• SEALING AND EXPUNGEMENT
Areas of Legal Practice: Joseph J. Pappacoda
If you have never been convicted (or adjudicated guilty) of any crime, and the present offense, or arrest that you desire to seal, or expunge is not one of the enumerated offenses that can never be sealed (such as a DUI conviction), it may be to your benefit to make application to seal, or expunge your arrest record, and court files. Basically you get one approved application in your lifetime, but it must be made before you are convicted in any offense.
Many employers routinely run criminal background checks on prospective employees. Any arrest that you have will show up in a criminal history check made by your prospective employer, and could be the reason why someone else gets hired instead of you. Even if you are arrested for an offense that is ultimately dropped, your arrest record will be seen by others, unless and until you take official measures to seal, or expunge the record. If you are never prosecuted, or your case is dropped, dismissed, or you win at trial, you can apply to have the record expunged.
If your case resulted in an adjudication withheld, you can apply to have the record sealed, which means that your arrest record will still be there, but nobody will see it, or know that it exists. In practical effect, sealing is just as good as expungement, because a prospective employer, college administrator, or any other person at large will not be able to research you and find it. Sealing or expunging arrest records will help you avoid embarrassing explanations to a variety of individuals for the rest of your life.
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