What is the difference between Expunging my record, and having my record Sealed- IE-Criminal Defense

What is an Expungement?

An expungement can be found under PC 1203.4. Click here for more details on how to expunge your record. An expungement, is when a person has already entered into a guilty plea for a charge, served their time on Probation, and completed all remaining terms of Probation. That person then returns to Court and requests a Judge to Expunge their record. If granted, an Expungement has the ability to change a criminal record from showing you were convicted of a specific charge, to show instead that the charge has been “Dismissed, pursuant to PC 1203.4”. However, not everyone is eligible for an Expungement, make sure to click here to determine if you are eligible for one.

What does it mean to Seal your record?

Under PC 851.91, you have the ability to seal your arrest, any time that arrest or detention did not result in a conviction. For more specifics on how an 851.91 motion works, click here. To seal an arrest, means to have a Judge determine that the arrest is deemed never to have happened for you. This would mean your record would not show any conviction, or any evidence you were ever arrested. It essentially cleans the incident as if it never happened. To seal your record, you must not have been convicted of a crime. You can still petition for this relief, however, even if your case was dismissed under a Differed Entry of Judgment order by the Court. So long as you do not suffer a criminal conviction on your record, you can seal any evidence of the arrest or detention from you record.

Which is better?

To seal an arrest is better than to simply Expunge your record, because an Expungement does not protect you from having to disclose the details of your conviction to any State Licensing Board or Government Job you apply to. However, if you suffered a conviction of any kind, your only avenue for relief is an Expungement, so you would not be eligible to seal your record. A conviction of any case, makes you ineligible from being able to later return and seal your case from ever having occurred.

Can you Seal a case, after it has been Expunged?

Unfortunately you cannot seal a case that resulted in a conviction. Even if a case is ultimately expunged and dismissed from your record, the fact that you suffered any kind of conviction makes you statutorily unable to seal that case from your record. In other words:

Conviction and Probation = Expungement under PC 1203.4

Arrest but no conviction = Sealing Arrest Record under PC 851.91

Expungement under PC 1203.4 =/= No ability to seal your record under PC 851.91

Call Today

Knowing what relief that is available to you can make a big impact in your future. It can help you get that job you always wanted, or finally get you promoted at your work. Convictions and arrests can hold us back, even when they’ve happened many years ago, our records don’t automatically expunge or seal over time. We have to do something about it to make our records reflect the person we are now, and how we’ve changed. Get rid of your prior record or arrest, and finally get that job. Call your local Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney today at the Inland Empire Defense 909-939-7126. Located in Ontario.