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What Is Record Sealing?

If you have a felony or misdemeanor conviction, or even an arrest record for a charge that was dismissed or for which you were found not guilty, you probably would be interested in removing this mark on your record. There are two main ways to remove your criminal record. One is expungement, another is to seal criminal records.

What Is Sealing Criminal Records?

In general, when you have an arrest or conviction, it appears on a public record that anyone can access. This means that this record follows you wherever you go, whether you are applying for a job, getting a credit check for a loan or finding a place to live. There are few restrictions on what services someone can choose to deny you based on your past criminal record. Having your record sealed makes it so this criminal record is inaccessible without a court order. In some cases, it may not show up at all in a check of your history, and you are legally able to deny that the event ever happened.

Is Expungement the Same As Having a Record Sealed?

Not quite. In expungement, it is like the events on record never happened, and the record may even be destroyed. When your record is sealed, it is still kept on file by the government, but no one can look at it. The difference is that if the state determines that it is a matter of public interest to unseal your records, they can be accessed if they are not expunged. Additionally, some agencies may be able to learn that you have a sealed record, even if they cannot access it, while if your record is expunged, there is no record to know about.

What Are the Benefits of Having Your Record Sealed?

In most cases, all the obstacles created by having a criminal record will be removed, including obstacles to the above mentioned circumstances like trying to get a new job, house, or car. It may be easier to get a loan, to get into a higher education program and even to build relationships with others. Having your record sealed can give you a clean slate and make it much easier for you to get on with your life.

How Can You Have Your Record Sealed?

Each state has different rules about sealing criminal records. You'll want to start at ClearUpMyRecord.com, where the free eligibility check can help you figure out where to start. If you are eligible to have your record sealed in your state, you can have ClearUpMyRecord.com provide you with the forms you need and the instructions on how to fill them out and where to send them. After that, it's in a judge's hands, but you'll have given yourself the best chance to seal that record and move forward.

Notes on Sealing Your Record

Keep in mind that not everyone who has had a record sealed is hiding criminal activity. Birth records can be sealed so that adoptive parents cannot identify birth parents, civil cases involving trade secrets can be sealed so that those secrets cannot get out, and so forth. However, in the case of sealing criminal records, ClearUpMyRecord.com can definitely help you get and process the information you need to protect your reputation in the community.

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