Many adult criminal records may be sealed or expunged, which enables you to say "No" in many situations when you're asked about your criminal history.
Many states allow you to expunge, seal or otherwise "hide" or "destroy" your criminal record. Generally, if a criminal record is expunged or sealed, it's as though the crime never occurred and you can legally say (to a potential employer, for example) that you were never charged or convicted of a crime.
State laws vary tremendously as to which conviction and arrest records can be expunged. See the articles below for details on the rules in your state, and on how to begin the expungement process.
If you are interested in sealing a juvenile record, refer to our article, Expunging or Sealing a Juvenile Court Record.