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"Expungement and Sealing of Criminal Records is Considered Social Justice"

Criminal justice cannot be achieved without a system that eliminates

past wrongs. A growing number of states and federal governments are enacting methods to erase past arrests and convictions. Having a criminal record limit your ability to lead a productive civic life. This record can limit access to education, employment, public housing, college grants, welfare, military service, and voting rights. An expungement typically erases arrest and conviction records from public view, thereby mitigating some of the negative consequences of a criminal record. Once the criminal record is wiped out, it's as if it never existed. Measures include file sealing, which restricts the use of files but does not delete them. People with deleted records can say no when asked if they have been arrested or convicted. Erasure of records greatly reduces the bar


riers to the pursuit of full civic life. Measures to clean up criminal records, such as sealing court files, also enhance the quality of public participation. The availability of means to delete records varies by jurisdiction. FEDERAL LAW: NO FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, NO GENERAL LAW There is no fundamental right to erasure, nor federal erasure law. Few laws specifically provide for this, and federal courts rarely remove criminal records unless permitted by law. Federal First Offenses Act, 18 U.S.C. However, Section 3607 (2012) pe


rmits federal criminal convictions to be cleared if the individual is under the age of 21 and has no previous drug convictions. Two other federal laws – 10 U.S.C. § 1565(e) and 42 U.S.C. Section 14132(d) – authorize the deletion of DNA records held by the Department of Defense or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Courts are divided over whether federal courts have inherent reasonable authority to erase criminal records without legal authorization. Federal courts are said to keep second, seventh, tenth, and D.C. records. Circuits can be deleted. However, these courts rarely do so in practice. For example, for Abdelfata vUnited States, 787 F.3d 524, 528 (D.C. Cir. 2015), the court recognized the power to erase records but denied a citizen's "right" to do so. The court subsequently said it found no "infringement of legally protected interests" that could have expunged Abdelfata's criminal record. , does not have legitimate authority to erase the record. The U.S. Supre


me Court has not ruled on the division. State Laws: Patchwork of Deletion Laws Almost every state has a criminal history deletion mechanism. Arizona "sets aside" the qualifying record. California "releases" the record. In Washington the verdict is "voided" and in Connecticut it is "expunged." Colorado and New York 'seal' records, New Hampshire 'revokes' recordsThis process is "expunge" or "non-disclosure order" in Texas and "expunge" or "reserve" in Oregon. State law is strict about what can be removed. Answers to the five questions generally indicate arrests and convictions that can be cleared. • Was the applicant simply arrested or convicted in court? • What is Crime? • How long ago was the arrest or conviction? • Did the complainant comply with a court judgment or other order? • Is the applicant a repeat offender? It is important to remember that yo


u have no choice but to check state ordinances and records that will most likely exist within the county. The Electronic Information Privacy Center, the Papillon Foundation, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers provide comprehensive national resources for eradication. State erasure laws regulate the type and severity of crimes recorded, whether courts consider other crimes committed by the same offender, individuals whose records are sealed, and whether statutory obligations (e.g. ) is present or not. Some states allow removal of arrest records only if no conviction has been made. There are other things that can overturn a conviction. Most jurisdictions, such as Arkansas and the District of Columbia, only expel misdemeanors. A few states, including California and Wyoming, also allow criminal record deletion. But many serious crimes such as murder, kidnapping, sex crimes, terrorism, child abuse and treason cannot be erased. Deletion Restrictions Likewise, deletion or sealing must not affect the adverse effects of convictions on national security agency security clearance applications or deportation proceedings in immigration courts. Public trust professionals such as la


wyers, nannies, and bankers may be able to reverse arrests and convictions to qualify new employees. Court websites usually offer criminal record removal forms and are a great place to look for accurate information. See example, Washington Courts, Guide to Sealing and Destroying Court Records, Retracting Convictions, and Deleting Criminal Record Records in Washington State (October 2015). Because an erasure request is a civil action, the individual requesting erasure is generally not eligible to appoint


an attorney under the Criminal Justice Code or equivalent state law. Fortunately, law firms, volunteers, local bar associations, and law firms in various states offer removal assistance to those who need it. Clearing Your Record: A Six-Step Guide to Expunging Criminal Records in New Jersey (2015). Nolo.com does not, of course, replace lawyers, but it does offer a comprehensive guide to erasure rights on its Expungement and Criminal Records website. Appeals and Amnesty as Other Avenues Available A person requesting removal may appeal the court's denial of the request. For federal crimes, a person can ask the President of the United States for a pardon if the court cannot erase the record. For a state criminal record, you must ask the governor for a pardon. Conclusion A criminal record can limit a client's ability to lead a productive community life. Clearing a criminal record allows clients to forget their past mistakes and live a fulfilling civic life. Exclusions vary greatly. If deletion is not possible, amnesty is another option. Keywords: criminal proceedings, erasure, criminal justice, civil life


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