How to Remove a Criminal Record from Your Background

Written by kelly taylor
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Remove a Criminal Record from Your Background
Learn how to expunge your criminal record. (Legal Law Justice image by Stacey Alexander from

A criminal record is used by lenders or potential employers to assess a person's trustworthiness. It includes a record of all arrests and convictions. Most criminal records include pending charges, dismissed charges and non-expunged criminal and traffic offences such as drunk driving and speeding. Past criminal records can make it difficult to get loans, jobs and approved background checks.

Skill level:

Other People Are Reading


  1. 1

    Retrieve a copy of your criminal record. Different criminal records exist at the local, state and federal levels. Most local police departments provide criminal records for a fee. Go to state police departments to receive a statewide criminal report. Consult with the FBI to obtain a federal criminal record.

  2. 2

    Identify expungeable offences in your state. Some crimes cannot be removed from a criminal record. For example, criminal records in most jurisdictions can only be removed if there are no convictions for a designated amount of time. Most sex offences cannot be removed even if a person were not convicted. Consult with a lawyer to verify that your criminal record can be removed.

  3. 3

    Begin the expungement process. Retrieve an expungement petition from your county Clerk of Court. Fill in the required information. Notarise the application. Deliver the paperwork along with a copy of your criminal record. Submit it to the court clerk. In most states, a hearing is required before a judge, who will set a tentative date.

  4. 4

    Wait for your expungement to be approved. Removing a criminal record is a process that could take months for final approval. Most applicants whose criminal records qualify for dismissal and who meet all requirements are usually granted removal of their criminal record.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.