The availability and laws governing expungement of an arrest or conviction vary from state to state. When it is an option in a state or county, in most cases, a person's criminal record must meet certain standards in order to qualify for the process. Some of the factors that may affect the eligibility for expungement include:
- The period of time since the arrest or conviction
- The severity and nature of the event for which expungement is sought
- Events in the applicant's criminal record, such as arrests or convictions in all jurisdictions
- The severity and nature of other events in the applicant's criminal record
Depending on the state or county, special eligibility rules might exist for expungement that occurred while the offender was a juvenile, and arrests or convictions for sex offenses.