Expungement (also called “expunction”) is a court-ordered process in which the legal record of an arrest or a criminal conviction is “sealed,” or erased in the eyes of the law. When a conviction is expunged, the process may also be referred to as “setting aside a criminal conviction.
Certificate of Rehabilitation
A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court order declaring that a person convicted of a felony is now rehabilitated. If a petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation is granted, it is forwarded to the Governor by the court and constitutes the application for a pardon.
A gubernatorial pardon is an honor that may be granted to people who have demonstrated exemplary behavior following their conviction. A pardon will not be granted unless it has been earned. Historically, governors have granted very few pardons.