Having a criminal record is not the end of the world. There are legal ways to have criminal convictions removed from your record.


It is important to know what is in your criminal record. There may be false or erroneous information included in your report that may damage your chances to be employed. You can have false information permanently removed from your record. In some cases certain charges can be officially and formally erased from your record. This process is called “expungement.” In some cases, felony convictions can be downgraded to misdemeanors making them easier to work with.

Sealing of Records

Some cases may even be legally “sealed” and can only be examined by order of the court. To seal a criminal record means that a court clerk is ordered by a judge to hide a court record of criminal proceedings from public view. Originally records were actually placed in an envelope which was secured with a wax seal. The records are not destroyed because under certain circumstances, a court can order that sealed records be reopened. Generally, however, the effect of sealing is the court acts as if the information in the record never existed. Even a juvenile record can be sealed through the juvenile court. Once this has been done, the offense shall be deemed never to have occurred. There are no exceptions to this type of sealing; offenses are treated as though they never happened. A court not only seals its records, but also orders that records containing information about the charges held by others be sealed as well. Once a criminal record is sealed, all of the proceedings in it are treated as if they never occurred. Persons may then properly and lawfully answer any questions about the arrest, acquittal, conviction etc., as if they never happened. For example, it is OK in a job interview or even under oath to deny a sealed conviction.

Certificate of Rehabilitation

A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court order, which declares that a person who has been convicted of a felony is rehabilitated. If a petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation is granted, it is forwarded to the Governor by the granting court and constitutes an application for a pardon. (In some cases the granting of a Certificate of Rehabilitation relieves some offenders from the sexual offender registration requirement.)

This information is not intended as legal advice. You should consult a qualified professional that is experienced in this field. There are organizations in your community that offer free or low cost legal services that can help with these processes. These organizations may also have relationships with employers who are willing to hire ex-offenders. Check your local telephone directory or ask your probation or parole officer to help you locate these organizations.

For more great advice for ex-offenders looking for work, visit http://www.JailtoJob.com

Author's Bio: 

Eric Mayo specializes in professional and personal development with special emphasis on life skills and job readiness training. Eric has over 20 years of corporate and educational experience which he uses to help people improve the quality of their lives.

Mr. Mayo has a degree in Business Administration from Seton Hall University where he was a standout member of both the Pirate football and wrestling teams. An author and lecturer, Eric is the author of the books, “From Jail to a Job", “The Teenager’s Guide to Getting a Job" , “The Secret to Getting Better Grades", and has addressed, among others, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Charles Hamilton Institute for Race and Justice of the Harvard School of Law. He is an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and has spent his life committed to community empowerment.

Eric has been studying, learning, applying and executing the art of personal achievement and leadership throughout his career. It is truly his passion and his gift. He combines a straightforward approach and real-world perspective with a presentation style that is inspirational and motivational. His primary message is, “Independence through Self-Reliance."

You can contact Eric at www.Jailtojob.com