An Expungement of your record results in the extraction and isolation of all records on file with any court correctional facility or law enforcement agency. The records that are expunged include complaints, warrants, arrests reports, commitments, criminal history records, fingerprints and your rap sheet.
Contrary to popular belief, your record is not automatically cleared or expunged with the passage of time. Even if you were never found guilty, an arrest is not expunged unless a court grants your Expungement petition. State statutes impose application guidelines and waiting periods for various types of arrests and convictions. The guidelines provide instruction for what can be expunged and set forth certain specific types of offenses that cannot. The guidelines also impose waiting periods that are calculated from the completion of the sentence imposed by the court.
It is important to note that an Expungement does not destroy records; it extracts and isolates the records. Under most circumstances, once an Expungement has been granted those records cannot be disclosed. A person who has been granted an Expungement can respond that he or she has no conviction when asked a question about having a criminal record. Exceptions to this rule include a person seeking a second Expungement, a person seeking a conditional discharge, and a person seeking to obtain employment in law enforcement.