Expungement Eligibility


You Are Here: Criminal Background Checks > Background Check How-To > Criminal Record Expungement Guide > Who is Eligible for a Criminal Record Expungement?

Each state differs and will have different requirement for the sealing of criminal or traffic records so you should review the State Statutes and Laws governing records relief. It depends on whether there was a criminal conviction, or the criminal charge was dismissed or there was a finding of not guilty. In any case, a person does not qualify for expungement if criminal proceedings are pending against the person. Expungements are considered an act of generosity and fairness by the state or federal government. Petitioners demonstrate eligibility by showing that they have been law abiding citizens since the conviction. Showing that they are part of, and/or provider of a stable family, remaining employed, and being a productive member of society can also enhance your eligibility.

What is a Conviction?

Any finding of guilt which results in probation, conditional discharge, fine, time served or sentence of incarceration.

What is not a Conviction?

Supervision, nolle prosequi (NP), stricken off with leave to reinstate (SOL), no probable cause found (FNPC), dismissed or not guilty.

Arrests Not Resulting in a Conviction If a person has been arrested for crimes and then found not guilty, the case is dismissed, not prosecuted or discharged without conviction that person may apply for a petition for expungement any time thereafter. If charges have been dismissed after supervisory treatment then you are usually eligible six months after such treatment and upon application for expungement.

Typically if your record has been expunged you will get a response in the mail from the court, arresting authority and/or the state police.


Previous: Understanding Expungement

Next: Federal Pardons