How To Remove Criminal Record From Background Check

David Weisselberger | January 15, 2024

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Having a clean slate is crucial in an era where information is readily available, and background checks are integral to various processes. A criminal record can significantly impact one’s opportunities for employment, housing, and even personal relationships. 

However, the good news is that there are ways on how to remove criminal records from background checks. In this article, we will explore the different methods available, shedding light on how individuals can navigate the complexities of removing criminal records.

How To Clear A Criminal Record

Clearing a criminal record involves navigating legal processes and understanding the options available. While the specifics may differ depending on jurisdiction, individuals can generally explore three main avenues to clear their criminal records: expungement, sealing, and obtaining a pardon.

how to clear a criminal record

Expungement

So, you may be asking, “how to clear my criminal record?” With expungement and background check removal service, individuals can erase or seal their criminal records. This means that the records are effectively destroyed or removed from public view. Expungement is often available for individuals with minor offenses or those who have completed a rehabilitation program. It is important to note that the eligibility criteria for expungement vary by jurisdiction.

Sealing

Similar to expungement, sealing a criminal record involves making the record inaccessible to the public. However, instead of erasing the record, it is securely stored and can only be accessed under certain circumstances, such as by law enforcement. Sealing is commonly an option for individuals with non-violent or juvenile charges.

Pardon

A pardon means that the government grants official forgiveness of a crime. While a pardon does not erase the criminal record, it does signify that the individual has been forgiven and may restore certain rights, such as the right to vote or own firearms. Pardons are typically granted by the governor or president, depending on the jurisdiction.

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Public Databases vs Private Databases

Understanding the distinction between public and private databases is crucial when exploring ways on how to clear your background check. 

Public databases contain information accessible to the general public, often through online platforms. On the other hand, private databases are maintained by third-party companies that provide background check services to employers, landlords, and other entities.

Removing a criminal record from a public database involves legal processes such as expungement or sealing. However, the process is more complex when it comes to private databases. 

While expungement or sealing may make the record inaccessible to the public, private background check companies may only retain the information if specifically instructed to update their records.

How To Remove a Criminal Record from a Background Check

how to remove criminal record from background check

Step 1: Research Your Eligibility

The first step is to research the eligibility criteria for expungement, sealing, or pardon in your jurisdiction. Eligibility may depend on the nature of the offense, the time that has passed since the conviction, and whether you have completed any required rehabilitation programs.

Step 2: Consult with an Attorney

Legal processes can be complex, and navigating them without professional guidance can be challenging. Consult with an expert attorney specializing in criminal record expungement to assess your eligibility, understand the specific procedures in your jurisdiction, and guide you through the necessary steps.

Step 3: Petition for Expungement or Sealing

If you are eligible, file a petition for expungement or sealing with the court. This typically involves submitting specific documentation, including details about the conviction, evidence of rehabilitation, and any other required information. The court will review your case, and if approved, your criminal record will be expunged or sealed.

Step 4: Apply for a Pardon

If expungement or sealing is not an option, explore the possibility of obtaining a pardon. This process usually requires submitting a formal application to the governor or relevant authority, explaining why you deserve forgiveness, and providing evidence of your rehabilitation.

Step 5: Update Private Databases

Even after successfully clearing your record through legal means, private background check companies may still have outdated information. Contact these companies and request that they update their records to reflect the changes in your criminal history. Please provide them with the necessary legal documents to support your case.

Also Read: Do Expunged Records Show Up On Fingerprint Background Check?

Why You Should Be Concerned about Criminal Background Checks?

The prevalence of criminal background checks in various aspects of life makes it essential for individuals to address their criminal records proactively. Here are some reasons why you should be concerned about how to clear a bad background check:

  • Employment Opportunities: Most, if not all, employers would conduct background checks as part of the hiring process. With a criminal, your chances of securing employment may be significantly affected, especially in competitive job markets.
  • Housing Applications: Landlords often use background checks to screen potential tenants. A criminal record may lead to rejection, making it challenging to find suitable housing.
  • Educational Opportunities: Some educational institutions require background checks for admission. A criminal record may affect your chances of being accepted into certain programs or institutions.
  • Professional Licenses: Certain professions require individuals to hold licenses, and licensing boards may conduct background checks. A criminal record could jeopardize your ability to obtain or maintain a professional license.
  • Personal Relationships: Personal relationships, including friendships and romantic partnerships, may also be affected. Being transparent about your past and taking steps to clear your record can foster trust and understanding.

Take Steps to Protect Yourself with Us

Unlock new opportunities and regain control of your future by erasing your criminal record. Erase the Case specializes in guiding individuals through expungement, sealing, and pardons. We are dedicated to helping you navigate the legal complexities, ensuring a thorough and effective resolution.

FAQs on Clearing Criminal Records and Background Checks

Can you remove yourself from a background check?

Removing yourself entirely from a background check is challenging. However, taking legal steps on how to remove criminal record from background check, addressing inaccuracies, and providing context can improve results.

What takes the longest on a background check?

Factors such as complex criminal records, delays in reference checks, and verifying education or credentials contribute to the length of a background check.

Why does it take so long to clear my background check?

Legal processes like expungement or obtaining a pardon, government processing, and third-party verification can extend the time required to clear a background check.

What does a hit mean on a background check?

A “hit” indicates a match with specified criteria in a background check. It signals the need for further examination or consideration by the requesting party.

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David Weisselberger
Author | Founder
"David Weisselberger is the founder of Erase The Case. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Florida, & also his Juris Doctor from UM School of Law. Afterwards, He has been working as a former Miami-Dade County Assistant Public Defender. Also, as a solo lawyer and former associate at South Florida’s honored Saban & Solomon Law Firm. He has learned firsthand the effects people face from having a public criminal arrest record mark their lives. Therefore, David has always been working hard to help people get rid of haunting crimnal past and have a second chance in life"

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We have provided more expungements than any other law firm in the state of Florida, but don't just take our word for it.  
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    "My experience with this law firm was exceptional. After submitting the required documents, they took care of everything with ease, professionalism, and expediency. I was kept informed throughout the process. In only 3 months, all record of my case was erased from my background check. I used the "expunge now, pay later" option, which let me pay the fee over time with Affirm."
    Lee County
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    "I'm beyond happy right now, I contacted David about my case few months ago and right away he was able to help me , the whole process was very easy they kept me updated every step now my case is sealed.very professional I recommend this firm, if I can give more than 5 stars I would. "
    Miami-Dade County
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    "I would recommend anyone that has a background to use Erase the Case Services. David is a great lawyer answers all of your questions keeps you updated during the process. The staff there are excellent people very professional. The process doesn't even take long!"
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