Does a Criminal Record Stay With You Forever?

If you’re convicted of a crime, does it stay on your record forever? Here’s what you need to know.

Does a Criminal Record Stay With You Forever?

When you’re convicted of a crime, you get a criminal record. But how long does it stay with you, and can it come back to haunt you in the future?

The fact is that even when you’re arrested, you get a criminal record. And that criminal record stays with you for the rest of your life unless you do something about it. You have two options when it comes to doing something about it: expungement and sealing.

Related: How long do you have to wait to seal your criminal record?

About Expungement

Criminal record expungement clears your criminal record forever. When a judge approves your expungement petition, the court sends an order to all the agencies that have records for you. The order tells those agencies to destroy your records or return them to you.

About Sealing

Criminal record sealing closes your record off from the general public. If your record is sealed, only people working in an official capacity for the court system – such as judges, court officials, and police and other law enforcement professionals – can see it. Some employers, such as those that conduct fingerprint-based background checks, can also see it.

Related: Do you have to tell USCIS about your criminal record for immigration purposes?

Can You Clear Your Entire Criminal Record?

In some cases, it’s possible to clear an entire criminal record. However, there are some records that aren’t eligible for expungement or sealing. Typically, you can’t seal or expunge any violent crimes, sex offenses, and a handful of other offenses.

If you think you have arrests or offenses that may qualify for criminal record clearing, your best bet is to talk to an expungement or sealing attorney. Your attorney can look at your entire criminal record and help determine what’s eligible for clearing.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Expungement or Sealing?

If you’re tired of your criminal past coming back to bite you, we may be able to help. Call us right now at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below so we can talk about your case.

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