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Sealing Criminal Records vs. Expungement: What’s the Difference? 

If you or someone you know has been convicted of a crime, it can be difficult to move on with your life. A criminal record can follow you for years and make it hard to find a job, get an apartment, or even do simple things like rent a car. Thankfully, there are ways to seal or expunge your criminal record. But what is the difference between sealing and expunging? Let’s take a look at these two processes and how they differ. 

Sealing a Criminal Record

Sealing a criminal record means that it will no longer appear in any public records searches. While other parties may still have access to the information (such as law enforcement agencies), the general public will not be able to view it. The process for sealing a criminal record varies by state, but typically involves filing paperwork with the court and/or requesting that the court seal your records. It is important to note that sealing does not remove the conviction from your record, it simply hides it from public view. 

Expungement of a Criminal Record

In contrast, expungement is actually erasing parts of your criminal record from public view entirely. Expunging your criminal record means that all evidence of the crime is removed from the official records permanently, including police reports and court documents. Expungement also involves filing paperwork with the court and/or requesting that the court erase certain parts of your criminal history from their records. In some cases, you may need to attend a hearing to explain why you are seeking an expungement before it can be granted by the court. 

How to Get My Criminal Record Sealed or Expunged?

In order to have your criminal record sealed or expunged, you will most likely need legal help from a lawyer or attorney with experience in this field. They will be able to assess your situation and guide you through the steps necessary for either sealed or expungement, depending on what works best for your situation. It is also important to understand that not all cases may qualify for an expungement.

Knowing if your criminal record can be sealed or expunged is an important factor to consider when managing the consequences of a conviction. Determining whether you are eligible for either process varies depending on state laws and any prior convictions. It is therefore important to consult a lawyer or attorney knowledgeable in these matters. Remember that sealed records can still usually be viewed by government agencies, and becoming informed on the details of sealed and expunged records is key in understanding which route would best fit your needs.

Sealing and expunging criminal records can help those who have been convicted of crimes move past their mistakes and start fresh with their lives without worrying about being judged based on their past mistakes. Knowing how each process works can help you decide which one is right for your situation so that you can begin taking steps towards reclaiming control of your life and future prospects today! Contact the Law Offices Of Jonathan Minkus for a consultation, and we can help with sealing or expunging your criminal record.

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