How to get your record sealed from public view
A lot of people who have criminal records ask the question of how to get your record sealed in forums, chat groups, and online. In this guide, we will explain what a record is and if and how you could seal a record.
A public record is just that, a piece of information that is not considered confidential. With that said there are documents that are automatically sealed from public view those could be the following:
- Juvenile criminal records
- Custody cases
- State secrets
- Trade secrets
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Expungement is different then sealed
Whereas a record being sealed still exist, however, it is just sealed from public view, and expungement is physical destruction of records, it’s completely erased.
In some instances, if an expungement is not allowed the next course of action would be to seal the record as it comes with less stringed requirements then an actual expungement of a record.
The process of getting a record sealed
Not all records will be approved on getting sealed, however before you can be sure a process of events must follow. If you are not aware of how a record is created we will explain in a few sentences.
When a person goes through a court proceeding that case data is then considered a public record. From this point, if the record is not sealed it becomes searchable to the public
If you decide to try and seal the record on your own you can follow the below outline to get started. You can also choose to hire an experienced attorney that can guide you through the process of sealing the record. This is by far the easiest way, but it will be more expensive hiring an attorney.
Call the clerk’s office
You will first have to call the county clerk and explain to them what type of case you have and what would be the next steps to try and seal the record. He or she most likely will explain what forms you must fill out to start the process of sealing your record.
In most cases, you will have to pay fees to get this done and to obtain the proper forms. These forms will explain in detail if you indeed meet the criteria of sealing your record. Keep in mind that not all records will be approved for sealing.
After the preliminary work of finding out if you qualify for your record to be sealed its time to petition the record. You will need to petition the record with the agencies that have a copy of your records.
Before doing this be sure to have all the information from the records. In short, have all the case data that is associated with that record involving your case.
You will have a hearing at the courts so be sure you get the proper paperwork from the courts about your hearing. What courtroom, date, and times.
When you get a hearing date and time be sure not to miss it, actually it is smart to show up early. Once inside the hearing explain to the judge why you need the record sealed.
In the case, the judge rules against having your record sealed you should file a petition with the appeals court in your area. Do not procrastinate for the appeal, file it within hours of the hearing if need be.
Hiring an Attorney
If your learning how to get your record sealed by reading this guide and you feel overwhelmed by all means you should look into hiring an attorney.
An experienced attorney can help get the outcome your looking for and also help yo avoid any pitfalls as you move through the process of trying to get your record sealed.