If you have been previously arrested, charged, and even convicted, but you do not qualify for Expungement, you may be able to clean up your criminal record by filing a Petition to Seal. A criminal history can cost you a job, admission to college or can have other negative consequences on your life and future. The process of Sealing entails petitioning the court for the entry of an order directing law enforcement agencies to impound all documents related to a prior criminal arrest, charge, and/or conviction. While Expungement is preferable because it results in the destruction of criminal records, sealing your record is the next best thing. The benefit to sealing your record is that employers, colleges, universities, and the general public will no longer be able to see that old arrest, criminal charge, or conviction.
If the case you would like expunged resulted in a conviction, you will not be eligible for expungement. Additionally, if you are looking to expunge a prior arrest, dismissal of charges, or court supervision, but you have a prior conviction on your record, you will not be able to file for expungement either. Expungement is only available to defendants who do not have any prior convictions on their records. However, if you have an arrest or criminal charge for a misdemeanor offense that would otherwise be eligible for expungement, but is not due to that prior conviction, you may be the perfect candidate for filing a Petition to Seal your record. Additionally, some misdemeanor and class 4 felony convictions can be sealed.