Oftentimes during or after court proceedings, people throw around the term “expungement.” But what does it mean to get a conviction expunged?
Having a criminal conviction “expunged” from your record means that, from that point forward, the court will act as if the conviction never happened. The conviction will be removed from the public view. (Law enforcement may still be able to access your record, however.)
An expungement is different from a legal pardon in that a pardon can be ordered by a public official, “forgiving” the convicted person of their act. In contrast, an expungement is ordered by a judge and the conviction instead disappears, so to speak, from the court system.