Expungement Information by State

A criminal record can create difficult downstream consequences whether you (or your child) was arrested or convicted (or both). For example, employers and landlords commonly ask job applicants and apartment seekers whether they have ever been convicted of (or perhaps even arrested for) a criminal offense. Employers might not hire -- and landlords might not rent to -- people who answer "yes" to these questions. The good news is that, in some cases, you may be able to get an arrest or conviction expunged from your record. Read on to learn more about the expungement process.

Not all convictions can be dismissed. Expungement is limited to cases in which the defendant convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony that could have been charged as a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to county jail time, probation, a fine, or a combination of those three. Additionally, the Penal Codes permitting expungement of criminal records expressly prohibit certain types of convictions from being dismissed. Most of these exceptions involve serious vehicle code violations (those that result in two or more points on your driving record) or sexual offenses against minors. For a detailed list of exceptions see Penal Code (PC) § 1203.4 and PC § 1203.4a.
 
There are three laws used in expungement:
1.  The first, PC § 1203.4, is used to expunge cases in which probation was part of the sentence.
2.  The second, PC § 1203.4a, is used expunge cases in which there was no probation.
3.  The third, PC § 17, is used to reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor, which can then be dismissed. Felonies meeting the criteria under PC § 17 are often called "wobblers," meaning they could be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor.
 
If you received a state prison term as your sentence, or were convicted of a felony that cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor, you will need to file paperwork for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, rather than a Petition and Order for Dismissal. More information is available from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/BOPH/pardons.html.  
 
Alabama

Background Check System (Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center)

Alaska

Criminal Records FAQs (Alaska Department of Public Safety)
Request to Seal Criminal Justice Information [PDF file} (Alaska Department of Public Safety)

Arizona

Criminal History Records (State of Arizona - Department of Public Safety)
Criminal History FAQs (State of Arizona - Department of Public Safety)

Arkansas

Criminal Background Check (Arkansas State Police)

California

Clean Up Your Criminal Record (California Courts Self-Help Center)
Petition and Order for Expungement [PDF file] (California Courts Self-Help Center)

Colorado

Forms: Sealing of Criminal Records (Colorado Judicial Branch)

Connecticut

Connecticut Law About Criminal Records (Connecticut Judicial Branch)
Erasure of Criminal Records (CT Statute) (Connecticut General Statutes)

Delaware

Expungement of Criminal Records (Delaware Code)

District of Columbia

Sealing and Expungement of Records (Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia)
Criminal Record Sealing Act of 2006 [PDF file]

Florida

Seal and Expunge Process (Florida Department of Law Enforcement)
Obtaining Criminal History Information (Florida Department of Law Enforcement)

Georgia

Obtaining Criminal History Record Information (Georgia Bureau of Investigation)

Hawaii

Expungements (Hawaii Attorney General)

Idaho

Criminal History Information (Idaho State Police)

Illinois

Expungement Information (Office of the State Appellate Defender )
Expungement: General Guidelines [PDF file] (Illinois Attorney General)

Indiana

Limited Criminal History Search (Indiana State Police)

Iowa

Criminal History Records (Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Kansas

Criminal History Record Check (Kansas Bureau of Investigation)
Frequent Questions: Criminal History (Kansas Bureau of Investigation)

Kentucky

Background Check Forms (Kentucky State Police)

Louisiana

Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information (Louisiana State Police)

Maine

Criminal History Records Requests (Maine Courts)

Maryland

Expungement (District Court of Maryland)

Massachusetts

Requests to Seal Files (General Laws of Massachusetts Ch. 276:100A)
Sealing, Expungements, and Pardons (Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries)

Michigan

Getting an Adult Criminal Conviction Removed (Michigan Courts)

Minnesota

What is Criminal Expungement? (Minnesota Judicial Branch)
Forms: Expungement of a Criminal Record (Minnesota Judicial Branch)

Mississippi

Expunction (MS Statute)

Missouri

Petition for Expungement of Arrest Records [PDF file] (Missouri Courts)

Montana

Background Checks (Montana Department of Justice)

Nebraska

How to find criminal history reports in Nebraska

Nevada

Sealing Records After Conviction, etc. (Nevada Revised Statutes)
Sealing Nevada Criminal History Records [PDF file] (State of Nevada)

New Hampshire

Criminal Records FAQs (New Hampshire Department of Safety)

New Jersey

How to Expunge Your Criminal Record [PDF file] (New Jersey Judiciary)

New Mexico

New Mexico State Central Repository for Criminal History (New Mexico Department of Public Safety)

New York

Personal Criminal History Record Review Program (New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services)

North Carolina

North Carolina Offender Information (North Carolina Department of Correction)

North Dakota

Criminal History Record Information (North Dakota Attorney General)

Ohio

Criminal Justice Information System (Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services)

Oklahoma

Expungement Questions (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation)
Criminal History FAQs (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation)

Oregon

How Do I Clear My Juvenile or Criminal Record? (Oregon Courts)
Clearing Your Record (Oregon State Bar )

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (State of Pennsylvania)

Rhode Island

Criminal Information Search (Judiciary of Rhode Island)

South Carolina

State Criminal Records Check (State of South Carolina)

South Dakota

Computerized Criminal History System (South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation)

Tennessee

Order for the Expungement of Criminal Offender Record [PDF file] (Tennessee Supreme Court)

Texas

Crime Records Service (Texas Department of Public Safety)

Utah

Expunging a Record (Utah Courts)

Vermont

Expungement-Sealing-Pardon Information (Vermont Criminal Information Center)

Virginia

Instructions for Petition for Expungement [PDF file] (Virginia Courts)

Washington

Criminal History Records (Washington State Patrol)

West Virginia

Expungement of certain criminal convictions; procedures; effect (WV Statute)
Expungement of criminal record upon full and unconditional pardon (WV Statute)
Petition for Expungement of Criminal Records [PDF file]

Wisconsin

Pardons, Etc.[includes links to expungement information] (Wisconsin State Law Library)

Wyoming

Criminal History Checks (Wyoming Attorney General)

Contact Information

Record Expungement Attorney
3460 Wilshire Blvd #410
Los Angeles, CA 90010
424-286-1516

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