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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 13752
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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How do I find out if my record has been sealed or expunged How

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How do I find out if my record has been sealed or expunged?
How do I go about making it happen?
It wouldn't have happened automatically -the court won't expunge or seal your record by itself. Assuming you are eligible for an expungement/sealing of your record, you actually have to file a petition for expungement with the court requesting it. Typically, there is also a hearing on the petition, after which, if it is granted, the judge will enter an Order directing the record be sealed or expunged.

If you've never gone through the process of filing the petition, etc., the record has not been expunged.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
How do know if I am eligible for a record's seal/expungement? I was 21 @the time and the case was closed under section 17
I need more information then that:

1) What state was this in?

2) What was the charge?

3) Were you convicted?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
PA, Posession controlled substance w/intent, pleaded "no contest" (is this the same as a conviction?), paid fine, & 1yr probation.
The no contest plea, while not technically a guilty plea, has the same effect. Unfortunately, in Pennsylvania, your records cannot be expunged until a convicted offender is 70 years old and has been free of arrest for at least ten years following his or her final release from supervision. It may also be expunged where the offender had been deceased for at least three years.

Otherwise, only non-convictions can be expunged. A non-conviction would be where the case was discharged for lack of evidence, for example. It can also be where a person completed successfully an ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) program and the charges were dismissed. If you completed ARD, then you are eligible for an expungement now.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank You, XXXXX XXXXX been very helpful. I have 1 last query, in NY, 30+ yrs ago I was charged w/mail fraud and pleaded "no contest", (is that a felony conviction?), I recieved probation. Can I get that record expunged/sealed or find out if it already has been?
Mail fraud is a penalty in New York State, though if you got probation, it's possible that you plead to a lesser charge, too. The only way to find that out would be to call the Clerk of the Court's office in the county where the incident occurred and see if they could tell you. It would probably take them some research since it was so many years ago.

New York only allows an expungement of a record where the circumstances work out in favor of the defendant -that is, the charges are dropped or you are found not guilty. You might be eligible for a certificate of relief from disabilities, which states an employer cannot consider the conviction in making a hiring decision, but if you are no longer living in New York, or are living there, but retired, there's no point to it.
I meant to say "Mail fraud is a felony in New York state, not a penalty."
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I am in NY. How do I get a certificate of relief, and how do i find out if am eligible?

You should be eligible, given the amount of time that has transpired since the case. You have to apply for the certificate through the New York State Division of Parole. You can find the information here (scroll to the very bottom of the page for the application).
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