Expungement, Record Sealing and Record Clearing
Expungement, record sealing or record clearing all mean the same thing: to erase or seal a criminal record as if it never existed. Expunction is available in several circumstances.
Arrest Without Conviction
If a person was arrested but not convicted, the arrest is still of record. This is true whether the arrest was for a felony or misdemeanor charge. Where a person pled guilty, the court accepted the plea but declined to adjudicate the person guilty, the arrest and guilty plea still remains. Arrests without a conviction, non-adjudications or deferred adjudications are eligible for expunction and the public record of the arrest and guilty plea can be sealed. Also, cases referred to pretrial diversion are eligible for expungement of the arrest. Drug court guilty pleas and probation may also be eligible for expungement depending on several factors.
Many misdemeanor convictions are eligible for expungement. Several different expungement statutes may apply depending on the nature of the charge and the court hearing the charge. Special rules apply to youthful offenders. Many adult misdemeanor convictions are eligible for expungement.
Records of certain felony convictions may be sealed and expunged. Public records of the arrest from the police department, jail and court can be sealed and cleared. Even government computer entries from the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC), the Interstate Identification Index (III) and FBI rap sheet (criminal history record) can be erased and sealed. Special rules may apply depending on the type of conviction.
We have helped clients expunge and seal arrest and conviction records to give them peace of mind in many situations.
- When family and friends ask about the past;
- For background checks to obtain or continue employment;
- Professional or technical licenses including periodic re-certification;
- Educational institutions, particularly for those in a professional degree program;
- Security clearance and military careers; and
- Gun and Firearm ownership.
If you would like to discuss expungement of your arrest or conviction, please call with the details of the arrest today.