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To “expunge “means to remove completely. Expungement in law is when records of criminal offenses are sealed or destroyed from all federal or state records. When an order for expungement is given, the court is expected to take the case as though it never happened, thereby removing it from their records and the public, ideally.

Expungement is not forgiveness; it is merely a legal pardon. In comparison, pardons are not expungement either as they do not require sealing a person’s criminal record and whatnot. The court or a judge must order expungement proceedings.

Collateral Consequences

These consequences can play a negative part in a variety of things:

  1. They can negatively affect domestic rights, immigration status, public benefits, professional licensing, Medicare/ Medicaid, employment, housing (public and private sectors.)
  2. Usually, when a convicted person tends to apply for any of the above listed, there is a tendency to know the record expunged; in most cases, the court can access it.
  3. Some employers can still request a review of a criminal record after the job has been offered and accepted. The employer, on the other hand, has the right to deny you a job because of your criminal record but, in other cases, a person with a record is at liberty to deny the case ever happened, lawfully, you are entitled to say “No” to questions regarding the incident.


However, there are limited expectations to this general rule:

  • When a person applies for expungement again shortly, there may be a possibility to disclose whether you’ve had any previous charges or expunged convictions. The court will have complete access to this information.
  • When you enter a supervisory treatment program or any diversion program, and you had those earlier charges expunged, you will need to let the court know about your expunged offenses. If you are applying to another related program, the court will gain full access to that expunged information.
  • If you are continually involved in legal proceedings, your deleted records will be available for bail hearings and sentencing by the department of corrections.
  • If you seek employment in the judicial sector with a corrections agency or a law enforcement agency, you will be required to reveal your expunged records, and those agencies will be able to access this information.
  • Even though your records have been expunged, the above-listed limitations will allow law enforcement agencies to access your deleted records. When you apply for your record expunged, it does not necessarily mean in the literal sense; they are extracted from the public view but not entirely everywhere. An expungement order does not make the criminal activities confidential.
  • Quite alright, it sure does erase a person’s conviction but, the truth will forever remain known to the public.

An expunged arrest does not apply to how the public records work, so it is not excused to privacy protection.

Contact Our Office Today!

If you ever need to talk to a professional lawyer about this, you can always feel free to do so at GPS Law Group at 704-741-9957. Our office serves residents, business, and families in Charlotte, Gastonia, Concord, Huntersville, and surrounding communities in Mecklenburg County, Rowan County, Cabarrus County, Iredell County, and Gaston County, North Carolina.