If there's a mistake on my criminal record, how do I correct it?

Answer: If your criminal record contains inaccurate information, you can ask the government agency to correct it.

Criminal records are usually kept on file in a central state database.

Like requesting a copy of your credit report, you may obtain a copy of your criminal record to check it for accuracy. Expect to pay a fee to get a copy of your record.

Some states provide a form, with instructions, that you can use to correct mistakes in your record.

Other states require that you send a letter to the agency that maintains your record, describing the mistakes and asking that they be fixed. Whatever method you use, the state must usually act on your request within a period of time determined by law.

To find out more, contact the agency that keeps your record on file. If you don’t know where to start, search online for your state’s name, followed by “how to correct errors in criminal record” or "how to challenge inaccurate criminal history."

For example, if you search "Texas how to correct errors in a criminal record," the results should list the Texas Department of Public Safety's webpage on "Criminal History Error Resolution."

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