Forever – that is how long a conviction will last on a criminal record. It is referred to as a “permanent” criminal record, after all. However, just because it remains on your permanent criminal record does not mean that all convictions will remain on your public record. Some convictions, and arrests that did not lead to a conviction, may be eligible for expungement or sealing. A solid criminal defense attorney can help determine which records can be sealed or expunged, and which cannot be washed away from the public eye.
Seal and Expunge
The primary difference between sealing a criminal record and expunging it lies in its permanence. Sealing a record still keeps the record around in both a physical and legal sense, although only certain parties will be able to see it. In contrast, expunging a criminal record strikes it from the books. It will delete any record of the criminal charge or arrest that ever occurred. Understanding which convictions can be sealed or expunged is important to keeping a clean public record. For a more in-depth conversation on which criminal records can be sealed or expunged, it would be best to speak with an attorney.