Expunging Criminal Records

Web sites and other resources that provide assistance on expunging, sealing or clearing criminal records.

Please note we make no recommendation about any of these sites or the companies mentioned.

These sites are listed for your convenience only.

Hard2Hire.org

ClearMyRecord.com

http://www.recordgone.com/

In the case of expungement in some states, the court will report that there are no records “due to expungement.” Of course this statement at least informs you that there was once a record.

However it becomes illegal to attempt to determine what the record was for originally. As a result, the following thirteen states explicitly prohibit the consideration of expunged or sealed records:

California
Colorado
Connecticut

Florida (There are some exceptions.)
Hawaii
Illinois
Kansas
Ohio
(Employers are prohibited from inquiring about job applicants’ juvenile arrest records that have been expunged.)
Oklahoma
Oregon (Employers cannot refuse to hire based upon a juvenile record that has been expunged.)
Rhode Island
Texas
Virginia

There are a few additional states that, while not explicitly prohibiting employers from reviewing the records, do allow job applicants to “lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge” sealed or expunged records. It is possible, and in some cases likely, that an employer who refuses employment based on expunged records would be challenged in court. Most CRAs or Employment Screening Vendors will suppress notations regarding sealed or expunged records to limit your liability in these cases.

 
 
Brian Poe, founder and CEO of ClearMyRecord.com, said the use of background checks to disqualify job candidates and dismiss current employees has become so widespread that it may be time for Congress to enact a Fair Criminal Record Reporting Act.

“A criminal record shouldn’t be a life sentence,” Poe told us. But with electronic databases that now routinely reach back to the sixties and even earlier, “something you did 20 years ago will hurt you today,” he adds.

Poe founded ClearMyRecord.com in 1999 to help individuals remove or seal criminal and arrest records and get mention of them removed from electronic databases. The site won’t help people whose arrest involved a sex charge or a minor, but it has helped thousands of others, including, the company reports, one person who won a presidential pardon this year.

Poe says his clients aren’t hardcore or career criminals, since states won’t permit them to clean their records. Most, he said, are minor offenders who made a mistake.

Typical, said Poe, is the case of a former police officer who was arrested for writing bad checks 18 years ago during a nasty divorce. The arrest has prevented the man’s hiring by other departments despite a clean record and steady employment in private security.

In another case, a career postal worker was fired after a periodic background check turned up his 1962 conviction for assault in connection with a Texas bar brawl.

It doesn’t take a felony or even a conviction to give someone a record. “These companies,” Poe said, referring to database firms that buy criminal and arrest records directly from the nation’s 50 states and 3,100 counties, “get all the records then resell them to smaller companies. Employers use these services and don’t (distinguish between) an arrest or a conviction.”

Because ClearMyRecord can’t help everyone convicted of a crime, Poe started Hard2Hire.org as a non-profit job service for ex-offenders. Since launching in June the site has grown to about 2,000 weekly visitors and, says Poe, several companies have agreed to consider hiring ex-offenders.

Poe explains that many companies with blanket policies against hiring ex-offenders may be willing to modify them in certain cases. “We go straight to employers and ask them about their policy,” he said, describing a give-and-take in which he’ll search for the threshold — say a 5- or 10-year-old property crime and clean record since — where a company might relent.

“We see this all the time,” Poe said, “where an old conviction is holding someone back. We need a Fair Criminal Record Reporting Act like the Fair Credit Reporting Act to keep one mistake from being a life sentence.”

oyees has become so widespread that it may be time for Congress to enact a Fair Criminal Record Reporting Act.

“A criminal record shouldn’t be a life sentence,” Poe told us. But with electronic databases that now routinely reach back to the sixties and even earlier, “something you did 20 years ago will hurt you today,” he adds.

Poe founded ClearMyRecord.com in 1999 to help individuals remove or seal criminal and arrest records and get mention of them removed from electronic databases. The site won’t help people whose arrest involved a sex charge or a minor, but it has helped thousands of others, including, the company reports, one person who won a presidential pardon this year.

Poe says his clients aren’t hardcore or career criminals, since states won’t permit them to clean their records. Most, he said, are minor offenders who made a mistake.

Typical, said Poe, is the case of a former police officer who was arrested for writing bad checks 18 years ago during a nasty divorce. The arrest has prevented the man’s hiring by other departments despite a clean record and steady employment in private security.

In another case, a career postal worker was fired after a periodic background check turned up his 1962 conviction for assault in connection with a Texas bar brawl.

It doesn’t take a felony or even a conviction to give someone a record. “These companies,” Poe said, referring to database firms that buy criminal and arrest records directly from the nation’s 50 states and 3,100 counties, “get all the records then resell them to smaller companies. Employers use these services and don’t (distinguish between) an arrest or a conviction.”

Because ClearMyRecord can’t help everyone convicted of a crime, Poe started Hard2Hire.org as a non-profit job service for ex-offenders. Since launching in June the site has grown to about 2,000 weekly visitors and, says Poe, several companies have agreed to consider hiring ex-offenders.

Poe explains that many companies with blanket policies against hiring ex-offenders may be willing to modify them in certain cases. “We go straight to employers and ask them about their policy,” he said, describing a give-and-take in which he’ll search for the threshold — say a 5- or 10-year-old property crime and clean record since — where a company might relent.

“We see this all the time,” Poe said, “where an old conviction is holding someone back. We need a Fair Criminal Record Reporting Act like the Fair Credit Reporting Act to keep one mistake from being a life sentence.”

Below you will find state-specific information on criminal records and expungement (where available online), from sources such as state judiciaries, attorneys general, and state police agencies.

 
Alabama Computerized Criminal History System (Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center)
Criminal Information Center (Alabama Department of Public Safety)
Alaska Criminal Records FAQs (Alaska Department of Public Safety)
Request to Seal Criminal Justice Information [PDF file} (Alaska Department of Public Safety)
Arizona Criminal History Records (State of Arizona - Department of Public Safety)
Criminal History FAQs (State of Arizona - Department of Public Safety)
Arkansas Criminal Background Check (Arkansas State Police)
California Clean Up Your Criminal Record (California Courts Self-Help Center)
Petition and Order for Expungement [PDF file] (California Courts Self-Help Center)
Colorado Sealing Adult Criminal Records [PDF file] (Colorado Judicial Branch)
Forms: Sealing of Criminal Records (Colorado Judicial Branch)
Connecticut Connecticut Law About Criminal Records (Connecticut Judicial Branch)
Erasure of Criminal Records (CT Statute) (Connecticut General Statutes)
Delaware Expungement of Criminal Records (Delaware Code)
District of Columbia  
Florida Seal and Expunge Process (Florida Department of Law Enforcement)
Obtaining Criminal History Information (Florida Department of Law Enforcement)
Georgia Obtaining Criminal History Record Information (Georgia Bureau of Investigation)
Hawaii Expungements (Hawaii Attorney General)
Idaho Criminal History Information (Idaho State Police)
Illinois Expungement Information (Office of the State Appellate Defender )
Expungement: General Guidelines [PDF file] (Illinois Attorney General)
Indiana Limited Criminal History Search (Indiana State Police)
Iowa Criminal History Records (Iowa Department of Public Safety)
Kansas Criminal History Record Check (Kansas Bureau of Investigation)
Frequent Questions: Criminal History (Kansas Bureau of Investigation)
Kentucky Petition/Motion for Expungement [PDF file] (Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Justice)
Background Check Forms (Kentucky State Police)
Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information (Louisiana State Police)
Maine Criminal History Records Requests (Maine Courts)
Maryland Expungement (District Court of Maryland)
Massachusetts Requests to Seal Files (General Laws of Massachusetts Ch. 276:100A)
Sealing, Expungements, and Pardons (Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries)
Criminal Records FAQs (Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries)
Michigan Getting an Adult Criminal Conviction Removed (Michigan Courts)
Application to Set Aside Conviction [PDF file] (Michigan Courts)
Minnesota What is Criminal Expungement? (Minnesota Judicial Branch)
Forms: Expungement of a Criminal Record (Minnesota Judicial Branch)
Mississippi  
Missouri Expungement of Arrest Records (Missouri Courts)
Petition for Expungement of Arrest Records [PDF file] (Missouri Courts)
Montana Background Checks (Montana Department of Justice)
Nebraska Criminal History Reports (Nebraska State Patrol)
Nevada Sealing Records After Conviction, etc. (Nevada Revised Statutes)
Sealing Nevada Criminal History Records [PDF file] (State of Nevada)
New Hampshire Criminal Records FAQs (New Hampshire Department of Safety)
New Jersey How to Expunge Your Criminal Record [PDF file] (New Jersey Judiciary)
New Mexico New Mexico State Central Repository for Criminal History (New Mexico Department of Public Safety)
New York Personal Criminal History Record Review Program (New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services)
North Carolina North Carolina Offender Information (North Carolina Department of Correction)
North Dakota Criminal History Record Information (North Dakota Attorney General)
Ohio Criminal Justice Information System (Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services)
Oklahoma Expungement Questions (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation)
Criminal History FAQs (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation)
Oregon How Do I Clear My Juvenile or Criminal Record? (Oregon Courts)
Clearing Your Record (Oregon State Bar )
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (State of Pennsylvania)
Rhode Island Expungement Information (Judiciary of Rhode Island)
South Carolina State Criminal Records Check (State of South Carolina)
South Dakota Computerized Criminal History System (South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation)
Tennessee Order for the Expungement of Criminal Offender Record [PDF file] (Tennessee Supreme Court)
Texas Crime Records Service (Texas Department of Public Safety)
Utah Expunging a Record (Utah Courts)
Vermont Criminal History Records Repository (Vermont Criminal Information Center)
Virginia Instructions for Petition for Expungement [PDF file] (Virginia Courts)
Washington Criminal History and Criminal Records (Washington Courts)
Criminal History Records (Washington State Patrol)
West Virginia  
Wisconsin Pardons, Etc.[includes links to expungement information] (Wisconsin State Law Library)
Wyoming Criminal History Checks (Wyoming Attorney General)

 

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