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Expungement and Sealing of Your Criminal Record

If you have ever been arrested for a misdemeanor or a felony, the details of that arrest are part of the public record. Some people believe that their arrest information is not accessible to the public because they were not formally charged with a crime after they were arrested or because they were charged with a crime and then later acquitted. Unfortunately, this simply is not true. Unless you take action to have your criminal record expunged or sealed, the information regarding your arrest or arrests remains in the public record, where it can have life altering repercussions. Criminal Defense Attorney Gbenga Longe knows how important it is that your arrest information be removed from the public record so as to minimize its impact on your future and she will help you accomplish expungement or the sealing of your record whenever it is possible to do so.

Expungement vs. Sealing of Criminal Records

There are two ways that criminal records can be removed from the public record: expungement and sealing. Some people think that expungement and sealing are the same thing; however, there are several important differences. In order to have your criminal record expunged, you must first petition the Court for an expungement and then attend a hearing on the matter. Since pursuing expungement of your criminal record involves preparing a petition and engaging with the Court at a hearing, it is to your advantage to work with a criminal defense attorney.

Some information cannot be removed, or expunged, from the criminal record, including Class 4 felonies and some misdemeanors. In the alternative, these offenses may be sealed, depending upon the specific set of circumstances. Sealed means that information regarding the offense will be made unavailable to public and can only be accessed by law enforcement personnel.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can increase the odds that the Court will grant your request to have your record expunged or sealed. If the Court does decide to expunge your arrest or your entire criminal record, you will not have to disclose any information that was removed from the record when you fill out job applications or encounter any other situations in which you are required to disclose arrests or other information that would be contained in the public record.