How to Expunge Something Off of a Criminal Background

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Seeking a new position of employment is challenging even under the best of circumstances. The quest for a new job becomes even more complicated if you have a criminal conviction in your background. Indeed, most prospective employers will not give you a first look let alone a job if you have a criminal history. Therefore, before you begin your job search, seriously consider seeking an expungement of your criminal conviction or convictions.

Step 1

Start the expungement process at least six months before you head off onto the job market, if at all possible. Although there are instances in which an expungement is granted in fairly short speed, normally the process ends up being rather time consuming.

Step 2

Obtain a form for a motion for expungement from the clerk's office at the court where you were convicted and sentenced for the crime in question. Typically court clerks maintain a selection of standard forms to be used by individuals with business before the court who are not represented by an attorney.

Step 3

Complete the motion form, including the date when you completed the sentence handed down by the court. Laws governing expungement do not permit a person to seek this type of relief until a set period of time passes from the date the sentence concluded (including any term of parole).

Step 4

File the motion with the clerk of the court. The clerk will provide you with a hearing date.

Step 5

Send a copy of the motion for expungement to the prosecuting attorney. If she desires the prosecuting attorney is able to lodge an objection to your expungement request.

Step 6

Appear at the hearing and present your position regarding why you should be granted an expungement. Provided the prosecuting attorney lodges no significant objection, and you have a clean record since the conviction for the crime you want expunged, the court may grant your request.


  • Keep in mind that although you succeed in obtaining an expungement (and having your official records sealed) there remain other potential sources of information through which a potential employer might be able to find out about your criminal history.


  • Hire an attorney to represent you in your expungement case. Eliminating a criminal case from your record is essential to job hunting success. Therefore, retaining an attorney to represent you is a wise investment in your future.



About the Author

Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.

Photo Credits

  • Paul Katz/Photodisc/Getty Images