Choosing an Expungement Attorney
While you can always file for a petition to have your drug record cleared on your own, there are many risks in doing so. The disadvantage to petitioning on your own is that you may jeopardize your case by filing documents inaccurately, which can result in your case being prolonged and potentially cost you a great deal of money, and may even cause your case to be thrown out. By choosing to hire a licensed attorney who specializes in sealing drug charges and convictions, you are making an investment in the success of your case and your future. The attorney will understand the drug laws for your given state and the drug record clearing process. One of the many advantages of employing a knowledgeable attorney is that you will have the comfort of being streamlined through the sealing process, possibly helping your case to be completed in a more timely fashion.
The right attorney will oversee your case and represent you in court, if necessary. Look for an attorney who specializes in expungement or record sealing. If you cannot afford an attorney and meet low income requirements, you may wish to enlist the service of the public defender.
When choosing an attorney, be careful to find legitimate representation. Here are a few questions to consider when looking to hire an expungement or record sealing attorney:
- How much experience does the attorney or law firm have expunging your type of case in your respective state?
- What is the attorney's or firm's success rate for clearing drug records?
- Are you able to pay the attorney using a credit card?
- What are the costs and fees charged for services, and what do those fees include? (Do the fees include filing fees, representation by an attorney in court, and answering objections from the district attorney?)
- Do they offer a flat rate fee and a money back guarantee?
- Does the billing address match the street address for the state Bar Association records?
- Does the attorney or firm have a valid street address?
- Will the attorney go to court for you?
- Will the attorney file all of the necessary documents for your case? (Do not allow your representation to make you do the work when you are paying for their services.)
If you cannot afford an attorney, we recommend you take a free expungement eligibility test, read our article on how to expunge or seal a drug charge or conviction, and check out our list of free resources.