How Long Does an Expungement Take? Easy Method to See Current Status

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Criminal Records | October 26, 2022

Man looking at a calendar contemplates how long does an expungement take while behind him, his criminal records is being erased by a giant pencil over the time it takes for an expungement to process.

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The expungement process can help people who have a criminal history remove those crimes from a background check, but many people ask, how long does an expungement take?

This questions isn’t easy to answer, because expungement requirements differ from state to state and court to court, and there is not a precise timeline that broadly applies.

However, the good news is that there are some consistencies and general expectations as well as ways to check the current status, which apply to every state, and impact how long does an expungement take, once it’s started. 

This comprehensive guide explains what expungement is and what it is not, which criminal records are eligible for expungement and when they qualify in all 50 states. It also outlines which states have updated expungement laws, how to pursue an expungement in all 50 states, and how to see the current status of an expungement case.

It’s important to note that not everyone will need expungement. Knowing what will show up on a criminal background check is the first step. Simply learn how to do a background check on yourself to find out if you have any records that need to be removed.

Expungement vs Sealing of Criminal Records

The terms expungement and sealing are often used interchangeably in criminal law discussions, but they are actually quite distinct. Expungement, sometimes called expunction, is a legal process that results in the complete erasure of a specific record. The effect of a “true” expungement is that the record ceases to exist and for all intents and purposes, appears to have never occurred.

Do felonies go away at 18? Maybe, depending on the circumstance, and some felonies can be expunged. Knowing how long does a felony stay on your record in your state can help, as well as knowing how your state conducts sealing juvenile records.

Expunged records are permanently deleted and are not viewable by the public at large or the courts. Note that many states use the term expungement to refer to the process of sealing or restricting criminal records.29

Screenshot of ILAO website about Crime and Traffic with yellow arrows pointing to the Criminal Records: Expungement vs Sealing.

The difference between expungement and sealing of records is essentially who has access to them. Both options remove the record from public view, but some records can still be accessed by government agencies.

Expungement is not available in all states or all jurisdictions, and many states favor record sealing instead. Record sealing follows a similar process as expungement, but the results are less absolute. Sealing a criminal record makes the record invisible to the public eye. Therefore, a sealed record does not show up on a background check.

However, a sealed record can still be accessed by law enforcement, the court system, and in some cases even specific employers.28 States may have varying interpretations of record sealing, and many states use different terms for sealing, such as Michigan’s “set-asides” or Texas’ “non-disclosures.” And remember that what a state calls “expungement” may actually be record sealing rather than true expungement.

A University of Michigan study from 2019 found that more than 90% of eligible individuals do not apply for expungement or sealing when they are able to.45 Likely reasons for this include the cost of expungement, the complexity of the process, and the lack of information and knowledge about expungement rights. This article attempts to resolve some of that ambiguity in the expungement process and laws across different states.

How Long After a Conviction Can It Be Expunged?

Part of the question of how long an expungement take is considering how long an individual has to wait to seek an expungement. Expungements are not available in all cases, and whether a specific record is eligible to be expunged depends on two main factors: where the individual lives and what crime they committed.

As mentioned above, not all states and jurisdictions allow for expungement for convictions, and those that do have restrictions upon what crimes can be expunged. Finding out what misdemeanors and what felonies can be expunged in each state is a taxing process, and these are the same variables that impact how long an individual must wait to expunge a conviction.

Screenshot of Illinois State Appellate Defender website page for expungement with yellow arrow on guide on how to expunge and seal records in Illinois.

The state appellate defender’s office will be the best route to begin the expungement process.

There is a lot of state-by-state variance in the length of time an individual must wait to file for expungement, but here are some factors which generally hold true. To be eligible for expungement:18

  • The individual’s sentence must be complete.
  • All restitution must be paid.
  • No additional criminal activity can have occurred in the intervening time.
  • There can be no pending charges against the individual.
  • The individual cannot be a registered sex offender.
  • In most cases, the individual cannot be a violent offender.
  • A waiting period must be satisfied.

The waiting period also differs greatly depending on where an individual lives, but a couple of things hold true. Misdemeanors have a shorter waiting period than felonies (when available), and the waiting periods begin from the date that the sentence is successfully completed and all court orders have been satisfied (whichever occurs last).

In most states which allow for expungement of conviction records, the waiting period for misdemeanors is usually between three and seven years. In states which allow for felony expungement, there is typically a distinction between lesser (non-violent) felonies and more severe (violent) felonies. Lesser felonies are the class that is most likely to be eligible for expungement, and in states where this is available, the waiting period usually ranged from five to ten years.

A few states, such as Indiana, do allow for violent felony expungement when certain conditions are met. The waiting period is likely to be ten years or greater in these cases.18

What Is Automatic Expungement and When Does It Occur?

Building on the previous section, there are some situations when a conviction may be automatically expunged, depending upon state law. This means that once certain conditions are met, the expungement process is initiated automatically without any action required on the part of the individual.

Screenshot of Michigan Judiciary website page for special initiatives with yellow arrows pointing to the difference of juvenile and adult expungement of records in Michigan.

In recent years, clean slate laws have been enacted in a number of states, making the expungement process easier.

A movement known as The Clean Slate Initiative which pushes for greater accessibility and ease of criminal record expungement has been gaining traction in the last few years across the United States.6 Prior to 2018, automatic expungement was implemented almost exclusively to relieve arrest records and non-conviction records. Now, there are a handful of states which have passed “Clean Slate” legislation to automatically clear some conviction records, and more states are working on new laws to this effect.

The following table displays the states with automatic expungement or sealing for convictions in effect or in the works. Many of these programs have been recently instituted and will require time to get the automated systems running.

Note that the same eligibility requirements outlined in the previous section apply in cases of automatic expungement as well. Thus, an individual with pending charges, unpaid restitution, unsatisfied court orders, etc. would not be eligible for automatic expungement.

States With Automatic Record ClearanceArrests and Non-ConvictionsMisdemeanorFelonyLaw Effective Date
California5

*Sealing, not expungement

1 to 3 years1 year after judgment or sentence completionFelonies not punishable by state prison incarceration may be eligible for automatic relief.Effective: August 1, 2022
Colorado7ImmediateCivil infractions: 4 years
Misdemeanors: 7 years
Excludes violent crimes.
Eligible felonies: 10 years
Exclusions: Class 1, 2, and 3 felonies are ineligible.
Passed: May 31, 2022
Effective: July 20252
Connecticut4013 months7 years10 years
Excludes:
Class A, B, and C Felonies
Family violence crimes
Sexual offenses
Effective: January 1, 2023
Delaware8Immediate5 yearsFelony drug possession: 5 years
Other eligible felonies: 10 years
Excludes most violent crimes and fraud crimes
Passed: November 8, 2021
Effective: August 1, 2024
Michigan33

*set aside, not expungement

60 days7 years
Exceptions include:
Serious misdemeanors(larceny, shoplifting, indecent exposure, negligent vehicular homicide).3
Eligible non-assaultive felonies: 10 years
Excludes:
Felony crimes with a sentence >10 years24
Passed: April 11, 2021
Effective: April 2023
OklahomaImmediate5 years
Excludes violent crimes
NonePassed: May 2, 2022
Effective: 2025
Pennsylvania

*sealing, not expungement

Within 30 daysSummary convictions: 5 years
Most misdemeanors: 10 years
NonePassed: June 28, 2018
Effective: January 2020
South DakotaAfter diversion program5 yearsNonePassed: 2016
Amended: 2021
Utah42ImmediateClass C – 5 years
Class B – 6 years
Class A drug possession – 7 years
NonePassed: 2019
Effective: February 10, 2022
Virginia36ImmediateEligible misdemeanors: 7 yearsNoneEffective Date: July 1, 2025

What Is the Process To Expunge a Criminal Record? (How Long Does an Expungement Take?)

The process to expunge a criminal record can be a bit tricky as there are several steps involved, and procedures are not uniform from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Continue reading for an outline of the general steps involved.

Screenshot of Illinois State Appellate Defender website page for expungement with yellow arrows on Order to Expunge & Impound and/or Seal Criminal Records form in Illinois.

The length of time an expungement can take depends on the court workload, but first, a number of forms will need to be processed.

Step 1: Determine Whether the State and Jurisdiction of the Conviction Have a Provision for Expungement

In states where expungement is not an option, record sealing is an excellent backup plan and follows a very similar process.

Step 2: Determine if the Crime in Question Is Eligible for Expungement

Rules vary by state on this point, so a bit of research, contact with the court, or attorney assistance will be required. For example, the state of Kentucky has its expungement information on the Department of Public Advocacy expungement page or in the Clean Slate Kentucky Expungement Guidebook.26

Step 3: Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility if Required

Some states require an application for a certificate of eligibility to be submitted prior to the petition. In Kentucky, this is required for convictions. The Kentucky Court of Justice page provides a registration link to complete an online application/request form (A $40 fee is required). Once the request is processed, the certification packet becomes available online for download. The certificate is good for 30 days.

Step 4: Fill Out the Paperwork for an Expungement Petition

There are often various expungement petition forms depending on the conviction, and these forms should be available on the court page for the state. In Kentucky, there are three different forms: the Misdemeanor Expungement Form, the Felony Expungement Form, and the Acquittal, Dismissal & Failure to Indict Form.46,47,48 An attorney, when desired, should be retained at this stage.

Step 5: File the Eligibility Certificate (When Applicable) and Expungement Petition With the Court in the County Where the Conviction Took Place

Some states may also require certified copies of the final disposition in the case in addition to the above documents.41 Differential fees may apply. The state of Kentucky charges a $100 filing fee per misdemeanor petition and a $50 filing fee for felony petitions (Note: An additional fee of $250 is charged when felony expungements are granted).26

In some states, expungement petitions will be automatically sent to the District Attorney and/or prosecutor. Other states may require the petitioner to deliver copies themselves.16

Step 6: Within 30 Days of Petition Filing, the Court Must Schedule a Hearing Date

The hearing date can be as soon as 30 days from filing but often is scheduled as far out as six months.

Step 7: Attend the Hearing to Receive the Judge’s Ruling

At the hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant or deny the petition. A granted expungement goes into effect immediately, assuming all fees have been paid.

How Long Does It Take for a Misdemeanor to Be Expunged?

Misdemeanors are more widely eligible for expungement in cases where expungement is permitted. Additionally, the waiting period to file for expungement is typically shorter for misdemeanors than more serious offenses and may range from 1 to 7 years. Aside from the few states where misdemeanors may be automatically expunged, the individual must file a petition for expungement.19

The time it takes to prepare and file the paperwork depends upon the individual, but once the petition has been filed, it must be sent to the district attorney, prosecutor, and court. Once the court receives all of the necessary information (petition, objections), they will schedule a hearing date. In many cases, the hearing date is required to be scheduled at least 30 days out from the date the court received the petition.

The length of time the hearing takes depends upon the complexity of the case and whether there are objections to the petition. Typically, an individual can expect a misdemeanor expungement to require around 2 months, give or take.

How Much Does It Cost To Get Expungements for Criminal Records?

The cost for expungement varies depending on where a person lives, the type of offense they are seeking to have expunged, and whether the individual has hired an attorney to assist them.

In some states, an individual can file for an expungement for $100, while other states charge several hundred dollars. For example, the total expungement fee in Kentucky is $300.

Screenshot of Kentucky Court of Justice website page for expungement with yellow arrows on steps to get expungement certification in Kentucky.

Requesting expungement certification in Kentucky is performed online.

There are often various fee grades depending upon the severity of the crime, with felony convictions costing more than misdemeanors and non-conviction expungements. In general, expungement fees range from $100 to $600, though many states allow indigent clients to apply for fee waivers.

Attorneys can really facilitate the expungement process because they know how to complete the paperwork, who to contact for updates, and how to work within the court system. The help of an attorney may be crucial for complex or more severe convictions. The downside is that attorneys are also very costly, and can take the price of expungements into the thousand dollar range or higher.

How Long Does an Expungement Take? (How Long Does It Take for Expungement?)

The length of an expungement process is variable, and to address the question of “How long does an expungement take?” an individual must be familiar with the process in their state. Assuming the conviction eligibility waiting period has been satisfied, the individual must identify and complete the proper paperwork. The paperwork varies by state and jurisdiction and may include an eligibility certificate, the proper expungement request form, and certified copies of the final disposition.

Screenshot of State of Oklahoma website page for FAQs with yellow arrow on timeframe of expungement in Oklahoma.

In Oklahoma, the expungement process can take about 4 weeks to process once all the paperwork has been submitted.

In some states, the eligibility certificate alone may take up to 60 days until receipt. Depending upon the court’s response rate, it can also take several weeks to receive the certified disposition.

Once the paperwork has been filed with the court, the court usually has 30 days to schedule a hearing, which is generally scheduled within one to six months. The hearing date should see the expungement case closed for better or worse, and an approved expungement becomes official.

With this timeline in mind, an expungement case can very well take up to 12 months from start to finish. However, expungements move quicker than this in many states and a general range of two to six months satisfies most requests.16,41

Anyone wondering “How long does an expungement take in my state?” can reference the chart below for time estimates and links to state expungement resources.

 

How Long Does Expungement Take by State?State-By-State Criminal Record ResourcesEstimated Time for Expungement Process
How Long Does Expungement Take in Alabama?The Code of Alabama 1975 Title 15 Chapter 27 Expungement
Alabama Judicial System – Petition For Expungement of Records
2 to 4 months43
How Long Does Expungement Take in Alaska?No provision for sealing or expungement of convictions.N/A
How Long Does Expungement Take in Arizona?Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County – Application to Set AsideNo expungement or sealing.
Set-aside: 3 to 4 months15
How Long Does Expungement Take in Arkansas?Arkansas Department of Corrections – ExpungementNo expungement.
Sealing: 1 to 4 months*
How Long Does Expungement Take in California?California Courts – Clearing Your Adult Criminal Record In CaliforniaNo expungement for adult convictions.
Dismissal: 2 to 4 months
How Long Does Expungement Take in Colorado?Colorado Judicial Branch – Criminal MattersNo expungement for adult convictions.
Sealing: 2 to 9 months11
How Long Does Expungement Take in Connecticut?Connecticut General Assembly – Erasure of Criminal Records2 to 3 months*
How Long Does Expungement Take in Delaware?Delaware Courts – Expungement/Pardon of Criminal Record2 to 6 months^
How Long Does Expungement Take in Florida?Florida Department of Law Enforcement – Seal and Expunge FAQsUp to 9 months38
How Long Does Expungement Take in Georgia?Georgia Government – Record RestrictionNo expungement for adult convictions.
How Long Does Expungement Take in Hawaii?Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center – Expungement FAQs4 months
How Long Does Expungement Take in Idaho?Idaho State Police – Do You Qualify For an Expungement?6 to 8 months9
How Long Does Expungement Take in Illinois?Illinois Courts – Expunge And/Or Seal A Criminal Record2 to 3 months*
How Long Does Expungement Take in Indiana?Indiana State Police – Expunge Criminal History4 to 6 months18
How Long Does Expungement Take in Iowa?Iowa Legislature – Chapter 901C
Iowa Courts – Application to Expunge Misdemeanor Court Records
2 to 6 months^
How Long Does Expungement Take in Kansas?Kansas Bureau of Investigation – Expungement of Criminal Records2 to 3 months
How Long Does Expungement Take in Kentucky?Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy6 months4
How Long Does Expungement Take in Louisiana?Louisiana State Legislature CCRP 9782 to 4 months*
How Long Does Expungement Take in Maine?Maine State Bureau of Identification – Criminal Record Challenge ProcessNo expungement for adult convictions.
How Long Does Expungement Take in Maryland?Maryland Courts – Expungement90 days
How Long Does Expungement Take in Massachusetts?Commonwealth of Massachusetts – Expunge Your Criminal Record3 to 5 months*
How Long Does Expungement Take in Michigan?State of Michigan – Expungement AssistanceNo expungement for adult convictions.
Set-Aside: Up to 8 months
How Long Does Expungement Take in Minnesota?Minnesota Judicial Branch – Criminal Expungement4 to 6 months
How Long Does Expungement Take in Mississippi?Mississippi Legislature House Bill 122
Mississippi – Expungement
2 to 6 months^
How Long Does Expungement Take in Missouri?Missouri Courts – Criminal Forms 2 to 4 months*
How Long Does Expungement Take in Montana?Montana Department of Justice – Conviction Expungement Process30 days for processing
How Long Does Expungement Take in Nebraska?Nebraska Supreme Court – Petition to Set Aside a Criminal ConvictionNo expungement for adult convictions.
Set-Aside: 2 to 6 months^
How Long Does Expungement Take in Nevada?Nevada Courts – Record SealingNo expungement for adult convictions.
Sealing: 2 to 4 months
How Long Does Expungement Take in New Hampshire?New Hampshire Courts – Annulment of Criminal RecordsNo expungement for adult convictions.
Annulment: 2 to 6 months^
How Long Does Expungement Take in New Jersey?New Jersey Courts – Expungement Self-Help8 to 12 months25
How Long Does Expungement Take in New Mexico?New Mexico Courts – Expungement2 to 3 months*
How Long Does Expungement Take in New York?New York Courts – Sealed RecordsNo expungement for adult convictions.
Sealing: 3 months37
How Long Does Expungement Take in North Carolina?North Carolina Judicial Branch – Expunctions9 to 12 months31
How Long Does Expungement Take in North Dakota?North Dakota Courts – Expungement of Criminal Records2 to 6 months^
How Long Does Expungement Take in Ohio?Ohio Revised Code Title 29 Section 2953.32No expungement for adult convictions.
4 to 5 months for sealing
How Long Does Expungement Take in Oklahoma?Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation – Expungement FAQs1 to 2 months35
How Long Does Expungement Take in Oregon?Oregon Courts – Set Aside Criminal or Arrest Record4 to 6 months30
How Long Does Expungement Take in Pennsylvania?Pennsylvania State Police – Criminal Expungement Process5 to 6 months20
How Long Does Expungement Take in Rhode Island?Rhode Island Attorney General Expungement Page2 to 6 months^
How Long Does Expungement Take in South Carolina?South Carolina 11th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office – Expungement FAQsUp to 6 months
How Long Does Expungement Take in South Dakota?State of South Dakota – Motion For Expungement2 to 6 months^
How Long Does Expungement Take in Tennessee?Tennessee Courts – Steps For Expungement
Tennessee Government – Expunction
Note: Expungement is called Expunction.
2 to 6 months^
How Long Does Expungement Take in Texas?Texas State Law Library – Expunctions and Non-disclosure Orders
Note: Expungement is called Expunction.
Non-disclosure: 4 to 9 months21
How Long Does Expungement Take in Utah?Utah Courts – Expunging Adult Criminal Records4 to 6 months22
How Long Does Expungement Take in Vermont?Vermont Statutes Title 13: Crimes and Criminal Procedure2 to 6 months ^
How Long Does Expungement Take in Virginia?Virginia Courts – Petition For Expungement2 to 3 months*
How Long Does Expungement Take in Washington?Washington Courts – Sealing and Destroying Court Records3 to 4 months23
How Long Does Expungement Take in West Virginia?West Virginia Courts – Expungement Instructions1 to 4 months*
How Long Does Expungement Take in Wisconsin?Wisconsin Courts – Petition to Expunge Criminal Court Record of Conviction2 to 6 months^
How Long Does Expungement Take in Wyoming?Equal Justice Wyoming – Expungement of Criminal Records3 to 9 months10

* Estimates are from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.49

^ General estimate used in absence of state-specific estimate.

How Long Does It Take for Your Record To Clear After Expungement? (How Long for Expungement To Take Effect)

Many people expect that their records will be instantly clear the moment an expungement is granted.

Unfortunately, this is simply not the case, and anyone wondering how long an expungement takes to be fully effective must consider the physical process of erasing or expunging criminal records.

Screenshot of Texas State Law Library website page for expunctions and nondisclosure orders with yellow arrows pointing to general information of expunction process in Texas.

It’s a good idea to visit your state’s legal library and court offices to ensure that you qualify for expungement.

Though the expungement officially goes into effect the moment it is granted, the order must reach each level of government to be acted upon. This typically begins at the county level where criminal records are removed from the county court system and sheriff’s office. This usually takes between one and two weeks.32

Once the county records are cleared, the order goes to the state, where the state’s Bureau of Investigations works to remove the expunged record from its system. This part of the process can take two to four months depending on the efficiency of the state.

After the state-level records have been removed, the expungement certification is sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for federal-level records to be deleted.50 This last step usually takes about 30 days to complete.32 All in all, the process of removing expunged records can take up to six months.

How To Check if Your Record Has Been Expunged (How Long Does an Expungement Take?)

There is a bit of gray area surrounding when a record is actually expunged. While it is officially expunged the moment the court orders it, know that it can take a considerable amount of time for the record to be removed at each level of government. So how can someone find out if the record has been expunged? There are a few paths available.

The easiest and quickest path available is for an individual to check their criminal records using an online search tool, such as the search engine provided on this website, here. This is an expedient way to see the current status of an expungement case and find out whether criminal records have been removed from public databases.

Screenshot of Maryland Judiciary website page for forms with yellow arrow on Petition for Expungement of Records (Guilty Disposition) form in Maryland.

This Maryland form petition for expungement is fairly similar to most states, which can be filled out and submitted online.

Another way to get this information is by conducting a criminal background check to see what records are viewable. There are different approaches to how to get a criminal background check, and this type of investigative report can be quickly requested through trusted online sites such as this one.

Alternatively, an individual can contact or visit the court which heard the case for follow-up. Searching state and local online criminal record databases may also yield some useful information.1

Do Expunged Records Show Up on Fingerprinting?

Records that are truly expunged (not sealed or set aside) should not show up on fingerprint background checks. When a record is expunged, all records are disposed of, including DNA and fingerprints. The record ceases to exist.

Sealed records, in contrast, can show up on a fingerprint background check as these records are still accessible to law enforcement and the court.44

However, it does take some time (up to 6 months in some cases) for records to be completely deleted after an expungement has been granted. The record erasure progresses from the local level to the state and finally to the federal level. A fingerprint background check conducted before there has been adequate time for complete removal of the records could show an expunged crime.44

If My Record Is Expunged, Can I Own a Gun?

While an expungement constitutes a complete erasure of a crime, it does not restore any rights which an individual lost when the crime was committed. Therefore, an individual who has lost their gun rights cannot buy, own, or use a gun whether their record has been expunged or not. To restore gun rights, an individual must obtain a pardon for their crime.

This is an entirely separate process from expungement. While expungement equals erasure in the eyes of the law, pardon equals forgiveness.27

An individual with an expunged record but no pardon can be charged with a crime for owning or even using a gun once those rights have been lost.

If My Record Is Expunged, Will I Pass a Background Check?

After a record is expunged and has been removed from criminal record databases, it should no longer appear on background checks, including those which investigate criminal records specifically.12 While an expunged criminal record should not create an obstacle during the background check process, there is no guarantee that an individual will “pass” a background check as background checks often look at many different areas such as employment verification or financial history which can also impact a person’s prospects.

Screenshot of Oklahoma State of Bureau of Investigation website page for criminal history with yellow arrows pointing to information on how to update criminal history in Oklahoma.
As discussed in a previous section, there is a window of time between when an expungement is granted and when all records have been successfully removed from local, state, and federal databases. During this time, a criminal record background check may potentially show an expunged record. In theory, this should not prevent an individual from passing a background check because the entity requesting the check should allow for an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the record.

Anyone who feels that employment, housing, or other opportunities have been denied on the basis of an expunged criminal record should address the issue with the party that requested the background investigation and the consumer reporting agency (CRA) which conducted the check.

Do Job Applications Ask About Arrests?

There is no federal law that precludes questions about arrests on job applications or in job interviews,39 but some states have “Ban the Box” laws which prevent an employer from asking about criminal history on an initial job application or before a conditional offer has been made.14

Additionally, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Fair Credit Reporting Act protect individuals from discrimination in hiring,51,52 and employers must be careful not to weigh arrest records too heavily in job considerations as they may impact different groups of people unfairly.39

If My Record Is Expunged, Can I Answer “No” When Asked About Convictions on Job Applications?

An expunged record no longer exists in the eyes of the law, so an individual is entirely within their rights to answer “No” when asked about convictions on job applications. However, in cases where the individual is applying for work with the government or law enforcement, it would be wise to disclose all criminal history, even records that have been expunged. Many states use the term “expungement” to refer to record sealing or something that is not “true expungement,” and in this scenario, those records would still be accessible to relevant agencies.34

How To Remove Criminal Record From Background Check After Expungement

For individuals who are in the gray area of time between an expungement order and complete clearing of records, knowing how to fix your background check and get a criminal record removed is sometimes essential. Furthermore, though expunged records are automatically cleared from public databases, such as government resources, they are not automatically cleared from private databases that may be kept by online background check companies. In fact, these companies often update their systems at semi-annual or annual intervals, and sometimes even less often.17

This means that background checks which use one of these companies could render outdated, inaccurate information. For this reason, a person would like to know how to remove criminal record from background check.

There are two ways to address such potentialities: proactively or retroactively. The proactive approach to removing expunged records from a background check involves contacting the most commonly used background check companies to ensure that records have been updated. Conversely, an individual may elect to wait until an expunged record turns up on a background report to contact the reporting agency and address it. Background check companies are allotted 30 days from the point of contact to correct any errors in the consumer report.

There are also online services that an individual can utilize to have expunged records removed from private company databases, such as the non-profit Foundation for Continuing Justice.13

Expungement can be a tricky area to navigate for individuals seeking a fresh start from mistakes in their pasts. Many states have laws that provide for the expungement of some convictions, and other states allow for record sealing or set asides. This article explores the laws, procedures, and effects of expungement.

Anyone who has ever wondered “How long does an expungement take?” can rest assured in the knowledge that the benefits of a successful expungement are certain to offset the time and effort the process demands.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Does an Expungement Take

Do I Have To Disclose an Expunged Misdemeanor?

Individuals who have successfully expunged a misdemeanor offense from their records are not legally obligated to disclose this crime. They can treat the conviction as if it never occurred unless the information is requested by government agencies or law enforcement.


References

1Adam. (2022, January 17). How to Check if Your Record Has Been Expunged. Recording Law. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://recordinglaw.com/how-to-check-if-your-record-has-been-expunged/>

2Axelton, K. (2022, August 3). A Clean Slate: Automatic Expungement Laws Explained. Good Hire. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from <https://www.goodhire.com/blog/clean-slate-laws/>

3Baldwin, L. (2022). Michigan Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences. Criminal Defense Lawyer. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from <https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/michigan-misdemeanor-crimes-class-and-sentences.htm>

4Bryant Law Center. (2022). How HB 40 Affects Felony Expungement Laws in Kentucky. Bryant Law Center. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://www.bryantpsc.com/felony-expungement-kentucky/>

5California Legislative Information. (2021, July 16). Assembly Bill No. 145. California Legislative information. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from <https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billCompareClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB145&showamends=false>

6The Clean Slate Initiative. (2022). Our Impact. Clean Slate. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://www.cleanslateinitiative.org/>

7The Clean Slate Initiative. (2022, May 31). Colorado Becomes the Seventh State to Enact Clean Slate Legislation. Clean Slate. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from <https://www.cleanslateinitiative.org/updates/colorado7thcleanslatestate>

8The Clean Slate Initiative. (2021, November 09). Delaware Becomes Fifth State in the Nation to Offer Clean Slate, Reducing Barriers for People With Arrest and Conviction Records. Clean Slate. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from <https://www.cleanslateinitiative.org/updates/delawarepassescleanslate>

9Clear Up My Record. (2022). Idaho Expungement Laws. Clear Up My Record. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <http://www.clearupmyrecord.com/idaho-expungement-law.php>

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24Jackson, A. (2022, January 29). Here’s How Michigan’s Expungement Laws Will Change This Spring. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from <https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2021/01/29/michigan-expungement-laws-criminal-records/6669129002/>

25Katherine O’Brien Law. (2020). New Jersey Expungement Process. Law Office of Katherin O’Brien. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://katherineobrienlaw.com/new-jersey-expungement-process/>

26Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy. (2020). Expungement Guidebook. Clean Slate Kentucky. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://dpa.ky.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Expungement-Guidebook-10.07.2020.pdf>

27Khalaf, S. (2022, January 06). Does an Expungement Restore my Gun Rights? The Tulsa Expungement Guy. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://www.tulsaexpungementguy.com/does-an-expungement-restore-my-gun-rights>

28Lavoie, D. (2021, February 26). Virginia Lawmakers Pass Bill to Seal Some Criminal Records. AP News. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from <https://apnews.com/article/bills-legislation-virginia-57f06d044d9eb732c24313c1dc09996a>

29LawInfo Writer. (2021, March 30). What’s the Difference Between Expunged Vs. Sealed Records. LawInfo. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://www.lawinfo.com/resources/criminal-defense/expungement/whats-the-difference-between-expunged-vs-sealed-records.html>

30Lohrke Law. (2022). Expungement Eligibility Timeframes. Lohrke Law. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://lohrkelaw.com/expungement-eligibility-timeframes/>

31Manning Law Firm, PLLC. (2022). North Carolina’s New Expungement Law: What You Need To Know. Manning Law Firm, PLLC. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://manninglaw.com/criminal-law/north-carolinas-new-expungement-law-what-you-need-to-know/>

32Matthews, G. B. (2022). Ohio Criminal Record Sealing. Ohio Expungement Law. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://www.ohioexpungementlaw.com/criminal-record-sealing/>

33Michigan Courts. (2022). Clean Slate. Michigan Courts. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from <https://www.courts.michigan.gov/administration/special-initiatives/clean-slate/>

34O’Brien, B. (2022). Should You Disclose Expunged Records During the Global Entry Application Process? National Security Law Firm. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://www.nationalsecuritylawfirm.com/should-you-disclose-expunged-records-during-the-global-entry-application-process/>

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36Poggenklass, R. (2021, March 08). Virginia Poised to Enact “Transformative” Record Clearance Law. Collateral Consequences Resource Center. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from <https://ccresourcecenter.org/2021/03/08/virginia-poised-to-enact-transformative-record-clearance-law/>

37Rosenblum, A. H. (2018, November 09). Record Sealing Lawyer in New York. Rosenblum Law. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://rosenblumlaw.com/our-services/seal-criminal-record-in-new-york/>

38Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon. (2022). Am I Eligible to Seal or Expunge my Criminal Record? SLG. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://www.slgattorneysflorida.com/am-i-eligible-to-seal-or-expunge-my-case.html>

39SHRM. (2022, March 17). Are There Federal and/or State Laws Prohibiting Employers From Asking Applicants About Arrests and Convictions? SHRM. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-qa/pages/askingaboutarrestsandconvictions.aspx>

40State of Connecticut. (2021, June 10). Public Act No. 21-32. State of Connecticut. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from <https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/ACT/PA/PDF/2021PA-00032-R00SB-01019-PA.PDF>

41State of South Carolina. (2022). Expungement – FAQs. South Carolina Eleventh Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://solicitor11.sc.gov/expungements/expungement-faqs>

42Utah Courts. (2022, February 10). Utah’s Clean Slate Law Goes Into Effect, Automatically Clearing Old and Minor Criminal Records. Utah Courts Recent Press Notifications. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from <https://www.utcourts.gov/utc/news/2022/02/10/utahs-clean-slate-law-goes-into-effect-automatically-clearing-old-and-minor-criminal-records/minal-records/6669129002/>

43Ward Law, LLC. (2022). Expungement of an Alabama Arrest, Charge, or Conviction. Ward Law, LLC. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://www.lawdriven.com/expungement>

44XpungeChicago. (2022, March 09). Do Expunged Records Show Up on a Fingerprint Background Check? XpungeChicago. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from <https://xpungechicago.com/do-expunged-records-show-up-on-a-fingerprint-background-check/>

45J.J. Prescott, S.B. Starr. (2020, June). Expungement of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study. University of Michigan Law School Scholarship Repository. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from <https://repository.law.umich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3167&context=articles>

46Commonwealth of Kentucky. (2018, December 05). Petition For Expungement (For Misdemeanor, Violation, or Traffic Infraction Conviction). Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Justice. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from <https://dpa.ky.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Expungement-Misdemeanor.pdf>

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48Commonwealth of Kentucky. (2002). Petition for Expungement (For Acquittal, Dismissal With Prejudice, Or Failure To Indict). Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Justice. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from <https://dpa.ky.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Expungement-Acquittal-Dismissal-or-Failure-to-Indict.pdf>

49Cornell University. (2022). Expungement. Criminal Justice and Employment Initiative of ILR’s Labor and Employment Law Program. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from <https://cjei.cornell.edu/fix-your-record/sealing-and-expungement/expungement>

50United States Government. (2022). What We Investigate. FBI. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from <https://www.fbi.gov/investigate>

51United States Government. (2022). Home | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from <https://www.eeoc.gov/>

52United States Government. (2022). Fair Credit Reporting Act. Federal Trade Commission. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from <https://www.ftc.gov/legal-library/browse/statutes/fair-credit-reporting-act>

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