The Sealing or Expungement of Criminal Records

Interviewer: If I have a prior arrest or conviction, can you get my record sealed or expunged?

Jack O’Donnell: It’s a full-fledged process. You have to apply to have a record sealed or expunged and a number of factors have to go in your favor. We have been successful in getting people’s records expunged, but there’s a lot of paperwork, a lot of documents that have to be produced and a strong case has to be made.

If you had multiple convictions, you’re less likely to have the record sealed or expunged; if they were within the last five years, not very likely at all.  The older your conviction is and the fewer convictions you have, the more likely you are to have a successful application. The court will also look favorably at your application if you’ve shown personal growth and if there is a victim that doesn’t object to the sealing or expunging of the record.

Is It Possible for a Second Offense to Be Considered a First Offense?

Interviewer:  Are there any exceptions, or maybe a look back period, where maybe a second offense can be considered to be a first offense again?

If a Previous DWI Conviction was 10 Years ago, a Subsequent DWI Will Be Considered a First Offense

Jack O’Donnell: Yes, in the DWI field. If you’ve used the alcohol education program more than ten years ago, you can use it again.  If you were convicted more than ten years ago you’re not considered a second offender; you can be treated as a first offender again.

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