Are Expunged Records Visible to the Public?

Citizens can get their criminal records expunged or removed by filing a petition in the court. There are different criteria for filing a petition to seal or remove criminal records in every state. For instance, in Florida, a ‘Certificate of Eligibilityfrom the Florida Department of Law Enforcement needs to be submitted before filing a petition to expunge a record in the court.

Expunged records provide a second chance for individuals. Offenses may be small or serious, but some states recently have made an effort to let certain individuals reclaim their lives. In Colorado for instances, a new law permits drug convictions to be sealed, of course, preceded by some strict terms and conditions. With a step in the right direction, upstanding individuals are being given another chance.

Once the court gives its nod to expunge records of your case file, it will not permit anybody to access the file without its due permission. So, who can see expunged records? Laws and statutes vary in every state and so is the method by which your record that has been expunged. Many people are also concerned whether their record even after being expunged, will be seen by other people or not. The answer is no. Expunging a record entails erasing of the document or in some states, ‘hiding’ the record from public view which means the judge will cast away or set aside a judgement. Only the law enforcement department and a few government bodies will have access to your expunged records.

So the next question arises: do expunged records show up anywhere? These records will be visible to a limited body of people, the legal fraternity. But a New York court does not erase or take the convictions off your records. The only option is to get those cases ‘sealed.’

According to Georgia’s law, when you go for a job interview, you have to declare that you were convicted even if you got it expunged. Otherwise, you may run the risk of losing the job because your conviction may appear on a background check done by your potential employers. Each state has different laws even on the visibility of expunged records. So it is better to check your state’s expungement laws. Find out whether you have to declare your criminal records or not.

How does one go about expunging a misdemeanor or  felony?

You may have been charged with misdemeanor on counts like driving under the influence (DUI) or a disorderly conduct. These charges also remain on your criminal records forever. All states have different laws on misdemeanor convictions. For example, in some states, if you are charged with one misdemeanor, you stand a better chance at getting a clean chit, while for the same charge, another state might ‘set aside the verdict’ or ‘seal records’ of your misdemeanor.

To expunge felony record, every state follows different policies’. While some do not have any provisions for expunging criminal records, others permit only those with one arrest in their records to apply. At times there may be a parole period defined by the state following which, they can apply.

About Angela

Hello, Cyber world! I currently work as the Web Content Editor for the Expunge Center page and through my whole life writing and blogging has been in my Top priorities.

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