• In general, the sealing of legal records is called expungement, but different states may have different definitions. Although expungement restricts public access to legal records, law enforcement agencies may be allowed to gain access.


    People with criminal records apply for expungement because they face difficulty in finding jobs, buying or leasing houses, or attaining professional licenses. The expungement process can take at least four months.


    Each state has its own conditions for allowing expungement of an individual's court record, which may include: a time limit, no subsequent arrests, dismissal of case, and acquittal.


    Depending on state laws, a person may be allowed expungement of all criminal records (from detection to detention) filed at courts, detention centers, and law enforcement agencies.


    After you have your legal record expunged, you may claim that you have no criminal record (related to that particular incident). However, the federal government may gain access to your expunged record.

    Statute of Limitations

    There is no statute of limitations on the automatic expungement of arrest and conviction records. You have to complete a written application, which may be denied if you don't fulfill the conditions.


    Basics on Criminal Expungement

    Criminal Law: Expungement FAQ

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