Three Situations In Which Your Sealed Criminal Records May Be Accessed

When you succeed in getting your criminal records sealed, your hope is to have them locked away forever. However, this may not be up to you since there are situations in which the records may be accessed. For example, you should expect others to scrutinize your criminal history:

For Subsequent Charges and Sentencing

If you have been accused of a crime, then the government will use your criminal record to determine the severity of your charges and sentences. For example, your first shoplifting charge may be viewed as a misdemeanor, but subsequent shoplifting may be treated as a felony.

At the same time, a first-time petty offense may result in alternative sentencing such as probation or community service. Repeat offenses, however, may attract the maximum possible sentence, which may even include jail time for relatively minor expenses.

Therefore, the authorities need to know whether or not you have a criminal past. The only way it can do this is to look at your sealed criminal records.

When Asking For a Seal

Having your criminal records sealed is a light you can only enjoy once in your lifetime. This is to prevent serial criminals from abusing the system by committing crimes several times and getting their records sealed. Therefore, when you file a motion to have your criminal records sealed, the government will need to determine whether you have a prior successful sealing. If one exists, then your current application will be denied.

When Applying To Sensitive Positions

There are some sensitive jobs that you may not be allowed to take up if you have a criminal past. The classification of jobs as either sensitive or not depends on your state's laws. For example, those who work with children or prisoners may be required to have no prior criminal convictions.

In some cases, only a conviction related to the current job for which you are applying may bar you from getting the job. For example, you may not be allowed to work in the pharmaceutical industry if you have been charged and convicted of tampering with drugs in the past. Therefore, if you are applying for such a job, then the relevant authority will have to see your sealed criminal records before deciding whether to accept you or not.

However, there are laws governing who has access to this information. For example, your state's laws may prohibit potential employers from accessing these sealed records. Therefore, you may seek legal redress if an unauthorized person accesses your sealed records. To find out more about the law, contact someone like Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices.