We get a lot of phone calls about cleaning or clearing up old arrest records. The legal procedure for doing this is called an “Expunction” and to seal a past record is called a “Motion for Non-Disclosure”. If you were arrested and your case is not filed or indicted within the statute of limitations, you may be entitled to an expunction of your record. This means that a court orders all records of the arrest, confinement, and evidence destroyed. Legally, it is as if the arrest never took place and you never have to reveal it to anyone. In order to receive an expunction of your record, you must first file a Motion to expunge the record. This Motion is heard in District Court and if the court finds that you are entitled to have the records destroyed, the court MUST grant the expunction by signing an Order that will be sent to all of the agencies that hold those records. The Order will direct those agencies to destroy those records and there are penalties if that Order is not followed. A Motion for Non-Disclosure is for arrest records that cannot be expunged but allows for certain arrests to be “sealed” and hidden except for certain agencies that are excluded by law from one of these Orders.
The rules related to expunction (or non-disclosure) of a criminal record are fairly complex and specific to certain classes of crimes. If you believe that you are entitled to have a record expunged, contact our office for a consultation. Our discussions are confidential and we will protect your reputation with every legal means available.