Paving The Way To Justice

Cassandra Stamm
Paving The Way To Justice

How to clear your criminal record in Hawaii

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2024 | Criminal Law

Having a criminal record can limit your opportunities in life, from employment to housing to education.

Fortunately, Hawaii offers options for clearing your criminal record.

Sealing and expunging criminal records

The first step in clearing your criminal record is understanding the difference between sealing and expunging. Sealing a record means that it is not available to the public without a court order while expunging a record means that it is entirely removed from the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center.

Expungement, though a slower process than sealing, provides you with the ability to deny arrests and convictions to secure employment or an apartment. Sealed records, by contrast, are still accessible to employers.

How to seal a criminal record

To seal a criminal record in Hawaii, you’ll need to obtain a Certificate of Expungement from the Department of the Attorney General. Once you have the certificate, you can write a letter requesting sealing to the court that expunged the record. If the court approves your request, you’ll receive a sealing order by mail. You can confirm the sealing of your criminal records online.

What crimes can be expunged or sealed?

Some criminal records are eligible for expungement, including felony and misdemeanor charges that did not result in a conviction, first-time drug-related crimes and first-time property offenses.

How to expunge criminal records

To expunge a criminal record, you’ll need to complete and file an expungement form with the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center. The application process varies depending on the type of conviction, and there may be waiting periods before you can file. The process typically takes four months, and there is a filing fee of $35 for first-time adult expungements.

Get your fresh start

Clearing your criminal record can be a complex process, but it’s worth it to regain your opportunities in life. Whether you choose to seal or expunge your record, following the right steps can help you achieve a fresh start.