Can You Expunge Your Criminal Record on Your Own?

I must admit, before I get too far into this article, that I’m a Seattle expungement lawyer. That means a lot of what I do every day is help people clear their criminal records. If people didn’t need my help, I obviously wouldn’t have a job, so I’m a little biased here. But, I’ve vowed to be honest here, so I’m going to truthfully tell you whether or not you can expunge your criminal record on your own.

The short answer is yes, it is possible to clear your own criminal record and vacate your convictions. But the full answer isn’t so crystal clear at that. And this is what I mean. Yes, the forms, the information, the tools are out there for you to set up, file, and argue your own motion to vacate your criminal convictions. Do just a little bit of internet research and take a look at the statutes covering vacating criminal records, and you’ll know the ins and outs of how to do it. But your chances of success are dramatically lower if you go it on your own.

The reasons why are pretty straightforward and make a lot of sense. How many times have you ever, in your life, tried to expunge a criminal record? Probably zero. How many times have you talked to the prosecutor to try to get them to agree to an expungement (making the process much easier)? Probably zero. How many times have you put together a presentation for the court to increase your chances of success? Probably zero. And how many times have you then presented that information to the court and asked for them to expunge a crime? Probably zero.

When you get an expungement attorney to help you, those answer change dramatically, and, as you might expect, your chances of success change dramatically as well. So, if you are considering getting out there and changing your criminal history, consider getting a professional expungement lawyer to help you out. Sure, you could do it on your own, but do you really want to take that chance?

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