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My Sealed record is still showing up on background check.

Lakeland, FL |

I had a record sealed three months ago and had all my mugshots removed from various websites. I am applying to jobs now and even have an interview tomorrow and just out of curiosity i ran a background check on myself. After scouring the internet for a good website to use i noticed that my supposedly sealed record is still on the background check is there any way i can have this removed quickly and who do i contact to do so any help is greatly appreciated.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Sounds like you've already done a good bit of the work in getting your record sealed and your arrest mugshot off of websites - those are big hurdles. Next step is to contact FDLE and see about getting your record not only sealed, but expunged (if you are eligible). Here's a website with some forms. http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/content/getdoc/c83dd888-ef7a-448e-9a96-ba69fc4181f7/Seal-and-Expunge-Home.aspx

    The expungment will remove your record from FDLE's database (where some of the background services may get their records). I don't think it is quick enough for the time frame you are talking about, but it should help in the long run.

    With today research methods, is anyone's criminal record ever really sealed or expunged? I can't say for certain, but these steps ought to help.

    Answers are for general purposes only, and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.


  2. Mr. Joyce is on to something. My guess is that a record can be "sealed" or "expunged" (in NYS, they're basically the same thing, (see Crim. Proc. Law §160.50, http://bit.ly/171O4y5), but the problem is these provisions are directed to court clerks and state criminal identification, while most internet search engines and "instant criminal background sites" rely on the initial media reports of the arrest, disposition (maybe) and mug shots.

    Those are very difficult to remove and chase down to get them off search engines. Probably the best you can do is to have you or a search engine/reputation specialist write all the media that originally reported the crime with a copy of the expungement order and ask them to take down the story. This may or may not work. An attorney can write threatening letters, but they can take the position that an arrest is an arrest (a fact) even if acquitted.

    On the other hand, if you are successful, ultimately the story will "go away" when it's no longer able to be "crawled" by a search engine's "spiders" or results in a "dead link" which will ultimately get purged. You may want to contact the major search engines as well; I do believe they have FAQs on their websites that offer assistance in this kind of instance.

    I woudn't threaten litigation for defamation, etc. but would try to work with them. A fall back is for them to "UPDATE" the story in question with a final paragraph indicating that the charges were "dismissed in favor of the accused".

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  3. Welcome to 2013, where nothing is private, sacred or truly hidden from scrutiny.

    As you know sealing (and expunging) only applies to certain (not even to all) government agencies and has no effect whatsoever on private (er, extortionist) enterprise.

    You can expect that no matter how many websites you pay off there will be another one, somewhere, sometime, somehow, just waiting for you to pay them off as well.

    Its a seemingly never-ending vicious cycle.

    I'm sorry and wish you luck!

    First, second and third: No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of any Q&A with Michael A. Haber, Esq. on Avvo. Fourth: Anything that you post on Avvo (or on similar sites) or on any social media is by its nature public. It is essentially an admission / confession and can be introduced into evidence as a statement against your interest in a subsequent legal proceeding. Once posted you lose any reasonable expectation of privacy, so, as this is an open forum (with no privilege attached), please be extra careful when considering what to post online (forewarned is forearmed.)

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