While expungement clears your previous convictions, keep in mind that expunged records are not totally erased or sealed forever. Depending on the state where you live and the reason for the request for disclosure, your expunged criminal records may be disclosed. Here are circumstances when sealed criminal records will be shown again.
Asking for another Expungement
Some states grant an expungement only once. This is why it’s best to try expunging all eligible cases at one time, since you will no longer be eligible for expungements of succeeding convictions. If you apply for another one, the court will see your previously expunged case. This is NOT the case in California. There is no limit to the number of times you can request an expungement, provided you met other qualifications.
Employment requiring Professional Licenses
Professions and occupations that require professional licenses, demand that applicants to jobs in these industries have a thorough background check performed on them. These include public school teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, corrections facilities workers and police officers. A Sacramento expungement attorney notes that employers of these occupations can make a request for the opening of the applicants’ criminal records, including expunged ones.
If You Work for the Government
Certain government positions necessitate disclosure of expunged records because of the sensitive nature of the job. Applicants for court administrative positions and juvenile services related positions will have their records disclosed in background checks. Law enforcement agencies can also access expunged records of government workers in the investigation of a crime.
Successive Offenses and Violations of the Law
If you have an expunged record and commit another offense, the prosecutor will look through the files and find the previous offense. As a law enforcement officer, he will have access to your expunged record and in some cases can use it as a prior conviction or evidence in the case against you.
If you are convicted of a later offense and are awaiting sentencing, the sentence will generally be increased. The prosecutor will look at your past records to determine the appropriate charge and sentence. A criminal record expungement attorney in Sacramento will be able to tell you if your expunged record can be used against you. Repeat offenders have fewer chances for a diversion or probation and prior felonies that are considered “strikes” in a Three Strikes scheme will stay. These types of felonies, maybe eligible for expungement but can still be used as a prior “strike”.
If You Are Called as a Witness to a Court Trial
Being a witness to a court proceeding can bring up your past. The opposition’s lawyers will do their best to cast doubt on your credibility. If you have an expunged criminal record, especially if it’s a felony case and that case questions your honesty, the conviction may be used against you.
While having your record expunged affords a great many benefits, you can see there are many nuances and complications to expunging your criminal records. That is why it is advised to consult with an experienced expungement lawyer.