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Expunging a criminal record

Criminal record expungement

You may be able to help your job search by having your record expunged.

Expunging means sealing your record. It does NOT mean your conviction is gone. It does mean that most people can't see it.

Can I get my record expunged?

Each state has its own rules about expunging records. They look at many factors including:

  • How serious your crime was. It is unlikely you can ever expunge a serious crime involving violence or a sex offense.
  • How old you were when you were convicted
  • How long it's been since your arrest
  • Whether you completed the terms of your sentence, probation, or diversion program
  • Whether you have more than one offense on your record

Follow the steps below to find out the rules in your state.

How do I get started?

You have to apply to have your record expunged. Find out how this works in your state by selecting your state under State Resources, below. Once you select your state, look for two resources:

  1. Under Documents and Vital Records, click on Criminal Record. You'll find the website or phone number to check on your criminal record. Ask or look for information about expunging or sealing your record.
  2. Under Legal Assistance you might see a link or phone number for free or low-cost legal help. You may need a lawyer to help you get your record expunged, so check with this group to see if they offer this service.
Find State Resources
Find State Resources