Record Sealing and Expungement. How Do They Differ?
Having your name on the criminal record can be life-altering. Whether your case was dropped or was not found guilty, you could still appear when someone searches on these records. The bad thing about it is that you may find trouble taking specific jobs and school, and some of your rights may be revoked. After dealing with a criminal case, the best way is to have it expunged or sealed. There is a big difference between expungement and record sealing, and we will briefly discuss the two to help you differentiate them.
The Main Difference Between Record Sealing and Expungement
A criminal record hinders you from getting jobs or even a simple lease. Even if you are acquitted, your history of arrest will remain. The good thing is that you may hire a lawyer for record sealing Las Vegas such that nobody can look at the events in your life unless they have an order from the court. However, with record sealing, your criminal record remains. On the other hand, expungement involves removing history entirely. However, expungement differs with states and types of crimes.
What is Record Sealing?
Immediately after arrest and the police have taken your fingerprints and details, your name goes to the criminal record. This information is available to the public. The record carries the information about your case from the time you were arrested to the conclusion. When you choose record sealing, your details do not go away. However, they are unavailable to the public and only accessible to specific individuals or through the court.
Sealing your record includes submitting a request to the clerk from the court where your case was concluded. If you request the concealing of multiple cases, you will need to submit the requests to the subsequent courts. It is crucial to use a lawyer’s expertise to ensure you do it the right way and your details are concealed from the public.
Sealing your record is crucial to enhance your chances of getting employed or clearing your name. as long as your record is sealed, you can deny any criminal charges as long as the question is not under court order.
What is Expungement?
Just like record sealing, expungement involves the removal of your details on criminal records. However, while sealing is temporary and accessible through a court order, expungement ensures the complete removal of your records. In short, your case will be treated like it did not happen in the first place. The history of your arrest and conviction will be eliminated such that no one can find your details on the criminal records. With an expungement, you can comfortably answer “no” to a question regarding whether you have been criminally convicted before.
The tricky thing about expungement is that there are laws surrounding it and these laws are specific in every state. Some states would allow expungement if your case was dismissed before conviction. Others might allow you to delete after you are convicted but only for specific crimes.
If you seek expungement, it is crucial to confirm if you qualify. The criteria for qualification are as follows.
- Ample time since the conclusion of your case
- Little or no criminal history
- Completion of terms like probation, parole, or sentence
- No additional crimes after the case
The process of expungement is different from sealing. While you may only need to submit a request for sealing to the county clerk, you may need to go a bit further with expungement. You must file a petition for every case in the court where prosecution happened. The judge will then review the petition to see if you meet the requirements.
Contact a Lawyer for Record Sealing in Las Vegas
You can seek record sealing for crimes that did not end with conviction or juvenile cases. However, the process can be tedious and complicated, and you might not know if you qualify. Hire a lawyer to help you with sealing your criminal records such that they will be inaccessible to the public. The professional will examine the case and determine if you are eligible for sealing or expungement. Since it is a commonplace for prosecutors to object, you might be disadvantaged if you do not have legal representation to make legal arguments on why your case should be sealed or expunged. Therefore, ensure you have an experienced lawyer by your side.