What’s the Difference Between Sealing and Expunging a Criminal Record?

When you’re convicted of a criminal offense, that conviction goes on your criminal record. That record can haunt you by impacting financial, career, and housing opportunities. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get these charges off your record. But you may have the option to get your criminal record expunged or sealed.

But what’s the difference between sealing and expunging a criminal record? Your lawyer at Chicago Trusted Attorneys™ can help answer that. If you’re struggling to get your case expunged or sealed, your criminal defense lawyer can help you get answers and take the right steps for your future. You are not alone. 

Sealing vs. Expunging Your Record 

The difference between sealing and expunging your record is whether the record still exists. If your criminal record is sealed, it won’t appear on background checks, for example. These records still exist, and certain agencies will still be able to access it, but it will be hidden from the general public. 

An expungement erases the offense from your criminal record completely. If the offense was the only mark on your criminal record, that means a fresh start for you without a record. 

Your Options to Avoid a Chicago Criminal Record 

Sealing or expungement isn’t always an option. In many cases, criminal offenses that resulted in a conviction may not be removed from your record. You may also have to wait for years before you’re eligible to expunge or seal an offense on your record. 

Because of this, you may instead seek help from a criminal defense lawyer, if you’ve not yet been convicted of a criminal offense. Your lawyer can help you defend your case in criminal court. They can also help you get those charges expunged or sealed if you’re eligible. 

Talk to a Criminal Defense Lawyer About Expungement or Sealing 

When you’re facing criminal charges, you may be considering getting your criminal record sealed or expunged. Although the difference between sealing and expunging a criminal record can make a difference, you may also have a chance to avoid a conviction and the expungement process. 

If your case is still in court, or if you want to ensure you’re taking the right steps toward a clean record, reach out to the lawyers at Chicago Trusted Attorneys™. Our lawyers can help you get and keep your criminal record clean when you call 312-519-3171 or complete the online contact form below.