There are ways in which a person can have arrests and criminal charges removed from their criminal records if he/she meets certain eligibility requirements. The process of removing an arrest or criminal charges from a person’s record is referred to as “expunction” or “sealing”. Not everyone is eligible for expunction/sealing, but those who are should always consider working with a criminal defense attorney so that their criminal records can be cleared. By petitioning for expunction/sealing, people can move forward with their lives and leave their mistakes in the past.
After a person has been arrested for a crime, a record of his/her arrest will always exist, even if he/she was not formally charged with a criminal offense. The same holds true if a person was charged with a crime and his/her case was dismissed or he/she was found “not guilty”. All arrests and charges are noted on a person’s criminal record and will remain on his/her record indefinitely.
Many people are not aware of the consequences that are associated with having negative marks on their criminal records. Criminal records are accessible to the public, which means any person has access to another person’s arrest history and criminal background. This information is usually screened when a person applies for a job, housing, or even college, and can place limits on the person’s future quality of life.