The costs of hiring an attorney for an expungement filing can vary a great deal. The range can be anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to $20,000, depending on:
- How many convictions/arrests are you attempting to have expunged, and how severe those crimes are.
- The jurisdiction where the original arrest took place.
- How long has it been since the arrest or conviction?
- What is on your criminal record?
Before you hire an attorney for the expungement:
- Make sure you know what you are getting.
- Find out if the record will be expunged or sealed because there is a big difference.
- Make sure you get the fee in writing before you sign a contract.
There are always court and administrative fees involved, so clarify if those fees are included in the attorney costs.
Can You File an Expungement Without a Lawyer?
You don’t actually have to hire a lawyer to file an expungement. You can try to do it yourself. There are plenty of sources online that can help you through the process. If you don’t hire an expungement attorney, you can expect to pay around $400 in filing and court fees. If you’re having a hard time coming up with $400 for the court fees, there are some states, like Indiana, that offer free expungement for qualified individuals. You can find out more by searching for “expungement attorney Indianapolis.” You can also check with the public defender’s office to see if they offer free expungements and if you qualify.
The Benefits of Expungement Attorneys
Even though it’s not necessary to hire an expungement attorney, you should consider it if you want it done properly. The expungement process can be very cumbersome, and you need to make sure that it’s done correctly. You also have to consider that it’s up to the judge to grant the expungement, and attorneys that have a good relationship with the judge will have a much better chance at success than if you try it alone.