How Can I Seal My Criminal Records?

Did you know that you can seal your criminal records so that your criminal history can be hidden from the public view? It’s called a record seal. A record seal becomes a huge deal if you have had trouble finding jobs or putting your past behind you, because after you’ve sealed your criminal records, your criminal past will not show up in background checks. Today, Liberty Law Center thought we would walk you through what sealing your criminal records looks like…

What Types of Crimes Can Get a Record Seal?

First off, it’s important to note that not all crimes are eligible for a record seal. You can get a record seal for drug crimes, including level 4 drug felonies; petty offenses; class 1, 2 and 3 misdemeanors; class 4, 5, and 6 felonies; municipal violations; and offenses committed by human trafficking victims. You can also get underage alcohol and marijuana offenses, underage drinking and driving offenses, and juvenile offenses sealed. Arrest records where you did not receive a conviction can be sealed immediately following your release.  You can also have any case that was dismissed outright, and most cases that are dismissed following a successful deferred sentence sealed as well

What Crimes Cannot Be Sealed?

There are definitely crimes that cannot be hidden from the public eye. These include sex crimes; DUIs; most felony convictions; Class 1 and 2 misdemeanor traffic offenses; Class A and B traffic infractions; and crimes involving a commercial driver’s license. 

When Can I Seal My Criminal Records?

It all depends on what type of crime. But, suffice to say that time needs to have passed. For drug petty offenses and petty offenses, you need to wait at least 1 year from all final proceedings (including fines, restitutions, criminal proceedings, release form supervision, etc). For class 2 and 3 misdemeanors and drug misdemeanors, it’s 2 two years after all final proceedings. For class 4, 5, and 6 felonies; level 3 and 4 drug felonies; and class 1 misdemeanors, it’s 3 or more years.

How Do I Seal My Criminal Records?

You first have to get hold of the past police reports, then file a petition with the court, and pay a filing fee. The filing fees range from about $250-$650 depending on the crime, but juvenile and underage crimes don’t cost anything. The court will decide to seal your records based on the type of crime, if you were actually convicted, when the crime happened, and your age when you committed the crime.If the court grants your petition, then in most cases you can legally say you never committed a crime.

What Should I Do to Seal My Records?

It’s best to consult a lawyer to help you through the process, because it can get complicated depending on the type of crime you committed, when you committed it, etc. Legal advice is always helpful. Contact Liberty Law Center to help you get your life back!