Can You Get Your Record Sealed After a Conviction?

If you have previously been convicted of a crime and have since served your time or otherwise completed the terms of your sentence, you may still be dealing with the consequences your conviction has had on your life. 

In order to truly put the past in the past, it may be in your best interest to have your record expunged so your conviction will no longer be seen on your background check. Continue reading to learn more about what it takes to obtain an expunction and some reasons why expungement may not be available in your case. 

Requirements for a Record Expunction

The laws for having your record sealed will vary on a state by state basis. According to one expungement attorney in Tampa, for example, in Florida, in order to have your record expunged, you can’t have any prior expunctions, and the crime you were convicted of must not have been violent. 

Other states may have more or less stringent requirements for convicts who are interested in sealing their records. It is also possible to get your record expunged if you were never convicted but your record reflects your arrest for the crime in question. 

When You Won’t Qualify for an Expungement

The items that will disqualify you for an expungement are often greater than those that allow for expungement. First, if you are convicted of a felony or a drunk driving charge, chances are, you will automatically be ineligible for expunction. Crimes that may be unable to be expunged include:

  • Homicide
  • Manslaughter
  • Domestic violence
  • Aggravated assault
  • White-collar crimes
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Burglary

As previously mentioned, the laws vary by state, but in many cases, victims of human-trafficking who have prior convictions for solicitation or prostitution, for instance, may still qualify for a record expungement, despite their conviction. 

It is also worth noting that juveniles who have been convicted of a crime may have their record sealed once they reach a certain age, usually between 18 and 25, depending on what they were convicted of. 

When you want to start fresh after being convicted of a crime, you may be able to get your record sealed so you can move forward with your life. After the mandatory waiting period has passed in your state, if you are eligible for an expunction, your record could be sealed in as little as a couple of months, or as much as a year. 


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