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Depending on the conviction and the amount of time that has passed, you may be eligible to expunge your criminal record. Having a criminal record expunged means that the record will be permanently destroyed so that it's no longer accessible by the court or any other state, municipal, or county agencies.

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It's not the same as having a record sealed. Find out who's eligible to have a record expunged and how to request to expunge your record. If you are not eligible for expungement, you may be able to seal or correct your criminal record.

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If you would like to continue helping us improve Mass. Massachusetts Probation Service. District Court. Boston Municipal Court. Juvenile Court. Send your letter, along with the certified copy of the corrected judgment, to: John Fromson Field Operations Department of Corrections P. The FBI keeps a list of all of your arrests and convictions in the United States no matter what state they were in.

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You can call the FBI at for specific questions about getting your record, but they will not send your record without a written request. All of the information in your FBI record was provided by other local, state, and federal agencies. Therefore, in order to correct information on your FBI record, you must contact the agency that originally gave the information to the FBI. A significant number of private companies now provide criminal background checks for a fee.

Many of these sources are available on the Internet. The procedures to correct private company records vary from company to company, so you will need to contact the company directly.


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Usually private company records are based on state and local records, so you may need to correct those records first. If criminal record information provided by a private company is inaccurate, you may have a legal claim against the company under the Fair Credit Reporting Act or other laws. Please consult an attorney. Records from your local police department or local court usually only include information about local offenses. These records sometimes include information about minor offenses that may or may not be on your Michigan State Police record. Check with your local court or police department about how to get and correct your criminal record.

In some areas, your criminal record may be available on the Internet.

What Is Expungement?

In other areas, you may need to go to the court or police station to get your record. In cases where no fingerprints were taken such as minor traffic offenses , it can be very difficult to prove that a conviction does not belong to you. You may need to file a motion to correct or seal the record. If you need assistance in correcting your record, contact an attorney.

Virginia State Police - CJIS Criminal Record Checks

Here's what to expect. Expungement can also be available in cases where:.

Usually you need to wait for at least five years before applying for expungement of a conviction. Additionally, if you were convicted of a crime as a juvenile, you can apply for expungement of your juvenile convictions once you have turned Generally, felony charges are not eligible for expungement, especially felonies that involve sexual crimes. Generally, having criminal charges expunged requires that you file specific paperwork with the court.


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  • It is not an automatic process, and each state has a specific method to follow when it comes to removing charges from your record. In most states, you will need to file a motion with the court to request your record be expunged. Once the motion has been filed, the court will investigate your criminal background to determine whether you qualify for expungement.

    Most of the time, there is a hearing to determine eligibility for expungement. In some instances, you may be summoned to court, which means that the court requires you to make an appearance. If your presence is required by the court, you may want to contact a criminal lawyer to appear with you at the hearing. After the criminal records have been expunged, an arrest or criminal conviction does not need to be disclosed by the defendant. Eligibility for expungement depends on a variety of factors, depending on where you live.


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    However, some states do not allow for the expungement of criminal records at all, even if you do have several factors that may weigh in your favor. Offenses involving child pornography , sexual crimes, or felonies where the victim is younger than 18 years old are usually not eligible for expungement. Even if a felony conviction is expunged, the court may consider the expunged convictions during sentencing if you are convicted of a new offense.

    Even though you do not have to disclose expunged offenses on most job applications, this rule does not apply if you are applying for certain jobs. Jobs that require a high level of security or involve issues of national security will require you to disclose even expunged convictions.