Even after serving time in jail for a crime you were convicted of, you may still have problems once you are able to leave jail and return back to your new life. You may feel like it is unfair to have to deal with the potential consequences from past mistakes, with them being impossible to leave behind in your former life. That's why many convicted criminals look for ways to remove convictions from their criminal record or have their sentence ended early. It's important to know the difference between expungement and pardons , so that you do not get these two methods confused and pursue the correct one.

Pardons Can Be Difficult To Receive

You often hear about pardons being used in movies and TV shows, but it's not likely that you'll receive a pardon for your crimes after leaving jail. Pardons can be granted in certain situations, but more often than not are used in cases that receive a lot of coverage from the media or for somebody that has the right political connections.

If you are fortunate enough to receive a pardon, know that they do not remove a crime from your personal criminal record. A pardon will only remove the penalty that you are serving, or could potentially serve, for a crime. If you were convicted of a crime and are pardoned, there will always be a paper trail that can trace the crime back to you as something that you did.

Expungements Are More Practical           

If what you are worried about is a potential employer seeing your conviction on a criminal record, it is best to pursue expungement. Keep in mind that every state has their own laws regarding expungement, and a lawyer can best help you navigate those laws. Depending on the crime's severity, an expungement in one state may not remove the crime from your criminal record in another state. This includes crimes such as identity theft and repeat offenses, as well as if the sentence still has time that needs to be served.

By filing a petition with the court, a judge could decide to have your record expunged and sealed. If this happens, you do not have to admit to having a prior criminal conviction when applying for employment. It can give you the fresh start that you desperately need.

For more information about expungement, speak to a criminal lawyer in your area.