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How does an expungement affect my arrest record in Hawaii?

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2022 | Criminal Defense

An arrest record can cause long-term problems in Hawaii. While people who have served their debt to society and tried to move on might hope that their record does not negatively impact them in their goals and endeavors, they might still face obstacles because of it. To try and avoid having a criminal conviction held against them, an expungement might be a wise step.

Only certain offenses can be expunged. Once that hurdle is cleared and a person’s conviction falls into the expungement category, it is important to know what benefits they will have in addition to the record being treated as if it never happened.

Key points about expungements and what happens in the aftermath

Along with the record being treated as if the arrest never happened, the person who receives an expungement can request that they get all photographs and fingerprints back. After 120 days, the attorney general or their representative will return them unless the person has a conviction in the past or is a fugitive.

Once the expungement certificate is issued, the person will be treated as if they were never arrested at all. Law enforcement agency records will be sent to the attorney general and will be categorized as confidential. Still, there are situations when the records can be divulged.

This is true in the following circumstances: if a court is set to have a presentence investigation; there is a federal or state agency that is considering the person for a position and state or national security is affected; or it is requested by a law enforcement agency going about their duties. Any other inquiry will be the same as if the person had never been arrested at all.

The person who received the expungement can also request that that any judiciary files and information linked to the arrest be removed from any public database. The court is expected to do so in good faith.

Expungements and its benefits

Those who have been convicted of a crime may lament that it ever happened and wish they could erase it from history. Through an expungement, this is possible. People hoping for an expungement must remember that it is only available for arrests without conviction, those with a first-time drug offense, DUIs under age 21, those whose crimes was a first-time theft, and prostitution. For assistance with all aspects of expungement, it is imperative to have professional and experienced assistance throughout the process.