The legal process known as expungement involves an individual submitting a formal request to a judge asking to seal part or all of his/her criminal record so cannot be viewed by the general public. If a record is expunged and a background check is completed, it should not appear on the report because it is no longer a conviction.
The process to expunge or seal a criminal record and the statute of definition varies from state to state. Therefore, what type of records can be expunged also vary by state. Generally, consumers do not have to disclose an expunged conviction in matters such as; seeking employment, applying to an educational institution, applying for certification or licensure or registration. Thus, a consumer can answer “no” if asked if they have a prior conviction (that has been expunged). In most instances, individuals pursue an expungement of their criminal record if they have been denied housing, employment or a professional license. It is important to note that in some cases, courts in some states do grant law enforcement and government agencies access to sealed records under special circumstances.
The Expungement Clearinghouse was formed to securely share data concerning expunged criminal records with participating background screening member companies. IntelliCorp is one of three founding members of the Expungement Clearinghouse that agreed to form a cooperative industry leading effort to manage expungements in a structured manner. The process expedites the updating of expunged information that is provided to many commercial background screening companies in the United States.
However, many courts across the United States do not exercise proactive due diligence when it comes to informing the public of expunged or sealed records. Thus, an individual can have a criminal record expunged, but the information may not be promptly relayed to criminal database companies that provide criminal record information to various background screening companies.
To address the issue, the Expungement Clearinghouse has formed an exclusive partnership with the Foundation for Continuing Justice. The Foundation’s service is free to consumers, and assists individuals who have had a criminal record expunged, sealed or otherwise made non-public by a court. The free service includes the verification and subsequent removal of the information from the Expungement Clearinghouse members’ private criminal databases that provide background checks.
The Foundation is a great benefit to both consumers and background check companies due to the significant progress achieved with government institutions, and their willingness to share expungement updates and provide the information to background screening companies so the information is removed from their databases.
This partnership will help to ensure that job seekers realize the full benefits afforded to them under the legal process of expungement, leading to faster and more efficient background checks, and helping qualified job applicants to more quickly secure meaningful employment.
For more information on the Expungement Clearinghouse, click here.
To visit the Continuing Justice website, click here.