Can criminal background records be sealed from the public?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can criminal background records be sealed from the public?

I have three 3rd degree felony convictions 1 is 33 years ago, 25 and 21 years
ago. For the past 17 years I have been a productive citizen and I’m a college
student earning a Bachelor’s Degree. I’m 61 years old with a family and I’am
still being denined employment due to my criminal history. Is there any advice
that you can give me.

Asked on October 26, 2018 under Criminal Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, there is nothing you can do. Criminal records can only be sealed if they are expunged; but in your state, only a single crime of 3rd degree (or more serious nature) can be expunged, so you could at best (assuming you and the crimes met the other criteria for expungement) only expunge or seal one of the three convictions. If you believe that one is much worse for hiring than the others and that eliminating even one would be beneficial, consult with a criminal defense attorney about possible expungment.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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