What To Do If Your Expunged Record Still Shows Up

Posted on: 23 November 2020

Record expungement should make your record inaccessible to those searching your criminal history. However, expungement doesn't always get rid of every trace, and it's possible that your record could show up in some sort of search. Sometimes you can't do much about it, but other times you can. If you're about to apply for something, such as a job or an apartment, you need to know what to do to ensure your background searches come up as clean as possible.

In Public Media and Records

First, depending on what happened, there may be media stories about your arrest and conviction, and even court records of the expungement itself. The expungement won't get rid of news stories and other related media. You may want to talk to a lawyer about whether reputation management would be a good investment; this is a process where a company helps make those negative stories fall farther and farther back in online search results. As for court records of the expungement and those media stories that won't stay buried, it's best to have proof that your record was expunged just in case whoever finds those stories asks about them.

In Background Searches

Because so much online information is available, it's not unusual for a background check company to find out about your arrest and report it to whoever is paying for the check. In this case, it helps that your expungement should not be used in a hiring or approval decision. Keep your paperwork ready at all times because if you have to, you can provide the company requiring the background check with proof that this was an expungement.

Doing a Background Search on Yourself

You may want to arrange for a background check on yourself to see what comes up. While the job or other company that you apply to might use a different background check service, which could still find the expungement, arranging for a check on yourself at least lets you see the information that is easily available. You can speak with your lawyer if anything shows up that shouldn't be in the background check.

Expungements are very helpful, and while there are some restrictions in what they can do, they shouldn't be an issue if you're applying for something like a job. However, if you're concerned about the records still showing up somehow, speak with your lawyer about proactive strategies to keep your record clean. Contact a criminal record expungement attorney for more information.