Understanding Criminal Records: Expungement & Record Sealing

When it comes to a criminal conviction, you need to know how a charge will impact your criminal record. There are two major categories that your criminal defence attorney can lobby for when it comes to your criminal records: Expungement and record sealing. Understanding what each of them means is crucial to getting the results you want and need.

What’s the difference between expunging records and sealing them? Take a closer look with this quick synopsis below: 

What It Means To Expunge Records

The best outcome you could hope for when it comes to your court records is expungement. This means that any charges you face are permanently removed from your criminal record. It will be as if they had never happened, allowing you to move on with your life as if your conviction did not derail your life plans. 

Often, this doesn’t happen right away. You may have to have the charge on your records for a specific period of time before it’s eligible for expungement. 

This can also take place if you were arrested but had no charges brought against you. These types of activities can be dropped from your record much more easily than a criminal charge. 

It’s also important to note that not all charges will result in an expungement of your criminal record. For example, traffic offences may not be eligible for expungement. Your local jurisdiction dictates what types of charges can and cannot be dropped from your criminal record. 

Sealing Your Criminal Record

If you’re not eligible for expungement results, the best you can hope for is sealed records. For the most part, this means that people who dive into your background checks will not be able to see the crime that you were convicted of. 

A criminal defence lawyer can make sure that it looks as though the alleged crime never happened—at least in the eyes of the general public record. This is similar to having your records expunged from minor offences. 

A sealed record means that most people won’t be able to tap into your criminal charges, which could influence your employment opportunities and even your ability to rent an apartment. 

That being said, there’s still a chance that your records could be reopened. Law enforcement agencies can still see into your absolute or conditional discharge and may decide to reopen a case that’s on your misdemeanour records. It will require a court order to dive into your past records, though. 

Getting the Help You Need With a Criminal Record

Whether you’re trying to convince the parole board to expunge your record or simply want to reduce the waiting period to have charges fall off, you need to enlist the help of a skilled and experienced criminal lawyer in Winnipeg. Brodsky Amy & Gould can help you get the most favourable outcome and minimize the penalties that you’ll face. 

When you need help with a criminal record, reach out to us today to learn more about the process of getting an absolute discharge.