How to get something expunged or sealed? 64 Answers as of August 15, 2011

I have a misdemeanor shoplifting charge from 2000. Can that be expunged or sealed? I was convicted and got probation and a fine...long since done. It's keeping me from getting certain jobs and I haven't been in trouble since. Is it worth it to try and get it removed?

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Law Office of Andrew Subin
Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
Yes. This can be expunged. I usually handle these for less than $500.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/15/2011
Lowenstein Law Office
Lowenstein Law Office | Anthony Lowenstein
It depends on several factors.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/4/2011
The Law Office of Cindy Barton
The Law Office of Cindy Barton | Cindy Barton
There is a procedure to have a crime expunged.Go to Petition to Expunge and follow the directions.You can also hire an attorney to do the steps for you.Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 8/3/2011
Night Life Lawyers
Night Life Lawyers | Joshua Aldabbagh
A misdemeanor can be sealed after two years from the close of the case. Your record appears to be eligible for sealing; you should contact an attorney and proceed with the record sealing. Upon the sealing of a person's records, it is the same as if the proceedings never occurred. You may answer accordingly to any inquiry about criminal history, including in job applications.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/3/2011
Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux
Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux | Scott Tibbedeaux
Yes, it is certainly worth getting it removed however, "conviction dismissed" or "expunged conviction" may show up on the background check. The best advice is to be honest about your situation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/3/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    This type of conviction can be expunged. You should consult with an experienced expungement attorney for details as to how to do this and the cost.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    You can retain a criminal defense lawyer who can file a motion on your behalf per Penal Code Section 1203.4.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    It is extremely difficult to get a case sealed and far easier to get something expunged. If you have nothing on your record since and the shop lift was a one time occurrence, and you have complied with all terms and conditions of your sentence, you could motion the court that heard the matter and the judge could agree to allow you to withdraw your guilty plea, thereby removing the conviction. It is certainly worth a try.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    That would depend on what the conviction was. DUI, DUI-related felonies, Sex Offenses, Kidnapping and Serious Violent Felonies such as Murder cannot be vacated. Pretty well any other conviction may be vacated and dismissed upon completion of probation after passage of a set time.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    If you have successfully completed the terms of your probation and/or sentencing then it is likely that you will be able to have your record expunged. The expungement process is subject to some approval by the DA and a judge so it is impossible to guarantee that you will be successful but it certainly sounds possible.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    You can retain our office to make an application for relief from disability.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    In Minnesota, 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 overriding 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 administrative records. Administrative agencies generally are the places 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: 8/1/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    If you were convicted, you do not qualify for expungement.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Hello- With the nature of this offense, it cannot be sealed unless you received a deferred judgment, which resulted in a dismissal. Otherwise, under the current state of the law, it cannot be sealed unless you receive a gubernatorial commutation (pardon).
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    A.L.A. Law Group, LLP
    A.L.A. Law Group, LLP | Lauren M. Mayfield
    Yes, misdemeanors, like shoplifting, can be expunged once you have successfully completed probation and paid all of your fines. You should speak with a criminal defense attorney about getting the charges expunged. This will not take the charges off your record but it will make your record look better to employers because it will look as though the court dismissed the case. You cannot get the arrest or citation off your record, but the expungement does make it look as though the court took no action on the arrest or cite.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers | Alexander Sanchez
    You cannot remove convictions in New York, but you can apply for a Certificate of Relief of Civil Disability. This certificate restores many rights, and reduces barriers to employment. Contact the Probation Department in the Jurisdiction where you were convicted for the application.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    There are no expungement laws in the State of Alabama. There has in the past been an expungement bill in the State legislature but it yet to be passed.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Boske Law Offices
    Boske Law Offices | Michael A Boske
    If you qualify, you can file the application in the Court in which you were convicted.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    No. Only MIP and DUI convictions can be expunged in Missouri. If you are good friends with the governor you could try for a pardon. Otherwise you are stuck.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You cannot get it removed. It will be on your record forever. Sorry.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    If it's affecting your ability to get jobs, it would not hurt to have the record sealed. You can contact an attorney (criminal defense attorneys are the best place to start). If you're unable to afford that, the Colorado judicial website has a forms tab with information on applying to seal records.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    What is needed for an expungment is several things. First it is your only conviction ( There is a change in the law that allows more than one conviction in certain circumstances.) Second it can't be a offense that carries life as a punishment. Third it can't involve a traffic type offense like drunk driving. Fourth 5 years have to pass from the date of sentencing or if you were incarcerated, date of release. Finally you have to convince the judge that you deserve to have it expunged. (It is in the judge's sole discretion.) Get an attorney to help you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    Yes you can annul a misdemeanor 3 years after everything is done. RSA 651:5 sets out annulment law. There is no reason to have that conviction haunting you. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    No, in Virginia, once you're convicted of a crime as an adult, the record cannot be expunged nor "sealed" unless you can prove that you were wrongfully convicted and as a consequence have received a pardon from the governor.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Law Office of Sean Patrick Walsh
    Law Office of Sean Patrick Walsh | Sean Patrick Walsh
    It can be removed from your record. There are various ways to get this done. You need to contact an attorney familiar with the county court in which you were convicted. This should be inexpensive. Where is the conviction?
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Many convictions can 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 it was not for certain listed Sexual and Domestic Violence crimes, 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 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: 8/1/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The last question in your post is the most important one asked. Only you can answer the question about the worth of an expungement, expungement and certificate of rehabilitation. An expungement does not remove the record of arrest or conviction. What it permits is you to answer the question about about a conviction in the negative. That right is limited. If you are applying for a state license (real estate, stoke broker, cosmetologist, nurse, etc.) you have to disclose tfe fact of the conviction. If you are applying for a job with a governmental entity, you have to disclose the conviction. I am in the criminal court clerk's office on a fairly regular basis. There is almost always somebody on the computer checking records. Because the conviction remains on the record but with a note of expungement, I recommend to clients that they disclose the fact and note the expungement. If you qualify, you should try to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    This is a conviction that can be expunged. Do so.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin | Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    If you have pled guilty or no contest, you can ask for a record clearance under PC 1203.4. That means that your guilty plea is set aside and the case is dismissed. Under CA law, you do not need to disclose the conviction unless you are applying for a state or local license. The problem is that when you apply for jobs, the company usually uses a background-checking service which will bring up your case number and the courthouse where it occurred. If you are considered for a position, usually someone goes to the courthouse from a record-checking service used by your prospective employer. While your file is NOT a conviction and you have all your rights restored, a record clearance does not remove your file from the courthouse. That means prospective employers will see that although you do not legally have a conviction, you were arrested and prosecuted for shoplifting. In this economy, many people find it harder to find jobs. Many employers have a specific amount of years that they look back at someone's record. Your conviction is 11 years ago. It is up to the company regarding how long they wish to look back. An 11 year old petty theft is not as likely to be picked up as a 5 year old crime. However, criminal files are public records.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    The Grundy Law Firm, PLLC
    The Grundy Law Firm, PLLC | Elvin Grundy
    The Arizona Legislature has provided a pathway for individuals disabled by felony and misdemeanor convictions. Unfortunately, the process to expunge and seal damaging court records boasts no right to a court hearing and is a closed process. The success of your application will be solely based upon carefully prepared legal memoranda submitted by you or a licensed Arizona attorney. Reclaim your name. Contact us today. Flexible payment plans available.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Steven C. Bullock
    There is an expungemnet procedure proscribed by statute. Best to hire an attorney to get you through the process.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Potter Law Offices
    Potter Law Offices | Cal J. Potter, III, Esq.
    The state of Nevada seals criminal records, but does expunge or remove. The Nevada Revised Statute states that once the record is sealed you can legally state that you have never been arrested. The statute allows the sealing of misdemeanors after 5 years, gross misdemeanors after 10 years and felonies after 15 years.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    To get a matter expunged, you would have to file a motion seeking expungement with the court where the conviction occurred. The motion cannot be filed prior to 5 years after the conviction and would have to follow all applicable statutes and court rules. You may wish to seek the advise of an attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Offices of Sean Logue
    Law Offices of Sean Logue | Sean Logue
    You can ask a criminal attorney to do it for you for a small amount.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot | Susan Correia Champa
    You can file a request to have your record sealed. It will never be removed from your record, however, it will prevent prospective employers from seeing your record.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    Unfortunately, Alabama does not have an expunment statute. There has been one introduced in the Alabama legislature for several years but it has not passed.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You cannot get your record expunged in New York state. You can move to vacate the conviction if it was improper or illegal or if there is new evidence that you were innocent.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You are eligible once you have successfully completed probation, have no other pending criminal case(s), and am not on probation for anything else. Contact an attorney to file the petition for you and conduct the expungement hearing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Yes, you are potentially eligible to get the conviction expunged if you meet all the criteria.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Office of Robert L Keates, PLLC
    Law Office of Robert L Keates, PLLC | Robert Keates
    If you have a Conviction, then it cannot be expunged. You'd have to apply for a Governor's Pardon.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    It's probably worth it, and it's easy enough. If that's your only conviction, and you completed your probation more than three years ago with no troubles, you qualify. There may be forms at the county courthouse, or you can pay a lawyer a few hundred bucks. Good luck,
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC | Lisa Mulligan
    Some misdemeanor charges can be vacated after a period of time. You should talk to an attorney to see if you are eligible.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes, if you have only one conviction ever, it can be set aside. I have great success with these.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    If it's hampering you in some way, then it's worth it. It's difficult to get a record sealed so an expungement will be your best option. As long as that is the only charge of any kind (misdemeanor or felony or juvenile adjudications) on your record, then you would be eligible to apply for an expungement. Contact our office or seek an attorney in your area that specializies in them and they can help you through the process.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    New York does not expunge and convictions don't seal.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Offices of Karen Kilpatrick
    Law Offices of Karen Kilpatrick | Karen Kilpatrick
    In Florida, convictions cannot be sealed or expunged. If adjudication had been withheld, you may have been able to seal, but if you were adjudicated guilty, you may look into various forms of clemency.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas | Thomas Ogas
    Get it off your record. Yes. It is worth it. You can legally tell employers that you have a clean record. Check in with your county courthouse to see if they have a self-help center or a pro-bono expungement program. If not, contact a lawyer to file the motion for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    You say you were convicted but got probation. If you were convicted and got straight probation, there is nothing you can do. If you actually got deferred adjudication probation and successfully completed it, then you can petition the court in which you were prosecuted for nondisclosure - the sealing of your record. You would be best served by hiring a lawyer to be your mouthpiece.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    Absolutely. We can ask the court to vacate the conviction and have it removed from your record. Contact my office for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Misdemeanors can be expunged three years after all the conditions of the sentence have been completed.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    The Law Office of Katherine Godin, Inc.
    The Law Office of Katherine Godin, Inc. | Katherine Godin, Esq.
    Except for certain "crimes of violence," as long as it's your first and only conviction, a misdemeanor can be expunged if it's been at least 5 years since the completion of your sentence (in this instance, 5 years since you completed probation), and a felony can be expunged 10 years after the completion of your sentence. Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
    You should absolutely try immediately. You can get a misdemeanor conviction "expunged" as soon as you complete probation. This legally is a withdrawal of the guilty or no contest plea, and entrance of a not guilty plea, and a dismissal of the accusatory pleading against you under Penal Code section 1203.4. If you successfully completed probation without a violation, you are entitled to have your request granted. You will need to fill out and file the appropriate forms and pay a filing fee of approximately $120.00 Keep in mind, however, that an expungement does not provide you total protection. The federal government still treats it as a conviction for immigration purposes. Also, an expungement does not preclude law enforcement and district attorneys from seeing the expungement in your Department of Justice record. Finally, government jobs and licensing applications still often require that you acknowledge if you have ever had a conviction expunged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    If this happened when you were over 18, you cannot seal it in California. We also don't have a true "expungement" law that will remove things from your record. The closest thing we have is a dismissal pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4. Assuming you successfully completed probation and are not on probation for any other offenses, you can petition to have your case dismissed. If granted, it will allow you to tell most private employers that you have not been convicted of a crime. It doesn't erase it from your record, just puts a notation that your case was subsequently dismissed. It still remains, however and can be used as a prior, should you get theft offenses in the future, etc. That's as far as current law will allow you to clean up your record.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    You can have one case, if the case falls into a certain category, expunged in a lifetime. I would think that the shoplifting charge can be expunged. My office charges $750.00 to handle that. You can do it yourself with a little effort.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    Absolutely. if you've had a clean record since then, it should be a straightforward matter to have the arrest records sealed and the conviction expunged. Most criminal attorneys in Oregon can do this, myself included. I'm happy to give you a free consult and discuss the process.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/31/2011
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