Expungement and Criminal Records: State-Specific Information

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

Some states call it "expungement" and others call it "expunction," but the process allows certain individuals convicted of certain crimes to "erase" their criminal records from public view. While the underlying conviction or arrest doesn't actually disappear (for instance, they could be counted as prior offenses in the event new charges are filed), it can help someone convicted of a crime -- or merely charged without a finding of guilt -- clean up their record. For example, employers may be wary of hiring anyone with a criminal record, regardless of the circumstances.

As FindLaw's Guide to Expungement pamphlet points out, eligibility for expungement depends on several different factors, including:

  • The amount of time that has passed since the offense;
  • The severity of the offense;
  • Whether the charges ended in a conviction;
  • The applicant's criminal record in general; and
  • The laws of the state.

States also have slightly different procedures for accessing criminal records and having them expunged or sealed.

Expungement and Criminal Records: State Resources

Below you'll find state-specific information on arrest and/or criminal records and expungement (where available online) from sources such as state judiciaries, attorneys general, and state police agencies.

Alabama

Background Check System (Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center)

Alaska

Criminal Records FAQs (Alaska Department of Public Safety)
Request to Seal Criminal Justice Information [PDF file} (Alaska Department of Public Safety)

Arizona

Criminal History Records (State of Arizona - Department of Public Safety)

Arkansas

Criminal Background Check (Arkansas State Police)

California

Clean Up Your Criminal Record (California Courts Self-Help Center)
Petition and Order for Expungement [PDF file] (California Courts Self-Help Center)

Colorado

Forms: Sealing of Criminal Records (Colorado Judicial Branch)

Connecticut

Connecticut Law About Criminal Records (Connecticut Judicial Branch)
Erasure of Criminal Records (CT Statute) (Connecticut General Statutes)

Delaware

Expungement of Criminal Records (Delaware Code)

District of Columbia

Sealing Criminal Records (District of Columbia Courts)
Record Sealing and Expungement (D.C. Public Defender Service)

Florida

Seal and Expunge Process (Florida Department of Law Enforcement)

Georgia

Obtaining Criminal History Record Information (Georgia Bureau of Investigation)

Hawaii

Expungements (Hawaii Attorney General)

Idaho

Criminal History Information (Idaho State Police)

Illinois

Expungement Information (Office of the State Appellate Defender)
Expungement: Instructions and Forms (Office of the State Appellate Defender)

Indiana

Limited Criminal History Search (Indiana State Police)

Iowa

Criminal History Records (Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Kansas

Criminal History Record Check (Kansas Bureau of Investigation)
Frequent Questions: Criminal History (Kansas Bureau of Investigation)

Kentucky

Clean Slate Kentucky: Expungement (State of Kentucky)

Louisiana

Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information (Louisiana State Police)

Maine

Criminal History Records Requests (Maine Courts)

Maryland

Expungement (District Court of Maryland)

Massachusetts

Requests to Seal Files (General Laws of Massachusetts Ch. 276:100A)
Massachusetts Restoration of Rights, Pardon, Expungement, and Sealing (Mass. Restoration of Rights Project)

Michigan

Do-It-Yourself Expungement (Michigan Legal Help)

Minnesota

Criminal Expungement (Minnesota Judicial Branch)

Mississippi

Mississippi Adult Criminal Record Forms: Conviction or Other Disposition (The Papillon Foundation)

Missouri

Petition for Expungement of Arrest Records [PDF file] (Missouri Courts)

Montana

Conviction Expungement Process (Montana Department of Justice)

Nebraska

Petition to Set Aside a Criminal Conviction (Nebraska Judicial Branch)

Nevada

Nevada Restoration of Rights, Pardon, Expungement & Sealing (Nevada Restoration of Rights Project)

New Hampshire

Criminal Records FAQs (New Hampshire Department of Safety)

New Jersey

How to Expunge Your Criminal Record [PDF file] (New Jersey Judiciary)

New Mexico

New Mexico Expungements (New Mexico Department of Public Safety)

New York

Sealed Criminal Records (New York State Unified Court System)

North Carolina

North Carolina Offender Information (North Carolina Department of Correction)

North Dakota

Expunging a Criminal Record (North Dakota Attorney General)

Ohio

Criminal Justice Information System (Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services)

Oklahoma

Expunging a Criminal Record (Legal Aid Oklahoma)

Oregon

Expungement: Set Aside Criminal or Arrest Record (Oregon Courts)
Clearing Your Record (Oregon State Bar )

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (State of Pennsylvania)

Rhode Island

Expungement of Criminal Records (Judiciary of Rhode Island)

South Carolina

Expungements and Pardons (South Carolina Courts)

South Dakota

Computerized Criminal History System (South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation)

Tennessee

Guide to Expungement in Tennessee (Tennessee Courts)

Texas

Crime Records Service (Texas Department of Public Safety)

Utah

Expunging a Record (Utah Courts)

Vermont

Expungement-Sealing-Pardon Information (Vermont Criminal Information Center)

Virginia

Instructions for Petition for Expungement [PDF file] (Virginia Courts)

Washington

Washington Restoration of Rights, Pardon, Expungement & Sealing (Washington Restoration of Rights Project)

West Virginia

Expungement of Criminal Record and Criminal Offense Reduction (West Viginia Judiciary)

Wisconsin

Expunging Court Records (Marathon County, Wisconsin)

Wyoming

Wyoming Restoration of Rights, Pardon, Expungement & Sealing (Wyoming Restoration of Rights Project)

Get Expert Legal Help With Expungement and Criminal Records in Your State

Getting your case expunged can have several positive effects upon your life. If you're looking to have your criminal record expunged or your arrest records sealed, now's the time to learn more from a criminal law expert. Start by discussing the facts of your situation with a skilled criminal defense attorney near you to find out more about expungement in your state.

Next Steps

Contact a qualified criminal lawyer to make sure your rights are protected.

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