What is Expunge?

The concept of 'expunge' pertains to the act of removing or deleting criminal records from the public record of an individual.

Whenever a person is apprehended, accused, or convicted of a crime, a trace of their involvement in the criminal justice system is documented and sustained by various government entities such as courts, law enforcement agencies, and others.

Expungement is the legal mechanism employed to seal or destroy a person's criminal record, effectively erasing it from the public record.

The requirements and procedures for expungement vary depending on the location but usually require the submission of a petition to the court and the demonstration that the person satisfies particular eligibility criteria such as completing a sentence or diversion program and not engaging in any further criminal activity.

Expungement can offer numerous advantages to individuals with criminal records, including greater job prospects, enhanced access to housing, and the restoration of certain rights that may have been lost due to their engagement in the criminal justice system.

Nevertheless, it is essential to recognize that expungement does not completely wipe out an individual's criminal record. In certain cases, government entities and law enforcement agencies may still be able to access the record, and the record may still be considered in certain circumstances, such as for specific job background checks or security clearances.

Expungement serves as a vital legal process that can help those with criminal records to move forward with their lives and overcome the stigma attached to having a criminal record.