What is Expungement?

An arrest, even if you are not convicted of the crime, is a public record and will show up on any background check. Unless you have your record expunged or sealed, anyone can see that you have a criminal record. Almost every state allows people to expunge or seal one arrest or conviction from their records. This means that your arrest or conviction record will be destroyed or sealed from the state or Federal repository, making it unavailable to the general public, employers and background check agencies.

Once your record is expunged or sealed, in most circumstances, you are not required to acknowledge the existence of that record during job interviews, on job applications, housing applications or government assistance applications.

Why you might consider expunging or sealing your records:

  • Applying for a new job.
  • Managing your public reputation online.
  • Worried that family members, children or future relationships will discover your arrest.
  • Concerned that your employer or coworkers will discover your past arrest.

Sealing your records or expunging your records can provide peace of mind in these circumstances. Knowing “what is expungement” and understanding how to use it is an essential tool in managing your reputation.