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Privacy protection and reputation management have become major challenges for both individuals and businesses in the digital world. Among the greatest threats to one’s personal or professional reputation are old court records. Previously, anyone who wanted to find public court records would have to physically go to a local office and request a clerk to release them. Nowadays, there’s a good chance that these records are available online, even if they contain highly sensitive information.Having a felony on your record can cause serious problems even after you’ve served your sentence.


Felons may have difficulty finding a job, renting an apartment or getting higher education. You may pay higher insurance premiums or higher interest on credit cards. These issues can be even more difficult to contend with if you never committed the crime in the first place. Fortunately, most states have procedures in place that can prevent these consequences and allow you to move on with your life.


In our younger days, some of us did things we later came to regret. We wronged people or made them upset. Guilty as charged. We can't turn back the wheels of time, however and usually we mature and move on to better and greater things.


But what if, out of the blue, an indiscretion from 10, 20, or 30 years ago suddenly resurfaces, wreaking havoc on our family life, our business, our achievements, our good name? It resurfaces because someone causes it to, in order to destroy everything we have worked for.

Before the internet, it was relatively easy to put the past behind us, assuming we hadn't left a forgotten son or daughter somewhere.


In the pre-internet days, it would have been almost inconceivable for someone, especially someone from another country, to make a comeback into our lives and systematically start destroying us.A criminal record and arrest history can damage your online reputation, no question about it. Arrest records, mugshots and police reports pop up online often, and many people are left to deal with the potentially harmful consequences. For those who have been convicted with a felony, a misdemeanour or charged and not convicted at all, their encounters with the law will be displayed over the internet. Along with police records being posted online, if local or national newspapers have published charges it can be extremely difficult to repair ones reputation.


Old court records can chase your reputation around for years, particularly if they end up appearing in the search results. The following websites (among others) contain vast repositories of legal information and court records for litigators to use in their research:


  • Justia (

  • Juralindex (

  • Casetext (

  • Docketbird (

  • Pacermonitor (

  • Plainsite (

  • Atlas Public Records (

  • Find A Case (

  • Findlaw (

  • Law360 (

  • Leagle (

  • Open Public Records (

  • Courtlistener (

  • Unicourt (


Because these websites are so popular, they are considered by Google and other search engines to be highly authoritative. That means Google tends to display information published on them high up in the search results.


Understand the difference between a sealed record and an expunged record. If a criminal record is sealed, it’s hidden from the general public but still exists. Sealed records can actually be unsealed in some instances. Expungement, on the other hand, erases the record permanently. 

  • If your record is sealed, the felony typically will not appear when someone runs a criminal background check on you, as when you apply for a job or seek to rent an apartment. 

  • Some states (Illinois, for example) do not allow records of any felony convictions to be either expunged or sealed under any circumstances absent pardon from the governor.


Originally, court records presented minimal privacy and reputation issues, since they were generally only accessible by going through long-winded processes at government offices. Today, once Google’s algorithm indexes this publicly available information, there’s a good chance that the court record will appear on the first page of Google search results whenever anyone searches for your name or the name of your business. Needless to say, this can lead to an online reputation and privacy disaster.

Why court records rank highly in Google: 

You may be wondering why court records rank so highly in Google search results, especially if the court record is ranking above other web properties that have existed for years. There are 3 main reasons why this occurs:

1. Clicks: The #1 search ranking factor in 2019 is the number of clicks a specific link gets over time. Generally speaking, the more clicks a link gets, the higher it will rank in search results. When people search for your name or business, they are much more likely to click the court record (than say your website or LinkedIn profile), which causes it to rank higher in search results.

2. Domain Authority: Every site on the Internet has a certain level of “trust” or “domain authority” on Google. The higher a site’s domain authority, the higher the site ranks in search results. The majority of sites that host court records are trusted by Google, which is one of the reasons why old court records can quickly make their way to the top of search results.

3. Links: It is not uncommon for court records to be shared and republished on other sites/blogs/etc. When other sites link to the court record, it signals to Google that the court record must be of value to users, and should rank highly in search results.


Make sure the required time has elapsed since your conviction. All states require you to wait a few years after you’ve served your sentence before you can get your record sealed. During that waiting period, you should go out of your way to avoid any further brushes with the law.


  • The waiting period may differ depending on the severity of your crime. For example, Massachusetts requires you to wait ten years before applying to have a felony record sealed, compared to five years for a misdemeanor conviction. 

  • Know when the waiting period starts. In some states you must first complete any period of probation and pay all fines. In other states the waiting period begins the day you’re convicted. Elsewhere it may begin on the day you leave jail. 

  • In many states, records may be sealed upon request after a certain period of time has elapsed without further review. However, you must maintain a clean record during that waiting period.


If you currently find yourself dealing with a court record ranking highly on Google, there are two ways to fix the issue:


1. Complete Removal:  If the admin of a site thats hosts court records agrees to completely remove the court record from their site, the associated link will also be removed from search results. This is the ideal scenario and the first option we look into when helping our clients. If a site removes a court record completely, a “404 page” will appear as seen below:


2. Search Engine Suppression: This process involves creating a network of new positive web properties to push down the court record to page 2+ of Google, where it is much less likely to be seen and cause you issues. The timeframe to suppress a court record to page 2+ of Google varies greatly and depends on several factors. In most cases, suppression is not only effective at removing the old court record from the first page of search results, but it also works to enhance and protect your online reputation.

Looking for professional help? 

If you’re looking to remove or suppress court records in search results, our team  can help. The first step in our process is to analyze your specific circumstances and evaluate the website(s) that host the court record(s). Once the analysis has been completed, we will provide you with an honest assessment of the most optimal strategy to remove or suppress the court record(s) as quickly as possible. If we think removal of the court record is a realistic possibility, you will only be charged for our service if we are successful in completely removing the court record(s) from Google search results. 


Not only do we guarantee our work, but over the last 6+ years we have solidified our own reputation as one of the most trusted and results-driven online reputation management firms in the United States. is one of the few reputation management firms with an ”A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau. In addition, has been selected as one of the best online reputation management firms in the U.S by three independent rating agencies. To see reviews from past clients who have used our services, click here.



Have questions about removing your arrest mugshots or crime records from the internet or feedback on our website or services? Good! We're always eager to hear from our customers and improve our processes.