How do I get my record sealed? 36 Answers as of May 20, 2011

What is the process of getting my record of theft of property in 1982 sealed? I was fined only.

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
My first advice would be to obtain an attorney to assist you with this matter. You may be eligible to expunge that prior conviction. Expunging a crime in Michigan is complicated. This response does not contain specific legal advice. If you need specific legal advice for your own circumstances, I recommend consulting with an attorney experienced with these types of matters. Most attorneys provide free initial consultations. Speaking in general terms, there are several significant obstacles to getting offenses expunged in Michigan. Expunging a criminal charge is great way of clearing up past mistakes. However, there are a series of obstacles. First, an applicant must only have one, single, count or charge, whether it's a misdemeanor or felony. If a person has more than one conviction on their record, whether it was multiple counts from the original case, or separate convictions, they are not eligible. Second, certain offenses cannot be expunged. Traffic offenses for example, even something as simple as driving on a suspended license, a lot of high level or capital felonies, and other offenses as listed in the applicable statutes, cannot be expunged. It depends on which offense is currently on the person's record. Additionally, even if a person only had one offense, if they had issues with probation, i.e., probation violations or other infractions while serving their sentence, that may be obstacle as well. There is also a time limitation. Any effort to expunge an offense cannot commence until five years after the date of conviction. Lastly, expunging an offense from a criminal record takes time, requires a lot of paperwork, carries some notable costs, and eventually, applicants need to appear before a judge and convince the judge that they are worthy of having the offense expunged in order to complete the process. Please consult with and retain a criminal defense attorney, preferably an experienced one who has handled these matters, to assist you with the process. Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/20/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
If you were 19 or younger at the time and if you had been given Youthful offender status the conviction should have been vacated and the records sealed. if that is not the case and if you were 20 or older you would probably have to file an application with the court to expunge ( not seal ) the record. You should hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/12/2011
Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
I don't believe there is a procedure to seal a record. However, if this is your only offense and certainly more than 5 years have passed, you could petition to the court to expunge the record. To do so, you would need to file a proper motion with the court as provided by statute and court rule. If you want further information, contact us.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/12/2011
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
The key to getting your criminal record sealed or expunged, is whether or not the Court adjudicated you guilty. If you were adjudicated guilty, you cannot have that particular criminal charge sealed or expunged. If you were not adjudicated guilty, the next step is to get a current FDLE criminal background check done on you, then Petition the Court for it to seal or expunge your record. If your case is in the Tampa Bay area and you need a lawyer, give my office a call.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/11/2011
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
I believe the process you're thinking of is expungement, not sealing. Sealing is a more specialized process that is very limited in its application. Assuming you successfully completed probation (paid the fine), you should be eligible for an expungement that will "clean" your record for most purposes. I do these often and charge a flat fee. Feel free to call if you would like discuss the details of your case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/10/2011
    NOLA Criminal Law
    NOLA Criminal Law | Townsend Myers
    There is technically no way to have a record "sealed", but if you want to remove something from your criminal record, you can petition the court to have your record expunged, meaning that is kept from public view. I assume this is what you mean when you say "sealed". You can do this yourself, or you can contact a qualified attorney in your area for help.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    With great difficulty and expense. Sealing a record is not often successful.

    However, you can consider getting the conviction expunged; it would help in obtaining and keeping employment. Many felony, misdemeanor and infraction convictions can sometimes be 'expunged' from criminal records by proper application and Petition to the court, but only if there was no felony prison time sentenced whether served or not, and if all terms of sentencing and at least one year of probation are completed, and if there are no new charges pending. If successful, the conviction would be retroactively reduced to a misdemeanor, if necessary, and then withdrawn and the charges dismissed.

    Expungement does not clear, 'remove' or erase the conviction, but merely changes the record to show 'conviction reversed and dismissed by expungement'. When applying for a job in the private sector, you generally do not have to disclose a conviction if it was expunged. However, the conviction is still a 'prior' or 'strike' for purposes of repeat offense, and must be disclosed on any application for government and professional employment and licensing, bonding, security clearance, etc. The licensing agency and employer then can decide whether you are barred from licensing or employment because of the conviction. If youre serious about doing this, and you think you qualify under those rules, feel free to contact me for the legal help you'll need.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
    You typically get records sealed by court order & in some cases, it may be statutorily mandated by law.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You are asking about an expungement. This is the process of sealing a person's criminal record from public view. Generally the process is covered by specific state laws and the form must be strictly followed. Most attorneys will be able to process an expungement.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    Its a relatively simple motion that has to be filed with the court where you were convicted.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    You are probably looking to file an expungement to have your records erased and sealed. This is something that you can technically do on your own but due to the fact that expungements are actual court proceedings and can involve hearings and the filing of legal documents, it is probably something that you should have an attorney handle for you. Contact a criminal defense attorney in your area who will be able to quote you a rate for expungements.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Although Penal Code 1203.4 is the operative law involved, each county has a different process and different forms. You can either consult a criminal specialist attorney or the probation department or clerk's office in the county where the case was and get further information.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    It depends upon what you were convicted of at the time. Speak to an experienced attorney near you. However, generally, convictions are not sealed or expunged, unless they are done under Youthful Offender treatment or you received an ACOD for your case. Speak to the lawyer. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    If you have no prior criminal record, you can have your record expunged after a period of 5 years. I always recommend hiring a lawyer for expungment matters like yours.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Expungements are only allowed by statute where there has been a determination in your favor. That means, ultimately, the charges must have been dismissed. If that occurred, you may erase any and all court or administrative records. There are also Judicial expungements. Such an expungement is entirely up to the Judge as to whether it should be granted. This is an important distinction since a Court cannot expunge anything but judicial records with a judicial expungement unless there is an overiding basis that requires the expungement in the interests of justice. The courts have ruled that seeking better employment or promotions would not be a basis to expunge adminstrative records.

    Administrative agencies generally are the plces where background checks are performed. Criminal records are also maintained by Administrative Agencies such as the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. This is an executive agency. As a result, the criminal records, if held by the BCA, would never be expunged in a Judicial expungment. Since you were convicted, a statutory expungement is not possible.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of John Schum, LLC
    Law Office of John Schum, LLC | John Schum
    Sealing a record in Hawaii is usually done by the Judge to prevent material from being accessed as part of a public record. It is usually not done to prevent access to your case. You could have the conviction removed from your record through a pardon from the Governor. Filing pardon petitions is part of my practice. The likelihood of a pardon being granted depends on many facts. After getting the information that I need, I could better advise you. I hope this helps you sort your legal situation out. If you want to set up a free consultation to go over your situation in more detail or to retain me to assist you with this matter, please email me.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You must file a Petition with the court. GO to the Clerk of the Court in the jurisdiction where the case was held, and they will give you a packet with forms and directions of what to do. You will need to file a copy of the Petition with the prosecutor's office and police department involved.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    There is nothing you can do to seal a record once convicted, unless youthful offender status was granted.There is an expungement and a non-disclosure bill pending in the Alabama legislature, that if passed, may provide you with some relief.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    There is not a procedure to go back in time and "seal" a record. There is a procedure for expungement. If you have only one misdemeanor or felony conviction, after 5 years you can petition the sentencing Court to expunge the one conviction from your record, provided it is not an excluded offense. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Tracy L Henderson, Attorney at Law
    Tracy L Henderson, Attorney at Law | Tracy L. Henderson
    In California, unless the matter was a juvenile matter, there is no provision to have it sealed. You can have the case dismissed after petitioning to withdraw your plea but only if it was a misdemeanor or felony.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    Seek an annulment pursuant to NH RSA 651:5. If you have any questions contact a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers | Alexander Sanchez
    None. Unless you pleaded guilty to a non criminal violation, such as disorderly conduct, or was designated a youthful offender, your record stays put. Advice: apply for a Certificate of Civil Disability.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You cannot seal a record in Nebraska unless it was for a Juvenile offense. If for an adult you can have the convictions set aside.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Can't do in Alabama.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Attorneys of Michigan, PLLC
    Attorneys of Michigan, PLLC | Daniel Hajji
    In Michigan, the statute (law) allows the expungement (set aside) of the record of one criminal conviction only. The statute is MCL 780.621. A petition for expungement of a criminal record may not be filed until five years after the completion of a prison term or imposition of a sentence, whichever occurs later. Upon a petition to the court, the petitioner has the burden of proving to the court that his or her actions and behavior from the date of the conviction until the time of the application are consistent with the goals of protecting public welfare and warrant the expungement of the criminal conviction. The court must make a sufficient analysis of the facts and circumstances in your case and cannot deny your request without explanation as to the basis of the determination. While under most circumstances one-time criminal offenders are eligible for expungement, there are certain crimes which are specifically excluded and cannot be expunged, such as convictions where the maximum punishment is life imprisonment or an attempt to commit a felony for which the maximum punishment is life imprisonment may not be expunged by the court. Also, any conviction for CSC 2, CSC 3 or Assault with Intent to Commit CSC may not be expunged. The process involves the gathering and drafting of certain documents and court records. An application will be denied unless it contains all of the information required by the court. It is important to have a good misdemeanor or felony crime expungement lawyer to help you understand the process and work quickly and efficiently to obtain all of the necessary documentation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    You may be thinking of an expungement. As long as you have nothing else on your record, you should be able to get it expunged. You can google the packet on How to Set Aside a Criminal Conviction or else you can hire a lawyer to do it for you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    See Penal Code Sec 1203.4 .
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam | Ramona Hallam
    In California, you can bring a motion for dismissal of misdemeanor charges so long as you are not on probation or parole for any offense.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    You must file a motion pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4. Contact your local Clerk's Office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be able to secure an order from a friendly judge if you have employment hinging on it. If here in Mobile, I don't think that avenue is available any longer. I used to get those orders, but not anymore. Local history canned that avenue. You could apply for a pardon with the board of Pardons and Parole.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC | Lisa Mulligan
    If this is your only criminal conviction, you should be eligible to have this conviction vacated, then sealed - you can find more info about this process at http://www.yakimacounty.us/superiorcourt/PDF_Docs/CrimPamphlet.pdf. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP | Paul M. Teinert
    You can petition to have your conviction expunged. This means that your 1982 conviction will be dismissed. Please visit my website for more information about our expungement services.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Criminal convictions don't seal in New York.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Hire an attorney to file the petition for expungement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
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