Difference Between Record Sealing vs. Record Expungement

 

We often get the question from our clients about the difference between criminal record sealing and criminal record expungement, and thought it would be best to write a quick article explaining the difference.

Criminal record sealing: Sealing a record is only available in two situations: (1) Arrest Record - For an arrest record that did not result in a conviction. In that case we can motion the court under PC 851.8 to have the arrest record sealed, if we can prove you were factually innocent of the charge you were arrested for (view arrest record sealing page). (2) Juvenile Record -  A juvenile record in, in most cases, can be sealed as well (view juvenile record sealing page).

Sealing a record offers the greatest amount of relief available, but unfortunately it is only available in the above two situations. After a record has been ordered sealed then the entire record, including fingerprints, booking photo, and arrest report, will be sealed and then subsequently destroyed three years after the arrest. The arrest will be treated as if it never occurred for all intents and purposes.

Criminal record expungement: Getting a crimianl record expunged (which is actually a dismissal - read our article on the difference between an expungement and a dismissal) is the only relief that is available once there has been an adult conviction. Once the record is expunged (which is not the same as sealing) the official record is modified to show as "dismissed" rather than "convicted." This allows you to answer "no" if asked if you have a past criminal conviction on 99.9% of applications or questionnaires. Furthermore, once the conviction has been dismissed the case  information will not display on most employer background checks (read our article on what will display on an employer background check after expungement).

Summary:

Record sealing is only available for an adult arrest that did not result in a conviction, or most juvenile criminal records. Criminal record expungement is the only relief available if a conviction occurred, as an adult criminal conviction can never be sealed in California. 

100% Free Online Expungement Assessment 
Huge Discounts On Multiple Conviction Expungements 
Get a Fresh Start Today
Why Choose Us ?
  • Super Fast Expungement Case Resolution
    FAST Case
    Resolution
    FAST Case
    Resolution

    Most of our expungement cases are completed in just 6-12 weeks, meaning you can quickly move forward with you life. We also offer expedited service in most counties.

  • Expungement Money Back Guarantee
    Money Back
    GUARANTEE
    Money Back
    GUARANTEE

    We offer a 100% money back guarantee on most of our services. If we do not successfully expunge your criminal case, then you don't pay us. It's that simple.

  • Lowest Price Guarantee On All Expungement Services
    105% Low Price
    GUARANTEE
    105% Low Price
    GUARANTEE

    We take pride in offering affordable pricing to our clients. We are so sure that we have the lowest fixed prices for our expungement services that we guarantee it!

  • Expungement Law Firm - Serving All California
    Serving All
    of CALIFORNIA
    Serving All
    of CALIFORNIA

    We provide our specialized criminal expungement legal services throughout the entire state of California. From San Diego to Humboldt County, we are here to help with your expungement needs.

  • Multiple Case Discounts
    Multiple Case
    DISCOUNTS
    Multiple Case
    DISCOUNTS

    Do you have multiple cases? No problem. We specialize in clearing up your entire criminal record, and we provide discounted pricing for multiple expungement cases.

  • Experienced California Criminal Expungement Law Firm
    EXPERIENCED
    Law Firm
    EXPERIENCED
    Law Firm

    We have won thousands of criminal expungement cases for our clients in California. We have seen every type of expungement case, and we specialize in this unique area of California law.

What Our Clients Are Saying

  • BBB A+ Rating

    I would highly recommend Fresh Start. They did everything they promised, on time and with wonderful customer service. I am very pleased!

    DONNA P.
    LOS ANGELES
  • Yelp rating

    David Huffman and his team are top notch.  I used them for two cases and they won both.  Their prices were reasonable and there service excellent. 5 Stars!!!

    ROBERT T.
    SAN DIEGO
  • TRUSTPILOT Rating

    Highly recommend Fresh Start Law Center to anyone needing this type of assistance. Totally reliable and well worth the money. Mr. Huffman was a joy to work with.

    SHANNON R.
    SAN FRANCISCO
our clients love us
  • I would highly recommend Fresh Start. They did everything they promised, on time and with wonderful customer service. I am very pleased!

    DONNA P.
    LOS ANGELES
  • David Huffman and his team are top notch.  I used them for two cases and they won both.  Their prices were reasonable and there service excellent. 5 Stars!!!

    ROBERT T.
    SAN DIEGO
  • Highly recommend Fresh Start Law Center to anyone needing this type of assistance. Totally reliable and well worth the money. Mr. Huffman was a joy to work with.

    SHANNON R.
    SAN FRANCISCO

 

 

 

FORGET THE PAST.
EMBRACE THE FUTURE


Get Start Today For Only $99

Want a Free Consultation ?

Provide some quick info, and one of our record clearing attorneys will reach out to you right away


 
X

Not Now

Go to Website