Various government agencies keep records for various amounts of time, and many report incidents, including arrests regardless of conviction status, to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), Department of Human Services (DHS) or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The BCA, DHS and FBI records can often be accessed by employers or potential landlords causing problems far into the future for many people.
Not all incidents can be expunged, and the prosecuting agency can object to the expungement. The subject of the expungement is required to show that the record is causing them problems with employment or housing.
Dismissal – Records can be expunged if an incident results in a Dismissal. Misdemeanor – If a record results in a conviction for a misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor, records can be expunged after 2 years, if the subject of the record is not involved in any further incidents. Gross Misdemeanor – a record resulting in a gross misdemeanor conviction can be expunged after 4 years, provided the subject of the record is not involved in any further incidents. Felony – a felony conviction can be expunged after 5 years, if the subject of the record is not involved in any further incidents.
An expungement does not erase the incident, and the records can still be accessed if the subject re-offends or applies for a position within the government. However, for other employment, and housing applications, if the record has been expunged, the subject of the record is not required to disclose that information on any application.