Expungement-Sealing-Pardon Information

Introduction:

The VCIC Criminal History Repository staff will purge any charge(s) on an individuals criminal history record when directed to do so by  a court order or a request from the Governor's office pursuant to a pardon.  Some of these orders are generated by the various district courts and others are generated by petition from the individual of record.  It is important to understand that when an individual has contact with the Criminal Justice System in Vermont the associated information is recorded in many databases and for a record to be  completely removed is a complex process.  VCIC is only responsible for purging the information in the State Criminal History repository, the AFIS fingerprint and mugshot system, and notifying the FBI that the record needs to be purged from the National system.   The process can take as long as six (6) months before the record is removed by the FBI.  Criminal charges may be removed from the Criminal History record provided the Court issues an Expungement order or a Sealing order. These are orders signed by the Judge that require all information regarding a specific charge be removed. You MUST contact the District Court in which you were convicted to determine the possibility of having the Court issue the Expungement order or Sealing order.

Expungements:

An expungement is a court issued request, signed by a judge, that requires that all information pertaining to a specific defendant or specific charge(s) be removed from repository records.  The result of an expungement order is the complete and permanent removal of all the information pertaining to the charge(s) or the individual if the expungement entails the individual's complete criminal history record. Since law prohibits keeping any documents pertaining to an expunged record it is not possible to identify any expunged record information once it has been purged.

An individual can petition for record(s) expungement to the court of jurisdiction but they will need articulable reasons to justify the expungement.  You should check directly with the court of jurisdiction as to the proper procedure for making an expungement request within their jurisdiction.  A link provided below and in the menu at the right will provide you with Vermont District Court contact information.

Click here to access an on-line directory of Vermont District Court information

Sealings:

A sealing differs from an expungement in that the record information is not permanently destroyed it is simply moved to secure storage where access to the specifically sealed information is restricted.  Information in a sealed record can only be viewed as required by court order.

Sealings are also court ordered and the process to have a record sealed can vary from court to court and you should contact the court of juridiction for more information.  A link provided below and in the menu at the right will provide you with Vermont District Court contact information. 

Click here to access an on-line directory of Vermont District Court information

Governor's Pardon:

Criminal charges may be removed from the Criminal History record provided the Governor’s office issues a Pardon. This is an order signed by the Governor that requires all information regarding a specific charge(s) be removed. You MUST contact the Governor’s Office to determine the possibility of having the Governor’s office issue a Pardon.  Governor's Pardons are very rarely given and require substantial justification.  Below is a link to a document outlining the Governor's guidelines for pardon consideration:

Governor's Guidelines and Application for Pardon Consideration