Retaining & Choosing an Attorney
Interviewer: Will this require the assistance of an attorney?
Brett Hollett: Not technically, but there are a lot of procedural things that you will need to be aware of to file your petition. You are going to want to ensure each petition has the best leg to stand on. If you don’t file the petition with all the necessary supporting documents, your petition will be denied. Not only that, the power to grant an expungement lies within the sole discretion of that circuit judge. So you’re going to want to have an advocate ensuring the petition and documents are prepared correctly and in a timely manner. Hiring a strong advocate may give your petition the best chance to be granted.
Interviewer: If someone is going to be looking for an attorney to help them with their expungement case, what should they be looking for in an attorney?
Brett Hollett: Number one would be to hire a criminal defense attorney who’s well versed in handling the type criminal case they now want to have expunged. Number two, the attorney should be familiar with the proceedings and familiar with the Circuit Court, and should be able to devote the time necessary to make sure that their petition has the best chance of succeeding. The way the bill is written right now, granting the expungement is truly at the sole discretion of the circuit judge. You want to make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you go to court and before you present your case or your petition before the judge to make sure you set yourself out for the best possibility of success.
Interviewer: Let’s go over a list of items or things that I’m going to need to bring if I were to meet with you to discuss my expungement. What’s all the information I might need to gather and who am I going to gather it from?
Brett Hollett: We can help that individual look up a lot of the information they’ll need to file the petition. The only thing they would need to do is have an idea of what charge or charges they were arrested for and when and what they were attempting to get expunged, but we could find all the specifics about each case for them or help them find the specifics about each case and then put that together and collect the certified records from the different places to put the petition together for them.
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