How can I remove my record from public domain
If you have found your mugshot online do not become extremely anxious. Your police arrest record does not necessarily have to remain in the public domain. There are options for arrestees to seal or expunge their record.
Sealing a record. In most cases, when a record is sealed it cannot be accessed by the public. This means that even if you are required to do a background check by a potential employee your arrest details will not be accessible. However, note that your record will not been destroyed or removed. It still exists and can be accessed by government agencies depending on who requires it and for what purpose it is required.
Expunging a record. Generally, when a record is expunged, it is removed. This means that it cannot be accessed by the public or government agencies, even by court order. It is as though you were never arrested. In some states, like Florida and Texas, you can legally deny that you committed an offense or were arrested by the police. In the eyes of the law, you have never committed or been suspected of a crime.
Factors that may affect the removal of public arrest Records
The process of removing your record whether by sealing or expungement depends on many varying factors. Arrestees who understand these factors are more likely to be successful in their attempt to limit the accessibility of their records.
Your age when arrested. If you were arrested or sentenced as a juvenile or minor, depending on the state in which you were arrested, your record may be sealed automatically. In states like New York, the police and other relevant agencies protect the information on your record and will only share it with your school and other institutions if deemed necessary.
Some states do not offer both sealing and expungement options. Some, like New York, allow a criminal record to be sealed only in certain instances.
Your eligibility for removal of a criminal record will be based on your current relationship with the law. Thus, your expungement request may be denied if you are currently involved in a court case or have had several prior convictions. Additionally, our eligibility for expungement or sealing may be determined based on whether or not you have completed a court’s sentence.
Often states stipulate that certain offenses cannot be expunged. For instance, in New Jersey, traffic violations cannot be expunged. If you have been convicted of an offense, you will need to check with state authorities to determine if your police record can be expunged.
Many states require that an arrestee wait for a specific period before they can apply to have police arrest records expunged. This waiting period may range from a few moths to years. If you were convicted for a serious offense you may have to wait for a longer period than arrestees who committed a less serious offense. For instance, in New Hampshire, those who committed sexual assault have to wait a minimum of 10 years.
Having your name published in a criminal case can be a stressful and harmful event. Many people are overwhelmed and at a loss, not knowing what to do. If your name has been mentioned in a criminal arrest or conviction, don’t fret. There are options available, although most people are unaware that these services exist. The best steps to take to repair your online reputation depend on the individual and their personal needs. Depending on the nature of the crime, the timeline since the arrest/publication, and the extent of the media coverage there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration.
Criminal Record Pardon/ Expungement
Depending on your Country, State or Province you may be eligible for criminal record expungement. Many Countries have policies in place that aim at forgiving people of their past criminal offenses. Typically there are a number of variables that are taken into account when it comes to government-run programs dealing with criminal pardons. There’s usually a timeline of several years after conviction that must be waited out before applying for a criminal record pardon. Talk to a lawyer, or look into your State/ Provincial laws for more information.
Content Suppression & Content Removal
If you are not able to expunge your criminal record, your next best option is to supress or remove any traces of your unwanted online content. This, however, is a complicated and potentially costly way to fix your online reputation. While many newspapers, mugshot sites and criminal record databases which publish peoples criminal arrests are able to remove details of criminal cases, they usually will comply if there is a heavy legal reason to do so (e.g. a lawyer contacting them on your behalf).
There are two main routes that can be taken, content suppression and content removal. Content suppression is when your unwanted online content is ‘pushed down’ from search engine results. If you type in your name and the first three search results are about your arrest record, mugshot or police record, content suppression services will push them down so they are not the fist thing that you see. However, with content suppression services your content is still visible online, just further down the page. Content suppression is also only a temporary fix, as it will come back to the top page of search results in time. People who opt for content suppression are constantly having to pay for more services.
The best solution to repair your reputation and remove your mugshot or criminal/arrest record- Content removal
Content removal is the most effective option to repair your online reputation, hands down. Content removal is a rare and highly technical service that is not offered by most reputation management companies. Content removal is when your unwanted criminal record, mugshot or police arrest record is completely removed from the internet- permanently. That’s right! Completely removed from the internet. Most people are shocked to discover that anything can be removed from the world-wide-web, but it’s true.
Public Databases(Public Records)
Public databases such as the Department of Justice(DOJ), Department of Public Safety(DPS), courthouses, and police stations require a granted court order for the sealing or expungement of your criminal case to remove your record and are updated automatically upon receiving the court order. After your petition for criminal record clearing is granted, the court clerk will send you or your legal representation the signed court order. The court will update their records of your granted order within 48 hours. The DOJ and DPS must then update their records within 30 days of receiving the order. Most background check companies get their information from these public databases. You can take this free online test to see if your record is eligible to be cleared.
Private Databases(Private Records)
Private databases, which include online background checks, update records at their own discretion. Private databases can update in waves, meaning anywhere between six months to one year, depending on the company's enforcement of record updates. Some private databases may not ever be compelled to update their records to reflect your granted order, unless they are actively enforced to do so. There are services such as the Expedited Record Clearance Update (ERCU) service which can help to enforce these updates on certain background check companies.
Most people clear their criminal records so that they can pass background checks for employment, housing, universities, and loans, or to restore rights in order to vote or own a firearm. Unfortunately, even after the court grants your request for record clearing, employers and landlords may still be discriminating against you as an applicant. Regardless of whether the court ordered for your criminal record to be expunged or sealed - which makes it as though the offense and related incidence did not occur - there is nothing to prevent someone from holding your cleared record against you if they still have access to the private database records.
Both clearing your criminal record and then ensuring that the granted court order has been updated on both public and private databases is the only way to guarantee that your past will stay where it belongs, in the past. Do not allow your expunged criminal record, which will automatically be cleared from public records, haunt your future by continuing to appear in private databases.