Requirements For Getting A Record Sealed
There are a number of reasons why you might want to get your record sealed. An arrest record, even if the charges were dismissed or you were found not guilty, can still create a stigma that follows you around from place-to-place. If you're finding that a conviction in your past is making it hard for you to get a job, secure a loan or find a place to live, sealing your record can provide a solution and give you a clean slate.
The requirements for getting your record sealed generally vary from state to state, but here are some general requirements that you usually must meet in order to get a record sealed:
Requirements for Getting a Juvenile Record Sealed
For your juvenile record to be sealed, you usually must be at least 18 when you petition for sealing a criminal record, or five years must have elapsed since you served your penalty or probation term. You usually will have to have had only one offense or a few minor offenses and you cannot have committed any other criminal acts between the time of your juvenile offense or offenses and the time you petition to seal the record. Traffic and parking violations can usually not be sealed.
Requirements for Getting an Adult Criminal Record Sealed
It may be possible to get your adult criminal record sealed if you have only one conviction, or multiple convictions stemming from the same offense which was your first offense. Usually first and second degree felonies and any crimes involving children or the elderly as well as any sex or drug offenses cannot be sealed, although a felony drug offense can sometimes be reduced to a misdemeanor. There will typically be a waiting period of several years before you can apply to seal your record, a period which will be longer for a felony than for a misdemeanor.
State by State Requirements for Sealing Criminal Records
The requirements listed above are some basic eligibility requirements, but whether or not one qualifies to seal a record or have a record expunged will be different in each state. Some states will only expunge or seal dismissals or not guilty verdicts, while others may have broader interpretations of which felonies can be sealed. If you are thinking about trying to have your criminal record sealed, the easiest thing for you to do would be to go to a site like ClearUpMyRecord.com.com and take the free eligibility check. This will allow you to find out almost instantly if you are eligible to have your record sealed in your particular state. If you wish to continue, you can then have them provide you with exactly the forms you need and instructions on how to fulfill all the requirements for having your record sealed.
Just filling out the forms and sending them to the agency where you are directed will not result in having your record sealed. However, it will allow a judge to hear your case and decide whether it is appropriate to seal your record. You may have to appear in court to defend your petition. If successful, you record will be sealed and no one will be able to access your conviction record without a court order. Furthermore, you will be able to say that you have never been convicted of a crime and anyone checking into this will be told that the state has no record of you having been convicted of a crime.
Top 10 Reasons
- 1. Employment
- 2. Education
- 3. Housing
- 4. Loans
- 5. Licensing
- 6. Insurance
- 7. Firearm Rights
- 8. Federal Assistance
- 9. Adoption
- 10. Volunteering
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