Criminal records sealed? Think again
When having a criminal record Exploring sealed or expunged, you have to wonder, is it truly sealed? Was is a waste of time & money? Criminal records for a long time, were kept only on paper file by law enforcement, courts and departments of corrections, so privacy was much better protected. Today as they have gone digital, they are routinely being sold to commercial datamining enterprizes, and are turning up in routine background checks even after expungment or sealing. Some commercial databases contain up to 100 million criminal records, including expunged records.
To be perfectly frank, “True” or “Real” expungement in the information age is becoming something of a joke. It is definitely much more difficult to accomplish. Many privacy rights experts argue the notion of the “expunged record” has become something of an information age myth, a throwback to a bygone era of file cabinets & Royal typewriters.
Expunged criminal records are routinely showing up in criminal background checks that were ordered by landlords, employers, creditors, etc.. Agency-t0-agency electronic records sharing is only compounding the problem, as they often fail to keep up with expungement / sealing orders. Some courts sell criminal records information to the general public, including pending cases, prior to conviction.
Traditionally, when a criminal record is sealed or expunged, it is supposed to be only available to law enforcement, but who knows what electronic databases it could be hiding in? Sealed records are coming back to haunt more & more people in the areas of employment, housing, etc.. and it’s not just ex-convicts or felons who are effected.
There are a number of inexpensive investigation tools available online where many criminal records have been easily found.