The advent of the Internet has made it possible for anyone to have quick and easy access to criminal records and other personal information. There are two types of databases which store such information: public databases and private databases. You may have records in both types of databases that you want removed and each of them have a different process for record removal.
Public and Private Databases Both Effect Your Personal Online Information
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, 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.
The Law Firm of Higbee & Associates offers an Expedited Record Clearance Update (ERCU) that updates the leading 600 private background check companies within 14 days of receiving an individual's granted order.
For more information on record clearing and record expungement, visit our free expungement and record clearing information page.