expungement request.

Clearly, this legal remedy of expungement is worth pursuing. But just as clearly, having an experienced and competent criminal law attorney to help you with the process and who is committed to getting optimal results is in your best interests. Do-it-yourself legal work doesn’t make much sense. Take it seriously. Once your record is expunged, it will be as though you were never convicted of a crime. You will never have to fear a background check again. New opportunities in employment, housing, education and many other areas will be opened up to you, not to mention the peace of mind that it will bring.

For more information, visit the following topics:

Federal Expunging of Criminal Records: An Overview: snapshots the type of relief for getting an expungement of a federal conviction.

Eligibility: discusses the availability of expungement in relation to drug arrests.

Process: discusses the federal application procedure and process.

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