Expungement of Record

Definition - What does Expungement of Record mean?

An expungement of record is when the record of a criminal offense or violation is officially sealed so that it does not show up on a person's criminal record. Rules for expungement of criminal offenses vary widely between states, both in procedure and which types of crimes are eligible for expungement proceedings. If a criminal offense has been officially expunged, it will not show up on a background check and the person is legally allowed to answer "no" when asked if they have been convicted/charged of that specific crime.

WorkplaceTesting explains Expungement of Record

Expungement of record is a way for the courts to remove some of the after effects of a criminal conviction. This is often done when a small offense far in the past is drastically affecting the life of a person with no further criminal offenses. For example, if someone is consistently unable to find employment because of a petty theft over a decade earlier where all sentenced punishments have long been completed.

Expungement of record processing varies widely as it is a state issue but one expunged, crimes do not show on background checks and the expunged crime does not need to be disclosed to an employer or landlord in any way. Most states only allow expungement of minor crimes and it is important for employers to be aware that they can not legally ask an employee, or job applicant, if they have had a record expunged.

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