What is the difference between sealing and expunging?

When a record is sealed, the record is closed from public viewing. Only law enforcement agencies can view the record, and even then, it is only under a very special set of circumstances.
When a record is expunged, the record is destroyed - meaning it is as if the arrest never happened! In fact, most states will actually literally shred every single copy they have of your record!
When a record is set aside, it is still on your record, but it no longer shows on a background check.
When a record is pardoned, the Governor or a board with the authority to issue a pardon will have a record removed from a background check.
When a record is dismissed, the conviction is modified to seem as if it was dismissed.
When a record is reduced, it is taken from a felony to a misdemeanor or a misdemeanor to a violation.

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