Expunging or Sealing Adult Criminal Records in Delaware

In Delaware, your criminal records can be expunged--that is, erased or sealed--under certain circumstances. In most cases, after your record is expunged you no longer have to disclose that you were arrested.

In Delaware, your criminal records can be expunged or sealed under the circumstances described below. After your record is expunged, typically only law enforcement officers who are investigating criminal activity or reviewing your application for a job in law enforcement can access the expunged information. In most cases, you no longer have to disclose that you were arrested. (11 Delaware Code § 4376 (2018).)

Expungement in Delaware If You Were Not Convicted of a Crime

If you were arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or violation and you have no other convictions on your record, you are entitled to mandatory expungement upon request if:

  • the charges were dropped
  • your case was dismissed, or
  • you were acquitted of the crime.

(11 Delaware Code § 4373 (2018).)

There is a long list of exceptions to this rule, including sex offenses, unlawful imprisonment, and interference with custody. Please carefully read 11 Delaware Code § 4373(c) or consult a criminal law attorney to learn whether a particular misdemeanor charge qualifies for mandatory expungement.

If your misdemeanor or violation charge does not qualify for mandatory expungement, you may petition the court for discretionary expungement. (Again, to qualify, your criminal record must be otherwise free of convictions.) Misdemeanor charges that may be eligible for discretionary expungement include:

(11 Delaware Code § 4374 (2018).)

Expungement in Delaware If You Were Convicted of a Crime

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or violation, the only way to have your record expunged is to apply for a pardon. If you are pardoned by the governor, you may then petition for discretionary expungement, as described above. (11 Delaware Code § 4375 (2018).)

Under this rule, expungement is not allowed for charges of:

  • embezzlement of public money, bribery, or perjury
  • sex offenses
  • certain offenses against public administration
  • unlawful imprisonment
  • interference with custody, or
  • coercion.

(11 Delaware Code §4375(b) (2018).)

Expungement is not available for felony convictions.

How to File for Expungement in Delaware

To apply for expungement in Delaware, you must first obtain a copy of your criminal record. You may then request mandatory expungement or file a petition for discretionary expungement. Additional information, including a Petition for Expungement of Criminal Record for an Adult and instructions and forms for filing a Petition for Pardon, may be found at the Delaware State Courts website.

Getting Legal Help

Cleaning up your criminal record can be complicated. To learn more about expunging criminal records in Delaware—and to discuss your personal circumstances—you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can guide you each step of the way.

Talk to a Lawyer

Need a lawyer? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP ?

Talk to an Expungement attorney.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you