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Your Record Has Been Expunged…Now What?

March 19, 2021

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  • So, now that a judge has dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s on your granted order securing your expungement, what now? How long does it take for an expungement order to turn into a clear background check?

    The answer is that it depends.

    According to the websites of most municipal and district courts, it can usually take up to 90 days for the court to destroy the records of your case. This timeframe could be prolonged with the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape. Many courts have transitioned to a fully virtual environment, but it’s safe to expect an additional delay.

    What’s important to remember though, is that the expungement process can take an unnecessary amount of time without the proper guidance from an experienced attorney. To some, the expungement process may seem as simple as filing some paperwork with the court. But, in many cases the papers must be served upon the district attorney, and proper legal documentation must be presented to a judge.

    These are things that take the careful oversight of an experienced legal team. Without it, you could waste time and potentially instead of securing employment or a firearm with your newly clean record.

    With the help of a law firm, expect your granted expungement to take anywhere from 60-120 days to process, and the best way to check to see if this has happened is to contact the courts directly.

    Related content: How Long Does a Criminal Record Last

    So, now that your expungement has been processed, you may feel excited about a clean record. What a relief! You can safely check “no” on a job application or housing application if asked about it (depending on the service you received). You may also be able to confidently walk into a gun store and purchase a firearm! Not so fast.

    Just because the judge signed off on expunging your conviction, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re able to pass a background check. Why? Well, because it hasn’t been enforced yet with the hundreds of background check companies across the country. Fair? Maybe not but that’s how it currently works.

    Enforcing an expungement order is a service that needs to be done after each expungement is granted. What does “enforcing an expungement order” mean? Basically, a firm like WipeRecord will reach out to hundreds of background check companies on our client’s behalf and make sure they are all updated with the judge’s order.

    If one didn’t enforce the order, it could take 6-9 months for all the background check companies to be fully updated. We’ve even seen instances where it has been over a year! When enforcing an expungement, it can take as little as 2-3 weeks.

    So the basic steps we recommend are the following:

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