How To Expunge A Criminal Record

A criminal record can have serious consequences, even if you are not arrested or convicted. A record can affect employment, rental applications, and credit. However, most states offer a process for being removed from a criminal record. After a certain amount of time, some states may allow a criminal arrest record to be removed. The barriers are also there to create spaces where people can move on with their lives and become productive citizens. Even in the age of the Internet, various legal and online reputation methods allow you to expunge a criminal record and clean your online image. The next part of this article explores many of these methods and how you can use them to get the results you want.

Can an expunged criminal arrest record show up in an online search?

Many factors affect the process, but police departments and some licensing boards may still trace the records. For instance, the Internet can give a Google search the power to identify your unflattering mugshot on the first search page of your name. Fortunately, several reputable online companies provide a quick and efficient mugshot removal service.

If you’re interested in learning more about the expungement process, here’s another example:

Mike Jones is convicted in 2016 for felony theft in Texas. He is sentenced to 12 months in jail, plus three years probation. The person goes to jail in 2016 and is done with it. However, the state allows expungement for theft convictions five years after the person has been through the sentence if the person doesn’t re-offend during those five years. This means that come 2025, John will be able to petition the Texas Court for expungement of his 2016 conviction.

What Does Expungement Mean?

Expungement is the process of sealing the record of a criminal conviction. In most states, people can have their criminal records and convictions erased from their official files. However, some states have more strict laws which allow only certain people to have their criminal records and convictions expunged and others allow more people for most offenses.

Suppose that Mike Jones has a minor brush with the law when he was 21. He was convicted of the crime, but the conviction was later expunged. Mike is now eligible for a job, and he can honestly answer the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense?” with an answer of No!


People seeking a fresh start often begin the process of expungement by researching the available procedures in the jurisdiction to which they want to apply. If you are looking to expunge a criminal record, you want to start by checking if the agency that handled your arrest is still in operation. They will have a record of your case and have the ability to help you expunge the case. Keep in mind a jurisdiction may allow expungement of arrests and misdemeanor convictions, but draw the line when it comes to felony convictions. Certain states may only expunge records after the person is finished serving their sentence, including their probation period. If a judge were presented with a valid argument for shortening a probation period, he or she may rule on expunging the record.

How Does The Process Work?

The process of getting a criminal record sealed or “expunged” has become much easier in recent years. A person must file a form (usually called a petition) asking a court to seal or “expunge” his or her criminal record. The process of sealing or expunging criminal arrest records in some states is called Motion for Expungement. While some states prefer the more formal term dismissal, set aside, expunction, sealing, etc. The filing fees vary (some states require that the fee be paid by the petitioner, while others require the state to pay it) and can be in the ballpark of several hundred dollars, but some states offer a reduced fee for petitioners who can demonstrate financial difficulties. The filing fees are not usually recoverable through legal action.

Drug Offenses

People often receive more lenient sentences for drug crimes and juvenile offenders when they are sentenced to more lenient sentences. Many jurisdictions also facilitate the expungement of these sentences. Individuals falling under the first category who are interested in expunging criminal records are eligible for several programs, typically offering sealing of records after completion. A juvenile with good conduct records as an adult may benefit from full record clearance once he reaches the age of 18. With a rise in misdemeanor convictions, many states have expanded their laws on expunging criminal records. Fortunately, there are professionals to help navigate the latest state expungements.

What About Your Online Information

Your online presence is becoming more important with the increasing popularity of social media. Here are some important things to consider when creating your online presence. Our online monitoring system will monitor all aspects of your online presence and will ensure that everything related to your arrest is removed from the top 45+ data aggregators.

Automatic Expungements

In 1980, Pennsylvania became the first state to automatically expungement procedures for certain cases. Between 1980 and 2015, 39 states made the process automatic for certain cases. In 2019, California and Utah followed with similar laws. We can work together to decide on the best course of action to erase any arrests record from the Internet and give you a fresh start. We can remove mugshots, negative posts, and negative content.